The holidays tend to be a dead time for sports, as leagues are cognizant of the fact that players and coaches should be able to see their families on the holidays. Different sports have different traditions, though, and because of the holiday schedule, the NFL will be playing a full slate of games on Christmas Eve this year. Here's what to look forward to on December 24 if you're a fan of the gridiron.

3. NCAAF - Hawai'i Bowl, 8:00 PM ET

For some sports fans, it's hard to swallow watching college Football bowl games because they're glorified exhibition games (unless they're in the playoff), where the players aren't always motivated to go out and play their hearts out.

That may be the case on Christmas Eve when the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors play host to the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. But it's more football on the schedule and the scenic Hawai'i venue will be pleasant to view on the television screen as people battle an arctic cold everywhere else in the United States.

2. NFL - Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers, 1:00 ET

When the NFL schedule was released, many sports fans expected this Week 16 rivalry game to determine the NFC North, not the right to stay alive in the NFC Wild Card race. But this Christmas Eve clash will surely knock one of these teams from playoff contention. The Packers have rediscovered their mojo as of late and are at home at chilly Lambeau Field, but Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will have a game behind him in his quest to return from injury and lead Minnesota to the promised land.

1. NFL - Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 PM ET

The best game of the Christmas Eve sports schedule in the NFL takes place in the Bay Area, where Oakland will have an opportunity to bask in the glow of a rare playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Colts will be battling for their playoff lives in the weak, but competitive NFC South; the team currently sits a game behind the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans in the schedule.

Coach Chuck Pagano's job could be on the line as well.

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