NFL Christmas games 2022: Schedule, top matchups, channels, times, and more

What are the Christmas Day NFL games for the 2022 season, and what is the history of professional football being played on the holiday?

The 2022 NFL Christmas Day schedule will involve three games for the first time. The NFL has played three total Christmas Day games over the past two years, so they will match that total in 2022. On May 10, 2022, CBS announced they would be broadcasting the Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams game on Christmas Day. Let’s take a look at the rest of the schedule for Dec. 25.

2022 NFL Christmas Day games

Last year, we were treated to two tense games with major playoff implications on Christmas Day — and the NFL will be hoping for something similar in 2022. With a similar setup to Thanksgiving, the NFL wants to entice fans to spend all day in front of their television sets on Christmas Day as they go head-to-head with the traditional NBA Christmas schedule.

Which six teams will be featured on Christmas Day, and who will be facing who in potentially pivotal matchups for the 2022 NFL postseason race?

Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins

  • Channel: FOX
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams

  • Channel: CBS
  • Start time: 4:30 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals

  • Channel: NBC
  • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

The history of the NFL on Christmas Day

In the early days of the NFL, the season was over in advance of Christmas Day. From 1943 until the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the NFL Championship Game would typically fall around Christmas. However, when the game clashed with Christmas in 1955 and 1960, the NFL moved it to Monday, Dec. 26.

The AFL also moved their Championship Game in 1960, but they moved it back a week to Sunday, Jan. 1. In 1966, the NFL and AFL both played their Championship Games on Sunday, Jan 1. heading into the inaugural “World Championship Game.”

The 1971 season was the first time the NFL played a game on Christmas Day. The first two Divisional Playoff games of the 1971-72 NFL postseason were held on Christmas Day. After complaints from various areas, the NFL would not play again on Christmas Day until 1989.

Since then, the NFL has played one or two games on Christmas Day when the holiday fell on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. In 2009 and 2020, Christmas landed on a Friday, and the NFL played a single game on each occasion. When Christmas falls on a Sunday, as it does in 2022, the league shifts the standard Sunday schedule to the preceding Saturday afternoon. They can then place featured games on Sunday and spread their reach across the two days.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN