Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 17 Picks

Week 17 (January 1):

  • Tentative game: LA Rams @ LA Chargers
  • Prospects: Effectively flexed out already with the Chargers now maxed out on primetime appearances without it. The Rams’ surprisingly woeful season has sealed its fate.
  • Likely protections: Vikings-Packers (CBS) and Saints-Eagles, Jets-Seahawks, or nothing (FOX).
  • Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Jets (7-7)-Seahawks (7-7), Dolphins (8-6)-Patriots (7-7), Steelers (6-8)-Ravens (9-5), Browns (6-8)-Maroons (7-6-1), Niners (10-4)-Raiders (6-8), Panthers (5-9)-Bucs (6-8).
  • Impact of Monday Night Football: Miniscule but not nonexistent; the Rams technically still haven’t been eliminated from the playoffs, and the league’s options are limited enough there’s a slim chance they decide to have this game keep its spot, effectively giving the Chargers a seventh pre-Week 18 primetime appearance a year early. The more relevant factor, at least for when the league might announce a flex, is probably how comfortable CBS is with Vikings-Packers as their standalone late national game.
  • Analysis: The NFL has a tough decision to make, as nearly every game got worse; you might think all the losses would cancel each other out and Jets-Seahawks, still only a game worse on one side of the ledger than Dolphins-Patriots but pinned to the late singleheader otherwise, would still have the edge, but neither team looks particularly deserving of a playoff spot at the moment – yet the same could be said of the Patriots after the mess their game ended in. (Did that finish firmly shut the door, if the last two seasons of Brady greatness and Patriot mediocrity didn’t already, on Belichick being in the “greatest of all time” conversation?) The real winner might have been Panthers-Bucs, as the Bucs now only have a one-game lead over the other three teams in the division, the Panthers actually control their own destiny, and even if they lose next week a win over the Bucs would give them the head-to-head tiebreaker. If the league and NBC don’t want to showcase the NFC South tire fire (at least before Week 18), or if Fox would rather keep Panthers-Bucs to anchor its own singleheader, Dolphins-Patriots probably carries the least risk of a team being eliminated from the playoffs by game time otherwise, but barring a crossflex losing Dolphins-Patriots would leave CBS with Steelers-Ravens as their best early game, though the situation isn’t quite as dire as when Eagles-Giants was in a similar situation some weeks back, as the Steelers are at least on the periphery on the playoff picture and Fox has Browns-Maroons, Panthers-Bucs, and now Saints-Eagles available in the early window, with both the Steelers and Browns creeping closer to .500 and staying at least on the periphery of playoff contention this week.Appearing on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” two weeks ago, NFL Vice President of Broadcast Planning Michael North suggested that the Week 18 schedule might not be set until after the Bills-Bengals Monday night game in Week 17, and while that likely applies more to the Sunday afternoon slate (which has been held until after the Monday night game in the past) than the Saturday or Sunday night games, it’s not like the league has much of a history of taking that sort of thing into account when setting the penultimate Sunday night game anyway. With the Bengals holding a game’s lead over the Ravens but the Ravens having won the first matchup between the teams, Ravens-Bengals has a very good chance of deciding the AFC North and may well be off-limits for a move to Saturday with the quick turnaround the Bengals would have, so the league may figure it doesn’t matter what game is on Sunday night when it comes to when they can set the Week 18 schedule, if they even take it into account. But if they do want to minimize the chance of needing to wait for the Sunday night game to set, at minimum, the Saturday games (themselves dependent on the Sunday night game), or even just want to minimize the chances that a team could be eliminated from the playoffs by Sunday night, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull another six-day hold out of their ass, though that would require deferring the decision to either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day when league officials would really prefer not to have to be working.

