Since it started in its current format as the NFL’s main primetime package in 2006, the defining feature of NBC’s Sunday Night Football has been the use of flexible scheduling to ensure the best matchups and showcase the best teams as the season goes along. Well, that’s the theory, anyway; the reality has not always lived up to the initial hype and has at times seemed downright mystifying. Regardless, I’m here to help you figure out what you can and can’t expect to see on Sunday nights on NBC.
A full explanation of all the factors that go into flexible scheduling decisions can be found on my NFL Flexible Scheduling Primer, but here’s the Cliffs Notes version with all the important points you need to know:
- The season can be broken down into three different periods (four if you count the first four weeks where flexible scheduling does not apply at all) for flexible scheduling purposes, each with similar yet different rules governing them: the early flex period, from weeks 5 to 10; the main flex period, from weeks 11 to 16; and week 17. In years where Christmas forces either the Sunday afternoon slate or the Sunday night game to Saturday in Week 16, flex scheduling does not apply that week, and the main flex period begins week 10.
- In all cases, only games scheduled for Sunday may be moved to Sunday night. Thursday and Monday night games, as well as late-season Saturday games, are not affected by Sunday night flexible scheduling (discounting the “flexible scheduling” applied to Saturday of Week 16 this year and last – see below).
- During the early and main flex periods, one game is “tentatively” scheduled for Sunday night and listed with the Sunday night start time of 8:20 PM ET. This game will usually remain at that start time and air on NBC, but may be flexed out for another game and moved to 1, 4:05, or 4:25 PM ET on Fox or CBS, no less than 12 days in advance of the game.
- No more than two games can be flexed to Sunday night over the course of the early flex period. If the NFL wishes to flex out a game in the early flex period twelve days in advance, CBS and Fox may elect to protect one game each from being moved to Sunday night. This is generally an emergency valve in situations where the value of the tentative game has plummeted since the schedule was announced, namely in cases of injury to a key star player.
- CBS and Fox may also each protect games in five out of six weeks of the main flex period, but all of those protections must be submitted after week 5, week 4 in years where the main flex period begins week 10 (so it is always six weeks before the start of the main flex period).
- No team may appear more than six times across the league’s three primetime packages on NBC, ESPN, and Fox/NFL Network, and only three teams are allowed to appear that often, with everyone else getting five. In addition, no team may appear more than four times on NBC. All teams’ number of appearances heading into this season may be seen here.
- According to the league’s official page, teams are notified when “they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.” However, they rarely make this known to the fans, and the list of each network’s protections has never officially been made public. It used to leak fairly regularly, but has not leaked since 2014.
- In all cases, the NFL is the ultimate arbiter of the schedule and consults with CBS, Fox, and NBC before moving any games to prime time. If the NFL does elect to flex out the Sunday night game, the network whose game is flexed in may receive the former tentative game, regardless of which network would “normally” air it under the “CBS=AFC, Fox=NFC” rules, keeping each network’s total number of games constant. At the same time, the NFL may also move games between 1 PM ET and 4:05/4:25 PM ET. However, this feature focuses primarily if not entirely on Sunday night flexible scheduling.
- In Week 17, the entire schedule is set on only six days notice, ensuring that NBC gets a game with playoff implications, generally a game where the winner is the division champion. More rarely, NBC may also show an intra-division game for a wild card spot, or a game where only one team wins the division with a win but doesn’t win the division with a loss, but such situations are rare and last year was the first time it showed such a game. If no game is guaranteed to have maximum playoff implications before Sunday night in this fashion, the league has been known not to schedule a Sunday night game at all. To ensure maximum flexibility, no protections or appearance limits apply to Week 17. The NFL also arranges the rest of the schedule such that no team playing at 4:25 PM ET (there are no 4:05 games Week 17) could have their playoff fate decided by the outcome of the 1 PM ET games, which usually means most if not all of the games with playoff implications outside Sunday night are played at 4:25 PM ET.
Here are the current tentatively-scheduled games and my predictions:
Week 11 (November 17):
- Selected game: Chicago @ LA Rams.
Week 12 (November 24):
- Selected game: Green Bay @ San Francisco.
Week 13 (December 1):
- Selected game: New England @ Houston.
Week 14 (December 8):
- Tentative game: Seattle @ LA Rams
- Prospects: 8-2 v. 6-4. The Seahawks could be defending a wild-card berth and contending for the division lead, but the Rams’ continued mediocrity could start making it dangerously lopsided. A potential complication: the Chargers are currently slated to play in the 4:05 ET slot on Fox, so either LA team would need to serve as a CBS undercard to Chiefs-Patriots if this is flexed out (Chargers-Jaguars could theoretically be moved to the early afternoon but that might be too complicated and still require a move to CBS or giving LA a “double singleheader”).
- Likely protections: Chiefs-Patriots (CBS) and Niners-Saints if anything (FOX).
- Other possible games: Ravens-Bills looks like the only real contender for a flex if Niners-Saints was protected; Lions-Vikings had an off chance of being the Fox protection, but that would be very iffy now. The prospect of Niners-Saints being unprotected should nonetheless be taken into consideration.
- Analysis: Best-case scenario for Ravens-Bills is 9-2 v. 8-3 with the Rams falling to 6-5; I don’t know that that overcomes the tentative game bias given the weak name value of the Bills (and even the Ravens would mostly be valuable for Lamar Jackson). The prospect of Niners-Saints standing at 10-1 v. 9-2, though, might be a little more interesting, although as an early-afternoon game on a five-game Fox singleheader, it wouldn’t face the issues in distribution Packers-Niners would have, though New York might be deprived of the game with the Jets playing at home in the early slot and Los Angeles would definitely be deprived with the Chargers playing in the 4:05 game. As noted, either one game involving an LA team would have to move to CBS (which already has three games in the late time slot) or Chargers-Jaguars would have to move to the early afternoon (which would likely still require a crossflex) if any flex took place. Given these complexities, and the circumstances surrounding the games (and the fact it’s definitely more likely than not Niners-Saints was protected), I don’t think it’s worth pulling any deeper breakdown of the flex possibilities after the weekend, but I wouldn’t be completely blindsided by Niners-Saints being flexed in.
- Final prediction: Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams (no change).
Week 15 (December 15):
- Tentative game: Minnesota @ LA Chargers
- Prospects: 8-3 v. 4-7 continues to raise concerns about this game being concerningly lopsided. This game is back to having the worst team in any tentative in the flex period.
- Likely protections: Texans-Titans, Jaguars-Raiders, or nothing (CBS) and Rams-Cowboys if anything (FOX).
- Other possible games: Seahawks-Panthers is starting to look a bit lopsided, and only beats Bills-Steelers on name value and a single game the Seahawks have over the Bills, and Texans-Titans isn’t much worse than that. Jaguars-Raiders is a dark horse, as is Bears-Packers, which probably would have been protected if one of the teams in Fox’s current late-afternoon feature game wasn’t the Cowboys.
Week 16 (December 22):
- Tentative game: Kansas City @ Chicago
- Prospects: 7-4 v. 4-6. Having the two most attractive unprotected games on the Sunday slate move to Saturday on NFLN may result in some discussions on how to handle SNF in future Week 16s if the NFL keeps up with this “Saturday flexible scheduling” experiment.
- Likely protections: Ravens-Browns if anything (CBS) and Cowboys-Eagles (FOX).
- Other possible games: There aren’t any games left on the Sunday slate involving two teams above .500, with even Fox’s late DH game of Cowboys-Eagles involving a team at that mark; Panthers-Colts and Saints-Titans share that status while also being unprotected. Ravens-Browns would be the next-best dark horse if it’s unprotected, followed by Raiders-Chargers if games previously singled out for a potential move to Saturday can be moved to SNF, but the Chargers are a half-game worse than the Bears and could have a game flexed out the previous week; being less lopsided is the only thing it would have going for it.
- Tentative game: None (NBC will show game with guaranteed playoff implications).
- Possible games: Steelers-Ravens, Saints-Panthers, Titans-Texans, Colts-Jaguars, Niners-Seahawks.
40 thoughts on “Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Week 11”
Morgan (carrying over from the prior thread):
Eagles fans LOVED this move to 1:00 PM because it helps them against the Seahawks, it’s some who are more about vanity who were POed because it took away a “showcase” for them. In other situations where a game that normally would not have been flexed had to be, there was not really a chance to do a make-up flex later in the year because the team(s) flexed out did not have an opponent worthy of doing it. In this case, you have back-to-back weeks where you can do make-up flexes for both the Seahawks (in Week 15 against the Panthers) and Eagles (in week 16 against the Cowboys) from a game that likely would not have been flexed out except for keeping it would have (as noted in the prior thread) likely resulted in a reverse DH that led to CBS being hit with massive fines from the FCC due to complaints from mostly elderly viewers about “60 Minutes” not airing in much of the country when it normally would because that is the ONE group that will complain to the FCC (for those who did not see the previous threads, “60” has by far the oldest demos of ANY prime time show that goes back to when the FCC had much stricter restrictions about what could air from 7:00-8:00 PM/6:00-7:00 PM CT on Sundays) and was the main demo that put Trump over the top in 2016. I’m sure the NFL and FOX were also well aware it’s something given the current political climate we are in Trump might have intervened in if the FCC did indeed get the level of complaints I suspect they would get given how vocal that demo is about stuff like this (since as noted it’s well believed Trump has a long-running vendetta against the NFL dating back to his 1986 attempt to force an NFL-USFL merger). If there had been such a provision, in this case, given FOX would still have had Panthers-Saints to headline the early slot (instead of cross-flexing it to CBS), the NFL with such could have instead moved Seahawks-Eagles in Week 12 to Monday Night Football and handed ESPN an extra Monday night game since the scheduled MNF game this week is in LA (with SEA-PHI likely at 7:10 and BAL-LAR at 10:25) even though people in Baltimore would have been upset about having to stay up until 2:00 AM to see the finish. That provision I as noted I suspect will be added in the next TV deals so in a situation like the this, the NFL has a “safety valve” of moving an SNF game to MNF and on such weeks ESPN having an unscheduled doubleheader so a west coast team playing in the east doesn’t have a scheduled SNF game suddenly be at 10:00 AM local time and so those who look at primetime as “prestige” don’t feel screwed like some Eagles fans do.
This is why you appease those who look at primetime as more important than late afternoon by taking away FOX’s protection of Cowboys-Eagles and move that game to SNF in Week 16 if the Bears continue to falter as a make-up flex to the Eagles so they get their SNF game back. You can soften the blow to FOX by giving them the scheduled NFLN game of Rams-49ers in Saturday primetime either by themselves or as a simulcast with NFLN and for at least this season if not also next, all three late Sunday playoff slots (4:40 ET WC Sunday, 6:40 ET Div. and conference title Sundays). As much as they would hate losing Cowboys-Eagles, the late Sunday playoff spots get much bigger ratings and two of them are essentially in prime time this year (the Divisional playoff late Sunday for the first time ever), so I think FOX would take that trade-off in a heartbeat. NFLN as I previously noted in this would next year get a Saturday tripleheader in Week 15 and most likely a Friday night game (involving teams that played on Saturday in Week 15) and afternoon DH in Week 16 with CBS getting next year the primetime Saturday game in Week 16.
Simply put, the NFL was put in a bad spot because of the unexpected rise of the 49ers to an elite franchise and that’s why I think the NFL for the first time ever winds up having to do in-season make-up flexes even if they violate normal TV deals.
The SNF-to-MNF option would ONLY be used in a situation where you have a west coast team unexpectedly rise and they have a game in the late slot on the DH network that can’t be moved to 1:00 PM and the main game scheduled for that slot can’t be moved to 1:00 PM (even if it remained the main game with the DH reversed) without creating a level of unintended consequences keeping SEA-PHI on SNF in this scenario would have created. It would have to rise to that level in order to move a game from SNF to MNF.
I Hope This Thanksgiving Rematch In Atlanta Between The Saints And Falcons Because NBC Better Not Pull A TNT Like Version Of Players Only Like They Did Last Year.
I think Al and Chris didn’t want to do the Thanksgiving game and that’s why they had Mike Tirico with Dungy and Harrison.
Maybe have Tirico do the Thanksgiving game with Doug Flutie, who he does Notre Dame games with.
When Al Michaels retires after the next 2 or 3 seasons, which is when NBC next has the Super Bowl, it will be Mike Tirico replacing him on Sunday Night Football. He’s great and I miss him since he left Monday Night Football. He can do everything well in sports. He was even calling some hockey games during the playoffs last season. He even makes a great host, as he was great with the Indy 500 this year.
For example, on the Bears vs. Packers game at Lambeau Field week 15 next month, there’s nothing wrong with that game being flexed to a 3:25 pm game on tv channel Fox and not NBC Sunday night football.
Walt… Where do you come up with this fluff?
I grew up when we had the old “Prime Time Access” laws on Sundays and networks were with very limited exceptions required to set 7:00-8:00 PM ET/6:00-7:00 PM CT for news or children’s programming for example. For many years, this could not include sports at all (except for overruns of events that started earlier).
60 Minutes is a holdover from that time and has in the past been cited as the reason CBS has been reluctant to have NFL playoff games run past 8:00 PM knowing how “60’s” audience is the type that still complains to the FCC over stuff most others don’t care about as “60” has by far and away the oldest audience of any prime time series. Even when the NFL first went to the conference title games at 3:00 and 6:40 following the 2002 season (January 2003), CBS I believe was reluctant about having that done because of how loyal “60 Minutes” viewers were and still are even though it was only once every two years this happened. The Super Bowl had been up to that point the lone exception, as I believe CBS only gets a handful of exceptions where they don’t have to air “60” where it finishes before 9:00 PM Eastern Time each year (with one used for the pre-Grammys show I believe).
What I was saying concerning them and how it relates to the NFL is based on my own experiences with the generation that is “60’s” core audience. MANY of them are as I described, don’t care about sports at all and for many of them, “60” is one of the only shows they watch. These types are very vocal about stuff like that to where they would complain to the FCC, especially if because of making sure FOX was able to keep both DAL-NE and GB-SF it caused CBS (because of DAL-NE remaining the main DH even moved to 1:00 PM) to have to air “60” early at 3:00 PM/2:00 CT except on the west coast and in areas getting a “purgatory” 1:00 PM game (and in NYC where “60” would likely have had to air in the overnight hours due to the NFL having to put BOTH the Jets and Giants games there as a “double singleheader” so New York and Chicago got both DAL-NE and GB-SF) because of CBS having to air most of its singleheader games at 4:25 PM (with the FOX regional games headed by GB-SF pushed back to 4:45 to best assure DAL-NE ended before those started).
“60’s” core audience is also as noted the main demo that put Trump over the top in 2016. Given the level of complaints against CBS to the FCC over this they would likely get, Trump, knowing this was a big part of his core base, probably intervenes and uses it against the NFL because of his widely-believed vendetta against them already outlines. This likely includes demanding a return to the old “prime time access” laws that include outlawing sports or sports-related programming between 7:00 and 8:00 PM on the broadcast networks (mainly because there are still I believe religious groups that associate pro sports with gambling that is against their religions) that “60” currently still covers I believe for ALL of the networks to keep that base happy but in the process creating massive problems for the NFL and ALL the over-the-air broadcast partners that would be affected by this. In that scenario, suddenly they would have to go back to the old days of the DH being 1:00 and 4:00 PM ET and having to have playoff games air earlier OR go at 3:00 and 8:30 PM ET on Sunday with the playoffs to work around the old laws. Given the political climate we currently are in, there was no way the NFL was going to risk that and that is why I say what I do about the NFL having to do in-season make-up flexes for the Seahawks and Eagles no matter who gets screwed by those (and in the future, having the option of moving such to MNF) because keeping SEA-PHI this week would have created a potentially huge chain of unintended consequences that potentially not only would have affected the NFL, but other sports as well.
Walt, I highly doubt Trump would get involved with the NFL moving a game into a primetime, I don’t know why you think a bunch of 60 year olds are gonna complain over 60 minutes being moved to 3 est either because that would never happen, neither would a reverse DH…. Point being moving a game to Sunday night football has nothing to do with trump and politics
Like c’mon either a game gets flexed to primetime or it doesn’t there’s not really much else to it
Packers vs 49ers or Sea vs Phil?
NFL picked the best matchup, because that is what flex is for.
Sea might be flexed in later in the year because of a weaker schedule .
It’s very simple.
I think SNF might have a problem down the line (week 15-16) of having a mediocre game because of the weak schedule and protected games.
The core audience for “60” is a throwback to a MUCH earlier time and was who put Trump over the top in 2016. Not sure you’re old enough to remember the “prime time access” FCC regulations on Sundays that mandated 7:00-8:00 PM/6:00-7:00 PM CT be held strictly for news or children’s programming.
Much of “60’s” audience does and that is the ONE audience who would complain to the FCC over such not airing when scheduled (and I’m sure some complain as it is about “60” often not starting on CBS DH weeks until 7:45 ET/6:45 CT or so), but this would have been likely an en masse complaint because this is a FOX DH week where because of in this scenario keeping BOTH DAL-NE (moved to 1:00 PM ET as the main DH game) and GB-SF (again, likely along with any other FOX games pushed back to 4:45 PM ET to make sure DAL-NE finishes before the regional games start) results in CBS having to in NYC do a “double singleheader” to clear both FOX DH games in New York and Chicago (with likely Giants-Bears at 1:00 and Raiders-Jets pushed back to 4:35 and “60” pushed back to the overnight) and almost everywhere else had the SH game at 4:25 PM ET (again, to minimize overlap with DAL-NE at 1:00) causing “60” to have to air in most areas other than the west coast at 3:00 PM/2:00 CT instead of 7:00 PM/6:00 CT. That is what would lead to such complaints as “60’s” core audience is very stuck in their ways and exactly who would complain to the FCC resulting in likely an avalanche of unintended consequences already noted.
This is a special case in potentially having to do make-up flexes for SEA and PHI in weeks 15-16 because leaving that on SNF in Week 12 would have created too many potential problems potentially beyond the NFL. That’s why I think the NFL does it as even FOX I think realizes what might have happened otherwise in this one case that I think will in the future would instead be moved to MNF with ESPN getting a doubleheader on those weeks, even if the scheduled MNF game is in the eastern time zone and have to be moved back to as late as a 10:00 PM local kickoff to accommodate an SNF game having to be moved to MNF due to circumstances caused by what happened in Week 12.
Karl: I think week 15 they move Bills Steelers to SNF assuming the Bills go 1-1 and Steelers go 2-0 in the next two weeks that would pit that game at 8-4 vs 7-5 when flexing time comes against mediocre Vikings Chargers…. Week 16 looks to be a big question mark I think CBS has Ravens Browns protected so really the only option is Panthers Colts and I don’t even think that would come near to the ratings Chiefs Bears would draw
Adding for Bill:
And in this case, Trump I think WOULD get involved because it’s a good chunk of HIS main voter base AND BECAUSE of what is widely believed to be HIS vendetta against the NFL dating back to his failed attempt in 1986 to force an NFL-USFL merger and more recently his failed bid in 2014 to buy the Bills. I’m sure Trump would love to see a return to the old “prime time access” regulations just to stick it to the NFL not realizing the unintended consequences it would have well beyond the NFL. THAT’s why I think in this case we see make-up flexes to give SEA and PHI back their prime time games even if the NFL has to compensate FOX for taking away a protection, citing the special circumstances here.
And I just realized they will make the flexing decision next week… So I still think they move Bills Steelers because the Steelers always bring in good ratings and it will showcase Josh Allen
As said, I think the NFL does make-up flexes for both the Seahawks and Eagles due to the nature of WHY that game was flexed out in Week 12 even if it screws FOX out of a protection because the correct thing would have been to otherwise move DAL-NE to 1:00 and keep it the main game and move almost every other game to 4:25 (or more likely 4:25 on CBS and 4:45 on FOX) with GB-SF headlining that window, but doing that results in far-reaching unintended consequences beyond even the NFL because of the political climate we are currently in. That if necessary includes giving FOX every late Sunday window for the playoffs this year (which would give them prime time slots for the Division and NFC Title game) that are much higher rated than any regular season window and doing other considerations this and next season as already noted.
They would do Seahawks-Panthers before Bills-Steelers due to the NFL owing both the Seahawks and Eagles make-ups for being flexed out this week due to the nature of why that happened.
I think President Trump has other things on his mind.
The correct thing is what the NFL did, not what you think. Sorry. The NFL would not give CBS all the 1 pm or early playoff games and give FOX the better window for ratings. It varies yearly.
I think Chiefs vs Bears could stay because of the Mahomes factor, but Bears ship might be sinking and it could definitely be a 14-17 point difference in the final score.
Ravens vs Browns has value because of Lamar but I think that game will be a blowout, possibly three score difference?
Seattle vs Panthers has one team in playoffs or Bills vs Steelers, AFC Wildcard possibilties?
You may think that, but “sticking it to the NFL” is exactly the kind of thing Trump would likely do to try to “distract” from what is going on right now.
CBS would likely wind up if FOX had all the late playoff windows with the Saturday prime time game both weeks like FOX did last year and NBC winds up with the 1:00 PM Sunday window on WC weekend which for them is actually better that weekend because it doesn’t PO Dick Clark Productions that produces the Golden Globes Awards telecast for NBC like it did last year because there was no Red Carpet show on NBC ahead of it due to their having the late Sunday game, while for the Divisional round likely getting either the 4:30 Saturday or 3:00 PM Sunday window (Divisional is 3:00/6:40 this year). As I would do it, CBS would also get the Week 16 Saturday primetime game next year to compensate for not getting any late Sunday windows this year (which CBS might prefer anyway so “60 Minutes” airs as normal and keeps that audience from complaining to the FCC).
That’s why you do that and live with those consequences of taking away the Week 16 protection from FOX and move Cowboys-Eagles (and Seahawks-Panthers in Week 15) to SNF because those are far lesser than what would have happened if “the right thing” was done in moving Cowboys-Patriots to 1:00 PM and GB-SF headlining a late regional window at 4:25/4:45 with only one other game at 1:00 on CBS just so SEA-PHI stayed on SNF.
And the reason why the NBA had to schedule 2 playoff games on TNT in the first round on Sunday Nights between 1991 and 1992, was that NBC couldn’t air a 3rd game without breaking the old “Prime Time Access” laws on Sundays and networks were with very limited exceptions required to set 7:00-8:00 PM ET/6:00-7:00 PM CT for news or children’s programming for example.
And Walt, there’s no way the FCC or Trump would get involved, because of the NFL’s popularity. Even though 60 Minutes is a holdover from that time, i believe the NFL if it wanted to, would ask CBS to push “60” to 8:00 if it wanted to.
In more recent political climates before Trump, I would agree with you, but it’s well believed Trump has such a vendetta against the NFL that I think he would try to “stick it to the NFL” if CBS failed to air “60 Minutes” when it normally would air (forcing the FCC to enforce the old laws) because the people who would be complaining about it are both in the demo that put him over the top and in many cases also continue to boycott the NFL over the kneeling that happened two years ago. Trump would be keeping those groups happy at the expense of literally everyone else with all kinds of unintended consequences as a result. It’s also why if push came to shove and the NFL took away FOX’s protection of Cowboys-Eagles to move that to SNF in Week 16 and gave FOX the late Sunday slot in all three weeks of this year’s postseason (before the Super Bowl, which is also on FOX this year) to compensate for that, CBS probably would not put up a fight knowing it’s in their best interests to take the hit in the ratings not having a prime time playoff round knowing the potential unintended consequences that would come with not doing that with the 2020 Elections looming.
As also noted, NBC likely doesn’t put up a fight either even if they get stuck with the “bad” slots of 1:00 PM ET on Wild Card Sunday and either 4:30 PM ET Saturday or 3:00 PM ET Sunday of Divisional Weekend (as CBS would likely get both primetime Saturday games in lieu of a late Sunday slot). In the case of WC weekend, it would be better for NBC to have either 8:15 PM Saturday or 1:00 PM Sunday (ESPN/ABC gets 4:30 Saturday) because of the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday (the reason WC Sunday is still 1:00/4:40 PM ET in fact, the other two rounds are both 3:00/6:40 this year). Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Globes for NBC likely was very POed at losing the Red Carpet show last year on NBC because of NBC getting the late Sunday slot and I suspect the NFL will avoid a repeat of that this year.
Question.. Can the Cowboys game in Week 15 be flexed to Sunday night? According to my math, they have 5 prime time games, plus thanksgiving on the schedule. Additionally, it looks like they have played in 3 Sunday night games on Week 4, 7, & 10. Do you think them being moved to Sunday night is possibility?
Fox protected Rams-Cowboys and it’s more like Seahawks-Panthers would be flexed in anyway as a makeup to the Seahawks.
Well if the Rams lose on mnf that makes it a 9-2 vs 6-5 game , makes you wonder if the NFL pulls the trigger on Ravens Bills, personally I think they stick with Seahawks Rams but wouldn’t be shocked if they moved Ravens Bills to primetime
Seahawks-Rams stays on SNF
No change as I think FOX has 49ers-Saints protected and CBS has Chiefs-Patriots protected. Also don’t think Ravens-Bills or Titans-Raiders has the same drawing power as the current game, Seahawks-Rams
Vikings-Chargers definitely a candidate to be flexed out, but there isn’t an obvious game to flex into
Seahawks-Panthers is probably not happening anymore because of the Panthers losing streak
Bills-Steelers could be a battle of potential AFC Wild Card teams, but Josh Allen-Duck Hodges doesn’t scream “must-see-TV”
Texans-Titans could be interesting. If the Titans beat the Colts next week, that sets up Texans-Titans as a game that could determine the AFC South winner, although AFC South teams generally do poorly in the ratings
Cowboys-Rams likely protected by FOX
Chiefs-Bears could also flexed out, but like week 15 there isn’t any super obvious games to flex into this week. Also the allure of Mahomes on SNF could persuade the NFL to not make any changes
Saints-Titans could be a big game for NFC/AFC playoff implications. Having Brees on primetime is a safe bet. But again how often does NBC wanna flex-in the Titans, who aren’t one of the “glamour” franchises of the NFL? The NFL may flex one of the Titans games, but perhaps not both
Panthers-Colts off the docket now most likely
Ravens-Browns and Cowboys-Eagles will be protected by CBS and FOX
None of the Saturday games like Bills-Patriots or Rams-49ers can be flexed to Sunday
49ers-Seahawks looks like will be the week 17 SNF game to decide the NFC West barring a major stumble by either team
Bill and Jeff:
I don’t think they want to PO the Seahawks owners by flexing them out a second time in three weeks. If the Seahawks keep winning and the 49ers do as well, that Week 17 game IS the SNF Finale as it would be for the NFC West and #1 seed in the NFC, so that’s where a makeup flex for the Seahawks now likely happens.
If the Eagles win the next two AND ESPECIALLY if the Cowboys LOSE one of their next two that virtually guarantees Cowboys-Eagles is for the NFC East, I still think that’s where the NFL explains to FOX they owe the Eagles a make-up flex for Week 12 due to the circumstances of why that game was flexed out, yank FOX’s protection and give that game to SNF to satisfy those who were upset with what happened in Week 12, making it up to FOX by letting them have Rams-49ers on Saturday as a full national game (either standalone or simulcast with NFLN) and giving FOX all three late Sunday playoff slots this year (with CBS getting both primetime Saturday playoffs slots plus the Week 16 Saturday primetime game in the same setup as FOX would get it this year in 2020 while NFLN gets a Friday night game in Week 16 (teams for that playing on Saturday in Week 15) and both a Saturday tripleheader in Week 15 and a Saturday afternoon DH in Week 16 in 2020). That’s how I handle that due to why SEA-PHI had to be flexed out as under normal circumstances it would not have been.
Jesus Christ Walt, you make this comments section unreadable with your incoherent repeated babble over and over again. Nobody cares about 60 minutes. People don’t pick up their rotary phone and call the TV stations to complain anymore . this isn’t 1964. You made your goofy points. you don’t have to keep repeating them over and over with every comment . that makes it impossible to read if anybody might have something sensical to say like the Rams are no longer worthy of primetime. And there are no such thing as “makeup flexes” … the flexes for the league and the TV networks to make as much money as humanly possible , not to be “fair” to the teams.
P.s. CBS couldn’t care less about its antiquated 60 minutes viewers whining (which they want because this is 2019 and they understand how television works) if it has a patriots-ravens primetime AFC title game gem on a Sunday night
And stop with these delusions about added Monday night games and Friday night games. This is the NFL I think we know how their schedule works by now.
Someone had to say it eventually
Got my popcorn ready!
What should really happen is my packers should apologize for not showing up Sunday night …
Here are my current thoughts on Weeks 14 to 17(though I haven’t yet checked nflcommunications.com to see if they have made any changes to the Week 14 schedule yet. I will do that after I post this.
Week 14 by order of ranking:
#1 – SF(10-1) @ NO(9-2) <—should be a great game and a battle for the NFC 1 seed.
#2 – Balt(9-2) @ Buff(8-3) <—I like the Bills, but I see this being pretty ugly for them, though perhaps home field might help some…but way things are going now, can anyone hang with the Ravens? They are seriously very good.
#3 – Tenn(6-5) @ Oak(6-5) <—could be a huge game in the Wild Card chase and for the Titans, this is huge in their push to win the AFC South.
#4 – KC(7-4) @ NE(10-1) <—not sure about KC right now and the Patriots are just solid, but not dominant. Pats will win, especially since it's at home.
#5 – Sea(9-2) @ LAR(6-5) <—the tentative that was a Thursday Night Football classic earlier this season, but seems much more lopsided now.
Prediction – sadly, I think the tentative will stay put. There are 9 early games and 4 late games slated. Maybe they'll move 1 and make it 8 and 5.
