Packers to play Sunday night

NFL moves noon start against Bears to prime-time spot

The Green Bay Packers will play the Chicago Bears on NBC's Sunday Night Football, Dec. 31, the National Football League announced today.

Although the Bears have already clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, Green Bay is playing for the final playoff spot. The Packers (7-8) can get into the postseason with a win and by clinching the strength of victory tiebreaker over the New York Giants, or with a win and a Giants and a Rams loss or tie.

Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. (CST).

During Week 17, the decision to move a game-time start can be cut to six days -- the league has said the idea is to aim for a night game with playoff implications. Only games originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon are eligible for a swing to Sunday night.

The game could also be the last in the stellar career of Packers quarterback Brett Favre. The 37-year-old could choose to call it quits after this season, his 15th under center for Green Bay. He has started every game since Sept. 27, 1992.

The Packers come into Soldier Field on a roll, having won three consecutive games, including a 9-7 victory on Dec. 21 that eliminated the Minnesota Vikings from playoff contention. Green Bay lost 26-0 at home to Chicago in Week 1.

The Bears (13-2) have won their last four, narrowly defeating the Lions 26-21 Sunday in Detroit.

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