Christmas time is one of the marquee occasions for American Football, with the NFL hosting games thick and fast around the festive period. The NFL Christmas games in 2021 are no exception.
NFL Christmas games 2021
The league even has a game on Christmas Day this year! We take a look at the biggest games from the 2021 Christmas slate.
Rams @ Vikings
Given that the Rams and the Vikings both sit second in their respective divisions, there are few bigger games this seasonal period than the one here at U.S. Bank Stadium on Boxing Day. Simply put, Matt Stafford has hit the ground since joining the Lions in 2021. Sean McVay brought in the 33-year-old believing he’d take this Los Angeles franchise to the next level.
The Vikings might have a poorer season record but are rejuvenated by the recent purple patch from Kirk Cousins. The QB bossed the games against the Steelers and the Bears as the Vikings put back-to-back wins together.
The last time these teams met was back in 2018 as Jared Goff starred in an enthralling 38-31 victory as the Rams went 13-3 that year and made it to the Super Bowl.
Ravens @ Bengals
Boxing Day proves to be a busy day in the NFL, with the Paul Brown Stadium being a key battleground in the search for AFC North supremacy. The entire division hangs by a thread but none closer than the Ravens and Bengals as the two square-off with identical 8-6 season records so far.
Ravens players and fans alike have been through the mill this December having lost all prior games, but by the finest of margins; having lost by a single point to the Packers and Steelers and losing 24-22 to the Browns. Three consecutive defeats have been compounded with yet more misery as the 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson has picked up an ankle injury – which could rule him out of this tie.
While the Bengals have seldom been stellar of late, throughout the season they’ve shown their versatility to pick up wins.
They’ve shown an ability to dig in with grit to win tight games, like last week when they defeated the Broncos 15-10. Conversely, they have completely blown teams away, like they did to the Ravens earlier in the season. The 2020 #1 draft pick Joe Burrow has most certainly facelifted the franchise with his performances, consistently scoring over a hundred in the QB ratings.
Steelers @ Chiefs
Do we need to sell the opportunity to watch an in-form Patrick Mahomes? He and Travis Kelce ran the show against the Chargers and combined for the winning play in overtime with an exceptional 34-yard reception. Currently residing at 10-4 for the season, the playoffs are almost assured for last year’s Super Bowl losers.
This year the Steelers are a shadow compared to the team that finished 12-4 last season. Key players including Alejandro Villanueva, James Conner and Bud Dupree all left Heinz Field leaving head coach Mike Tomlin in a state of flux with an inconsistent 7-6-1 record for the season. Ben Roethlisberger has however hit form since rumours about his retirement started circulating this month.
If the last encounter is anything to go by this game should entertain as the Chiefs triumphed 42-37 back in September 2018.