Packers-Bears game changed to Sunday night

Updated: December 26, 2006, 9:18 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The Green Bay Packers will face the Chicago Bears in the final Sunday night game of the regular season on New Year's Eve thanks to the NFL's flexible schedule.

The Packers (7-8), one of five teams vying for the last playoff spot in the NFC, will take on the Bears at Soldier Field. The outcome will have no bearing on Chicago (13-2) because the Bears have already clinched the top seed in the NFC and home-field advantage.

The game, originally scheduled for 1 p.m., has been pushed back to an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff.

In other changes announced by the NFL on Monday night following the New York Jets' 13-10 road victory over the Dolphins: Buffalo at Baltimore, Miami at Indianapolis, and Atlanta at Philadelphia were all shifted from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET.

There are five scenarios in which the Packers have a chance to make the playoffs. If they fail, it is possible that Brett Favre will be playing his final NFL game in prime time.

If the New York Giants defeat the Washington Redskins on Saturday night, the only hope for the Packers to make the postseason would be with a win and a tiebreaker edge over New York in strength of victory.

The moves are part of the network's flex scheduling, a feature of the new television contract with the NFL that's meant to ensure contending teams play in prime time late in the season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press