    If they make the decision now? Jets-Seahawks would be easiest logistically, but if the Jets and Seahawks lose while the Dolphins, Chargers, and Other Washington win next week, there’s a very real chance both teams could be eliminated from the playoffs by Sunday night. A six-day hold would be a signal that the league really wants to keep Jets-Seahawks in contention, in my view. Panthers-Bucs could be an embarrassment and the potential to feature the NFC South two weeks in a row might be a bridge too far for the league and NBC, even if Brady (in the last two games of his career???) would be involved both times, and anchoring the Fox singleheader might be a more fitting fate unless Fox would rather go with Saints-Eagles. Dolphins-Patriots might leave CBS’ cupboard bare in the early window, and if the Packers lose tonight there’s a chance CBS wants to make Dolphins-Patriots their new late feature game, but the Dolphins’ playoff spot is the one the Patriots can more easily steal so the playoff implications are pretty much guaranteed, and Fox, at this point, has no shortage of games they can crossflex to CBS to backfill the early window – assuming Steelers-Ravens isn’t good enough as is.

  • Final prediction (if no six-day hold is used): Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots.
  • Prediction (if a six-day hold is used): New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks (if (the Jets win OR no more than one of the Dolphins and Chargers win) AND (the Seahawks win OR Washington loses)), Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (if the Jets-Seahawks scenario doesn’t happen AND the Bucs win AND the Panthers win AND the Falcons lose), Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (if neither of those scenarios happen). Not marking this as a final prediction because I reserve the right to change it as I look deeper into the Week 18 scenarios (and whether there are games that would be dependent on potential Sunday night candidates), whether Dolphins-Patriots would still be tenable if too many of the Browns, Steelers, Panthers, and Saints lose (my thinking is the scale would tip back to Panthers-Bucs at that point), and whether games involving 6-8 AFC teams could actually be flex candidates given the additional opportunity of a six-day hold.

33 thoughts on “Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 17 Picks”

  1. My week 18 schedule
    Sat 4:30 ET: Titans-Jags
    Sat 8:15 ET: Jets-Dolphins
    1 PM games: Everything except what I typed below
    4:25 PM games: All West division games, all, NFC East games
    Game 272: Ravens-Bengals

  2. I still think the NFL does an eight-day hold and announces the schedule after the 4:25 PM ET games Christmas Eve. Keep in mind,. Week 17 is New Year’s Day and some localities may need to know by Christmas Eve night because they have to plan. It’s possible we could see several games moved to 4:05/4:25 just because it makes more essential personnel available for such following New Year’s Eve celebrations the night before (the three additional hours before gametime in this scenario can make a difference, especially if people who have to work such have to also work New Year’s Eve celebrations that run past Midnight locally).

    As for which game goes to Sunday night, I suspect Panthers-Bucs right now is the heavy favorite, especially if the have to do the flex in the normal 12-day window because the Panthers will still be alive for the NFC South no matter what happens this week AND it’s Tom Brady’s likely final home game in the regular season. If they can hold off until after the 4:25 PM ET games Saturday, then if the Jets win Thursday AND the Seahawks win Saturday, Jets-Seahawks is likely SNF. If we have the eight-day window and the Eagles LOSE and Saints WIN Saturday, then Saints-Eagles could actually be SNF and I would think local authorities in Philly would actually want that on account of the Mummers Parade, a longtime New Year’s tradition in Philly taking place that morning/early afternoon (continuing in late afternoon/early evening at the Civic Center in Philly) and that starts very close to the sports complex there and making it much easier to do that than have that game at 1:00 (that game could also be put at 4:05 on FOX or cross-flexed to CBS at 4:25 for the same reason, ESPECIALLY if Jets-Saints gets flexed to SNF). Also would not be surprised if Cardinals-Falcons gets moved to 4:05/4:25 because of the Peach Bowl (one of two College Football Playoff semifinals) taking place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium) as I think local authorities there would rather have the later kickoff.

    Vikings-Packers I think gets moved to 1:00 PM New Year’s Day, especially given several other games could be moved to 4:05/4:25 PM ET and we know Rams-Chargers MUST be flexed out.

  3. Isaiah:

    That 7th prime-time game I believe is specifically Week 18 from what I have read elsewhere. Perhaps the NFL in 2024-’25 does a 19-week regular season (second bye week tied specifically to mid-week games) just so they then can have games on Christmas Day regardless of which day of the week Christmas falls on (also in years New Year’s Day is a Thursday having three games Friday 1/2 as well as Saturday 1/3) where then the limit is increased to seven prime-time games that can include in addition to the Black Friday game on Amazon Prime next year my long-proposed Wednesday-after-Thanksgiving game on NBC tied to the tree lighting in Rockefeller Plaza that I would have with the Jets and Giants alternating as hosts of).

  4. Continuing:

    If there is a 19th week, Week 18 can be as it is now (Saturday on ESPN in lieu of Monday night), the usual Sunday schedule and then Week 19 is all games in once conference at 3:00 PM ET with the other at 8:15 PM ET with the games divided up between ALL of the broadcast partners.

  5. Can GB-MIN become W17 SNF? If NFL delays announcement till completion of Christmas round and both teams win and Redskins and Medowlands Giants lose?

  6. Hi, Vlad. I don’t think GB-MN at Lambeau will be SNF week 17 New Year’s Day next month. I would be surprised if that really happened next month. And, Jeff, I think you are right that tomorrow there will be no decision on week 17. As I mentioned before, I think we are gonna find out the NFL flex week 17 at the conclusion of NFL week 16.

  7. Hello everybody. I also am thinking that SNF will be Pats-Fins for week 17. Jets-Seahawks could potentially move into the 425 slot on CBS but that match-up has completely lost it’s luster from a couple of weeks ago. If GB wins on Christmas day and are still not officially eliminated the Packers-Vikings game stays put!!

  8. Hey all, im gonna give my analysis for the week 17 flex since Rams Chargers is in essence basically guranteed to be flexed out, almost wondering why the nfl didnt just move up the start time initially when the chargers became maxed out….

    Protections: Steelers vs Ravens, Vikings vs Packers

    Dolphins vs Pats- I would say the most likely by far, and could have some MAJOR implications involved, plus both teams I feel would draw decent enough ratings on new years night, since people will be more likely to stay up considering the holiday itself is the next day.

    Jets vs Seahawks- If both teams win, and new england loses, I think this could very well likely be the snf game, assuming the nfl waits until next week to flex.

    Panthers vs Bucs- Oddly enough its looking like this will be a huge game and could decide the nfc south… if both of the games above lose their luster, I could see the nfl wanting to maybe showcase what could possibly be one of Brady’s last games and would draw decent ratings as well….

    Saints vs Eagles- If the NFL wants to showcase the nfc south, but also wants to include one of the top tier teams, I could even see this being the snf game, and It would possibly draw better ratings than Panthers Bucs, just because it includes an nfc east team.


    Browns vs Commanders- Any other week I would say this is a dark horse option, however I don’t think its likely the nfl gives the commanders another home snf, unless obviously this is the best game, if the browns win, Washington will be playing meaningful football regardless, so maybeeee I could see the nfl picking this IF every other option was terrible? But again alot would have to happen for this to work out.

    Niners vs Raiders- Hear me out, if the Raiders are in contention, this wouldn’t surprise me as a dark horse option, however, very unlikely Vegas is still relevant come week 17.


    Broncos vs Chiefs: I dont see this happening under any scenario, but it is Mahomes, who will gurantee you a good rating, Broncos may suck but nfl knows this game will still get decent ratings, if im the NFL and its all about ratings and money, im atleast considering it if nothing else is available or good.

    Colts vs Giants: I mean it’s an nfc south team? Will likely draw some eyeballs and the Colts could give it a fight I guess?

    Cardinals vs Falcons: Could be high scoring, meaningful game for Atlanta, but nobody would care to watch.

    Bears vs Lions: HUGE game for Lions, Fields could keep it close, but nobody outside of Detroit cares about this matchup let’s be real.

    Jaguars vs Texans: Trevor Lawrence could be playing meaningful football, and honestly I could see a Texans upset here, but im trying to list something positive about every game here and that’s about all I can say here haha.

  9. One other possible scenario: it would seem to be awfully hard to keep Patriots Dolphins out of SNF if the Patriots are able to upset the Bengals on Saturday. But waiting a week to get more clarity made lots of sense.

  10. Actually, I think it’s a 7-8 day window and we’ll know the games Christmas Eve night. A lot of it may depends on Jets-Jaguars Thursday night.

    I now think we could actually wind up with a reverse doubleheader in Week 17 where the main game on CBS becomes Dolphins-Patriots at 1:00 PM by itself with perhaps Bears-Lions being the sole 1:00 PM ET game on FOX (or Colts-Giants to FOX at 1:00 with Jets-Seahawks moved to CBS if it’s not SNF). If that happens, the regional games would all be at 4:05 PM (FOX) and 4:25 PM ET (CBS), though in a reverse doubleheader situation (where 1:00 PM ET is the doubleheader game) you MIGHT see those pushed back to say 4:35 PM ET (FOX) and 4:45 PM ET (CBS) and Sunday Night Football on NBC moved back likewise from an 8:20 PM ET kick to an 8:40 PM ET kick. This would be because there are several instances where I think local authorities would in this case prefer games to be in the later broadcast window due to a variety of factors related to New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day or both (in Atlanta’s case the Peach Bowl being an 8:00 PM ET kickoff New Years Eve as that would give stadium officials an additional three hours to convert the stadium for NFL use and in Philly’s case the outdoor portion of The Mummers Parade being over by the time of a late-afternoon kickoff for example), especially where personnel working New Year’s Eve would have to come back on short rest (after working to 2:00 AM or later New Year’s Eve) to work a New Year’s Day NFL game.

    As for New Year’s Night SNF, I still think Panthers-Bucs at this point is the clear frontrunner because it likely will be Tom Brady’s last regular season home game with the Bucs and the Panthers will be alive for the NFC South regardless of what happens this week AND in the earlier games on New Year’s Day.

  11. Also, if the late games went to 4:35 on FOX and 4:45 on CBS because the 1:00 PM game is the main doubleheader slot, there would be the possibility the Giants game moves to AND the Jets game STAYS on FOX, meaning New York would get a double-doubleheader on New Year’s Day (this has happened in a LA a couple of times since the Rams and Chargers both moved to LA a few years ago). This is a rare case where a reverse doubleheader is warranted.

  12. Hi, Isaiah. I think you’re right about the NFL is planning to do the NFL 6 day flex window because I believe they will do that sometime this weekend since it makes way more sense. But we will be flexible on the fate of Packers vs. Vikings game 3:25 pm CBS week 17 New Year’s Day. If the Packers lose on Sunday against the dolphins at Miami on Christmas Day, I think it would be a good idea for the Vikings vs. Packers game at Lambeau week 17 get flexed out of 3:25 pm game on CBS and switch it to noon with crossflex that to FOX tv channel. Even though it’s not a guarantee, but, IF that happens, I could see the Vikings vs. Packers game 3:25 pm at Lambeau Field shown on CBS tv channel with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo announcing that matchup next season as a makeup from this season.

  13. Walt:

    The window you are talking about where the decision is made on December 24th is being talked about in the tea leaves, but a lot of that has to do with how the games go that day.

  14. Brian:

    I think Vikings-Packers stays at 4:25 PM ET on New Year’s Day, HOWEVER, that is because I think we wind up with a rare reverse doubleheader with Dolphins-Pats is the doubleheader game at 1:00 PM and FOX having ONE game in that time slot (possibly Colts-Giants cross-flexed to FOX with if not flexed to SNF Jets-Seahawks ALSO on FOX and New York actually getting a double-doubleheader since both New York teams would be on FOX in this scenario (which I think could be done because if we indeed have a reverse doubleheader, as noted the 4:05/4:25 PM ET window in my opinion becomes 4:35/4:45 PM ET to best assure Dolphins-Pats on CBS finishes before the regional games that would be on CBS at 4:45 PM ET (and SNF gets pushed back to 8:40 PM ET as well)). This would NOT be unprecedented, in the 1980’s several times CBS and NBC had their main game at 1:00 PM ET followed by regional games at 4:00 PM ET (including most notably an instance of that on December 13, 1987 where Cowboys-Redskins was the doubleheader game on CBS at 1:00 PM and at 4:00 PM were regional games that included the Giants playing the Cardinals in what turned out to be the last-ever home game for the Cardinals in St. Louis before moving to Phoenix for the 1988 season back when CBS had the NFC).

  15. Hello NFL SNF Flex Scheduling lovers,

    Here’s my take on things after Week 15.

    Main Flex period:

    Week 17 – scheduled game is: L.A.R.(4-10) @ L.AC.(8-6) <— this will be flexed out

    My choices are few:

    #1 – Mia(8-6) @ NE(7-7)
    #2 – NYJ(7-7) @ Sea(7-7)

    The NFL has decided to forsake the 12 day window for Week 17 this season. It very much appears that they will be waiting until the games end on Christmas Eve to make the decision, if not later. And, of course, depending on how things play out it's still possible that Car(5-9) @ TB(6-8) sneaks into SNF. I believe that the current inkling and preferred game is my #1 of Dolphins/Patriots. I totally get why the NFL has decided to wait, as they want to have as much of a chance to have a game of significance on SNF in Week 17 and right now they just don't know what game it will be.

    Week 18 – no scheduled SNF game and 2 games moving to Saturday

    N.E.(7-7) @ Buff.(11-3) <—can't move to Saturday and likely wouldn't anyway because of the Pats needing to play at the same time as other teams in the playoff race. My #4 choice for SNF at the moment
    N.Y.J.(7-7) @ Mia.(8-6) <—my #2 choice for SNF at the moment….it also has a chance to be a win and in & lose and out game….this game could sneak up on us
    Balt.(9-5) @ Cin.(10-4) <—can't move to Saturday, but it's my current #1 for SNF. It's possible that this game determines who's the 3 seed and who's the 5 seed and no other seeding possible. If that ends up being the case, then this game is a lock to be game 272 on SNF.
    Clev.(6-8) @ Pitt.(6-8) <—not looking like a move to Saturday would be in the cards anyway
    Hou.(1-12-1) @ Ind.(4-9-1) <—not a good Saturday game candidate
    Tenn.(7-7) @ Jack.(6-8) <—if this is a win and in, lose and out of the playoffs game, then it could sneak into SNF
    L.A.C.(8-6) @ Den.(4-10) <—not a good Saturday game candidate
    K.C.(11-3) @ L.V.(6-8) <—not a good Saturday game candidate
    N.Y.G.(8-5-1) @ Phil.(13-1) <—looking good to be a Saturday game, but if the Giants have to play at the same time as others because of playoff seedings….my current #5 for SNF
    Dal.(10-4) @ Wash.(7-6-1) <—starting to gain on potentially moving to Saturday and quickly!….unless the Commanders need to play at the same time as others fighting for the last playoff spots….my current #3 for SNF
    Minn.(11-3) @ Chi.(3-11) <—not a good Saturday game candidate
    Det.(7-7) @ G.B.(6-8) <—not a good Saturday game candidate…….well…..if my Packers can win and the Lions win and the Commanders lose…….hmmmmm (Seahawks have something to say here too)
    T.B.(6-8) @ Atl.(5-9) <—could be a dark horse for SNF, as it could become a win and in, lose and out game……..reminds me of Rams/Seahawks on SNF years ago as a clown show win and in and lose and out game…..though Panthers could muck this up, as they could be the one that is closest to the Bucs going into Week 18……possible Saturday game…..though the Falcons benching Mariota and basically saying screw this season makes me think this will get stuck in the Sunday early window
    Car.(5-9) @ N.O.(5-9) <—somehow, some way this could be for the NFC South….maybe
    Ariz.(4-10) @ S.F.(10-4) <—not a good Saturday game candidate
    L.A.R.(4-10) @ Sea.(7-7) <—not looking good to move to Saturday

    Remember, due to Buffalo and Cincinnati playing on MNF in Week 17, they will not be able to play on Saturday in Week 18.

    As I said last season, the NFL did itself no favors by adding the 2 Saturday games to the Week 18 schedule.

    This could be a real challenging week for the NFL schedule makers.

  16. Those scenarios for NFL week 18 you predict are very good ones, Jeff. We’ll see what happens at the conclusion of week 17 and I think you’re right about the real challenging week for the NFL schedule makers. Even though the NFL loves having Packers vs. Bears matchup game at Lambeau SNF, I predict that matchup at Lambeau will be SNF next season. I have a few predictions for SNF games of the Packers next season.
    1. Packers vs. Bears at Lambeau Field
    2. Packers vs. Chiefs at Lambeau Field
    3. Packers vs. one of the NFC east teams on the road.
    I also have a few predictions for a few CBS games for the Packers with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo announcing.
    1. Packers vs. Chargers
    2. MN Vikings vs. Packers at Lambeau Field
    But come to think of it, even though Chicago Bears are eliminated in the playoffs this season, it’s possible that there’s people may not be happy or the NFL possibly announce Packers vs. Bears game at Lambeau SNF NBC of next season since Bears are not in the playoffs this season and the Packers vs. Bears game at Lambeau was shown on NBC SNF for 3 seasons in a row.

  17. Jeff:

    If the Panthers win Panthers-Bucs WILL likely be SNF Week 17. Bradly likely final regular season home game in Tampa likely is it. One thing that COULD block it, however, is what used to be the Outback Bowl is scheduled to be at Noon on Monday 1/2 at Raymond James Stadium, and there might be concerns about getting the stadium ready for that game if Panthers-Bucs is SNF (as that game is on ESPN2, in theory that game could be moved to an 8:45 PM ET kickoff on ESPN2 after the Rose Bowl Game ends on ESPN and Bills-Bengals airs, with the main MNF telecast on ABC only and the Peyton and Eli simulcast on ESPN instead of ESPN2 to accommodate the former Outback Bowl being moved to Monday night on ESPN2.

  18. With the jets loss, do not expect jets-seahawks to be SNF. Once the heavy favorite, now looking bleak.

    I think the game will come down to this. It’s simple:

    If the patriots win, dolphins-patriots will be SNF.
    If they lose, panthers-bucs will most likely be SNF because that game is guaranteed to have playoff implications for both teams. Kinda reminds me of browns-giants week 15 2020.. the giants had a losing record but the only reason that game was flexed was because that was the only one guaranteed to have playoff implications, which is what NBC cares about. The panthers cannot be eliminated before that game.

    I was thinking maybe saints eagles if the Saints win and the Panthers, Bucs, Patriots, and Eagles all lose (putting the saints tied at the top) but there is a chance that the eagles will have clinched home field advantage by SNF if the vikings lose week 17.

    I was also thinking browns-commanders, 49ers-raiders, or steelers-ravens could be dark horses, but there are definitely going to be scenarios where the browns, raiders, and steelers would be eliminated by kickoff.
    Interestingly enough, in 2019 week 16, the bears played the chiefs on SNF even though they were eliminated, and the NFL chose not to flex in saints-titans which were both playoff teams.. so maybe we don’t rule these out?

    I really do think it’s simple though.. pats win – dolphins-patriots. pats lose – panthers-bucs.
    Rams-Chargers will be played at 4:25pm on CBS. If panthers-bucs is flexed in, CBS will have to crossflex a game to FOX to maintain balance.

    A side note: CBS will keep vikings-packers as their main late game because the options are just so horrible that somehow that’s still the best game on Sunday.
    This week 17 schedule is just horrible 🙁 last year’s week 17 was stacked

    What are you guys thinking after the results of TNF

  19. I respect your opinion that Vikings vs. Packers game be on CBS as the main late game on week 17, Walt’s lover. But we’ll see what happens. IF the Packers lose against the dolphins on Christmas Day in Miami on week 16 and panthers vs. bucs get flexed in to SNF NBC, CBS can crossflex Vikings vs. Packers game at Lambeau Field on FoX and flex that matchup to Noon. If the Packers win against the dolphins at Miami on Sunday, I expect Packers vs. Vikings game at Lambeau stays on CBS 3:25 pm game week 17 New Year’s Day.

  20. “Walt’s Lover:”

    As said, I think we may wind up with a reverse doubleheader where Dolphins-Pats is CBS’s doubleheader game at 1:00 PM ET with all of the regional games (save one on FOX) shifted to 4:05/4:25 or possibly with the late games pushed back to 4:35/4:45 PM ET. What may play into that is I suspect local authorities in a lot of cities would prefer on New Year’s Day their team’s games being in the late window because it helps them. Panthers-Bucs I think is SNF unless it can’t be moved due to a bowl game in Raymond James Stadium taking place Monday at noon.

  21. Walt,

    The NFL has never done that late of a start time. That would possibly go into NBC’s pregame broadcast. It won’t happen. They won’t deviate from the 4:05/4:25 start time.

    I can see what you mean that romo and nantz might be on the call for the early game even though they have the doubleheader. I think that happened once in 2020 where Buck and Aikman and Romo and Nantz were both on the call in the early window.

  22. Isaiah:

    Exactly. Afternoon games do. And if the doubleheader is in reverse with Dolphins-Pats at 1:00 and the regional games at 4:35/4:45 or even 4:55, kickoff for NBC’s Sunday night game simply can be pushed back to 8:40 or 8:50 and FNIA if need be can be pushed back to 7:30 for one week. This is a very rare situation where we could see only two games at 1:00 PM (Dolphins-Pats on CBS, one game on FOX) and that being the doubleheader window with the late games moved back a bit and again as noted above it would not be unprecedented to have the doubleheader game at 1:00 PM and regionals in the late window as that actually was done that way on more than a few occasions in the 1980’s in particular.

  23. Isaiah:

    Adding, the other reason as noted before why I think we could see this kind of a doubleheader is I think in a lot of locales in the eastern half of the country, local authorities would prefer games being in the late window, especially if they are dealing with a situation where personnel have to work New Year’s Eve night until 2:00 AM or later locally and then have to come back in some cases on very short rest to work a noon or 1:00 PM local kickoff that would better for them if it were at 3:05/3:25 CT-4:05/4;25 PM ET or later.

  24. Update
    Week 17: With the Jets losing, Jets-Seahawks is now firmly out of the running for SNF.

    Panthers-Bucs will be SNF if the Pats lose, or if it decides who’s in 1st place in the NFC South come week 18.

    Dolphins-Pats will be SNF if the Patriots win, and Panthers-Bucs doesn’t decide who’s in 1st place in the NFC South going into week 18.

    Believe it or not, the Saints could be flexed into SNF two straight times. If everybody in the NFC south besides them loses week 16, and the Pats lose, Saints-Eagles will be SNF.

    Week 18: Panthers-Saints will be SNF if the above scenario happens, including the Saints & Panthers winning Week 17.

    Bucs-Falcons will be SNF if the Falcons win their next two, then the Saints and Panthers need to lose once.

    Titans-Jags will be SNF if the Titans lose once, or the Jags need to beat the Texans.

    Lions-Packers will be SNF if the Seahawks and Commanders lose out, both teams have at least 8 wins, and the above scenarios don’t happen.

    Ravens-Bengals will be SNF if the Ravens are tied or one game back to the Bengals, and the above scenarios don’t happen.

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