Week 15 by order of ranking:
#1 – Hou(7-4) @ Tenn(6-5) <—all the AFC South keeps doing is eating their division leader and no one pulls away. Ditto!
#2 – LAR(6-5) @ Dal(6-5) <—could be huge for both teams, but Rams seem done to me, so this might only be huge for the Cowboys.
#3 – Buff(8-3) @ Pitt(6-5) <—another one of those games that the Bills will have to win to get some respect. Can they do it? This has HUGE AFC Wild Card implications.
Minn(8-3) @ LAC(4-7) <—the tentative that is lopsided, though the Chargers never get blown out. Please don't stick us with this NFL. Please!!!
Week 16 by order of ranking:
#1 – NO(9-2) @ Tenn(6-5) <—the only matchup where both teams are .500 and better and thus wins by default for me. Though, I do see this as a game where the Saints could falter and lose on the road.
KC(7-4) @ Chi(5-6) <—the tentative and if Bears lose their next 2 to the Giants and Lions, then this needs to be flexed out. I don't see that happening though. They'll win at least 1, if not both of those games and this will stay. Plus, my other options are close to not being options at all. Update, the Bears won and look poised to win again on Thanksgiving in Detroit. I think this game stays, even if Bears lose this week.
Week 17 options:
Tenn(6-5) @ Hou(7-4), Pitt(6-5) @ Balt(9-2), & SF(10-1) @ Sea(9-2).
49ers/Seahawks is by FAR the most desirable game for Week 17, so far. The AFC South matchup of Titans/Texans could be a win and in/lose and out. We'll see. Steelers/Ravens might be huge, if the Steelers get back on track.
Due to these 3 games likely affecting the playoff seedings in a big way and needing to be played at the same time as other games, there's a chance we could have a repeat of 2017 and have no Week 17 Sunday Night Football game. I hope not!
Go Pack Go in NY vs the Giants this week! 🙂
I just checked and no changes, as of yet, to the Week 14 schedule. It’s after 2 p.m. in NYC right now and I think we’d know if there were going to be any changes, by this time.
I think the NFL stuck with SEA/LAR because FOX has 49ers-Saints protected and CBS has Chiefs-Patriots protected. And FOX cant have TN/OAK because it could overlap with 49ers-Saints.
Booger and Tess:
As said earlier to Daniel, if this were any recent Presidency before Trump, I would agree with you, but that “antiquated” audience that watches “60 Minutes” is THE main demo that put Trump over the top AND in many cases are STILL boycotting the NFL over what happened two years ago. In this case, Trump hears them complaining and especially trying to distract from what’s going on in Washington right now he would try to “stick it” to the NFL by demanding or issuing an Executive Order forcing an immediate return to the old “prime time access” laws just because of HIS widely believed personal vendetta against the NFL as previously noted. If we had someone else in the White House, this would not even remotely be an issue.
This is why I think the NFL yanks FOX’s Week 16 protection of Cowboys-Eagles to do a “make-up flex” for the Eagles as long as the Eagles take care of business the next two weeks doing what was already noted to compensate as I don’t think either NBC or CBS would put up much of a fight given the political atmosphere we currently have.
I wasn’t expecting any changes. Move Seahawks-Rams out of prime time and the Seahawks owners are likely PO’ed for reasons noted.
The “fair to the teams” normally doesn’t come into play. This was a special case because CBS likely objected to any reversal of the DH so FOX could keep DAL-NE (as the main game at 1:00) AND GB-SF (as the headliner of regional games afterwards) because it would have likely spelled what I said playing out. The networks and NFL are NOT stupid and know sometimes, there are potentially far bigger unintended consequences of “doing the right thing” (which in this case would have been reversing the DH and keeping SEA-PHI on SNF) caused in this case by an “antiquated” audience being placated to by a President who would let his own widely believed vendetta against the NFL have him do something that would have far reaching effects beyond the NFL and for that matter sports. That is why I say what I do and why I think future TV deals will include a limited flex to Monday Night Football just for situations like this.
And to add:
This is another week where you’d have the option of moving a game to MNF to have a better game on SNF: In this case, moving Patriots-Texans to a 7:00 PM ET game on Monday so 49ers-Ravens could replace it on SNF (the scheduled MNF game is Vikings-Seahawks, which in this scenario could be moved to 10:25 while remaining on ESPN).
Well Walt Gekko The Thanksgiving Night Rematch Was Once Again Like NBC’s Version of The NBA TV’s Version of Players Only