The final "Sunday Night Football" matchup of the regular season will be the most critical one of all. Per usual, NBC has set up a win-and-in scenario for the final game of the 2021 NFL season, and two divisional rivals will fight for a final Wild Card berth.
The Chargers and the Raiders are the two teams fighting to stay alive and make the 2022 NFL playoffs. Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like the Chargers were shoo-ins for one spot while the Raiders were likely on the outside looking in.
However, the Raiders have stayed alive thanks to a three-game winning streak while a shocking loss to the Texans put the Chargers firmly on the playoff bubble. Los Angeles is still favored to get one of the final spots, but the Raiders have persevered through quite a lot this season, so they will certainly be emotionally ready for this contest.
Will the Chargers win and make the postseason or will it be the Raiders' turn to shine? Below is more about the Week 18 matchup, plus everything to know about how to watch "Sunday Night Football."
Who plays on 'Sunday Night Football' tonight?
- Matchup: Chargers vs. Raiders
- Location: Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Chargers (9-7) are traveling to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders (9-7) in a winner-take-all game.
The Chargers and Raiders are both in the thick of the playoff race, but because of the way that the schedule falls, it's highly likely that only one of them will make it into the postseason tournament. The Colts would have to lose to the Jaguars for both to be able to make it. That is improbable.
As such, both Los Angeles and Las Vegas will be amped up for this game, as they'll both likely be playing for their playoff lives. The Chargers have a terrific offense led by Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, so they will hope to repeat the 28-14 victory they owned over the Raiders earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, the Raiders will look to trust Josh Jacobs against a poor run defense and will expect Derek Carr to play a solid game as well. The Raiders' defense has allowed 15.7 points per game during their three-game winning streak, so if their defense shows up in this spot, this contest could end up being a close one.
Neither Brandon Staley nor Rich Bisaccia has coached in the playoffs before, as each is in his first year in charge of a franchise. Bisaccia only took over the Raiders midseason after Jon Gruden's email scandal resulted in the veteran coach stepping down. If he can lead Las Vegas to the postseason amid all the drama they have dealt with this year, it would be impressive.
What time is the NFL game tonight?
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 9
- Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
The Chargers vs. Raiders game will begin at 8:20 p.m. ET. The game will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev.
What channel is "Sunday Night Football" on tonight?
"Sunday Night Football" continues to air on NBC, as always, and it picked up a win-and-in divisional rivalry in the Chargers vs. Raiders game for Week 18. Play-by-play man Al Michaels and analyst Cris Collinsworth will man the booth while sideline reporter Michele Tafoya will play a significant part in the broadcast as well.
Drew Brees, Tony Dungy, Mike Tirico, Chris Simms, Mike Florio, Jac Collinsworth and Maria Taylor will be among the personalities that host NBC's pregame and halftime coverage of the game.
Streamers will be able to watch this contest by using NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports App, Peacock or fuboTV, which offers a free trial.
Meanwhile, viewers in Canada can watch the game on DAZN.
NFL live stream for 'Sunday Night Football'
All "Sunday Night Football" games are broadcast on NBC, which owns the exclusive broadcast rights for the program. As such, the network's online platforms — including the NBC Sports app and NBC Sports.com — are the best places for cable and satellite subscribers to watch the game. Peacock, the company's relatively new streaming service, will also carry the games free of charge.
For cord-cutters, there are plenty of live streaming options for "Sunday Night Football." Below are all of them.
|Streaming option||Cable subscription needed?||Free?||Cost||Free trial?|
|Yahoo! Sports App||No||Yes||-||-|
|AT&T TV Now||No||No||$55/month||Yes|
|Hulu Plus Live TV||No||No||$55/month||Yes|
Los Angeles Chargers schedule 2021
|1||Sept. 12||at Washington||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|2||Sept. 19||vs. Cowboys||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|3||Sept. 26||at Chiefs||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|4||Oct. 4||vs. Raiders||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|5||Oct. 10||vs. Browns||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|6||Oct. 17||at Ravens||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|8||Oct. 31||vs. Patriots||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|9||Nov. 7||at Eagles||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|10||Nov. 14||vs. Vikings||4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|11||Nov. 21||vs. Steelers||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|12||Nov. 28||at Broncos||4:05 p.m ET||CBS|
|13||Dec. 5||at Bengals||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|14||Dec. 12||vs. Giants||4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|15||Dec. 16||vs. Chiefs||8:20 p.m. ET||Fox/NFLN/Amazon|
|16||Dec. 26||at Texans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|17||Jan. 2||vs. Broncos||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|18||Jan. 9||at Raiders||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
Las Vegas Raiders schedule 2021
|1||Sept. 13||vs. Ravens||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN/ABC|
|2||Sept. 19||at Steelers||1 p.m ET||CBS|
|3||Sept. 26||vs. Dolphins||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|4||Oct. 4||at Chargers||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|5||Oct. 10||vs. Bears||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|6||Oct. 17||at Broncos||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|7||Oct. 24||vs. Eagles||4:05 p.m. ET||FOX|
|9||Nov. 7||at Giants||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|10||Nov. 14||vs. Chiefs||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|11||Nov. 21||vs. Bengals||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|12||Nov. 25||at Cowboys||4:30 p.m. ET||CBS|
|13||Dec. 5||vs. Washington||4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|14||Dec. 12||at Chiefs||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|15||Dec. 18 or 19||at Browns||TBD||TBD|
|16||Dec. 26||vs. Broncos||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|17||Jan. 2||at Colts||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|18||Jan. 9||vs. Chargers||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
Sunday Night Football schedule 2021
|1||Sept. 9 (Thur.)||Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys|
|Sept. 12||Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears|
|2||Sept. 19||Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs|
|3||Sept. 26||San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers|
|4||Oct. 3||New England Patriots vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|5||Oct. 10||Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills|
|6||Oct. 17||Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks|
|7||Oct. 24||San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts|
|8||Oct. 31||Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas Cowboys|
|9||Nov. 7||Los Angeles Rams vs. Tennessee Titans|
|10||Nov. 14||Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs|
|11||Nov. 21||Los Angeles Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers|
|12||Nov. 28||Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns|
|13||Dec. 5||Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers|
|14||Dec. 12||Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears|
|15||Dec. 19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints|
|16||Dec. 26||Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys|
|17||Jan. 2||Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings|
|18||Jan. 9||Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders|