NFL Flexible Scheduling Watch: Week 7

After a week riddled with upsets, it’s looking surprisingly plausible that we might not have any flexes this year. It had started to look like we had a pretty firm group of “bad teams” – in no particular order, the Giants, Bears, Patriots, Broncos, Cardinals, and Panthers, with the possible addition of the Jets – but most of those teams won this past weekend, many against teams perceived to be good, and now the Cardinals and Panthers are the only two teams without multiple wins, and neither was expected to be good enough to warrant primetime appearances – meaning every other team would be 3-4 or better if just one result had gone the other way, which would be strong enough to keep their spot if they had any games in flexible feature windows and even to be in the running to be flexed in. (The last NFC wild card spot is currently held by the 3-3 Bucs in a weak NFC South. That means the Giants and Bears are only a game and a half out of the playoffs.) There’s now a firmer group of the league’s “elite” teams – the Chiefs, Eagles, and 49ers, and after Monday night I’m not so sure about the Niners – than there is a group of firmly “bad” teams.

Of course, in all likelihood the “bad” teams will go back to form in future weeks, but considering the constraints on what games could be flexed in, it’s still looking like a potentially lighter year for flex scheduling than you might think considering the number of games that had been given to mediocre-to-bad teams.

How NFL flexible scheduling works: (see also the NFL’s own page on flex schedule procedures)

  • Up to two games in Weeks 5-10 (the “early flex” period), and any number of games from Week 11 onward, may be flexed into Sunday Night Football. Any number of games from Week 12 onward may be flexed into Monday Night Football, and up to two games from Week 13 onward may be flexed into Thursday Night Football. In addition, in select weeks in December a number of games may be listed as “TBD”, with two or three of those games being assigned to be played on Saturday. Note that I only cover early flexes if a star player on one of the teams is injured.
  • Only games scheduled for Sunday afternoon, or set aside for a potential move to Saturday, may be flexed into one of the flex-eligible windows – not existing primetime games or games in other standalone windows. The game currently listed in the flex-eligible window will take the flexed-in game’s space on the Sunday afternoon slate, generally on the network that the flexed-in game was originally scheduled for. The league may also move Sunday afternoon games between 1 PM ET and 4:05 or 4:25 PM ET.
  • Thursday Night Football flex moves must be announced 28 days in advance. Sunday and Monday Night Football moves must be announced 12 days in advance, except for Sunday night games in Week 14 onward, which can be announced at any point up until 6 days in advance.
  • CBS and Fox have the right to protect one game each per week, among the games scheduled for their networks, from being flexed into primetime windows. During the early flex period, they may protect games at any point once the league tells them they’re thinking of pulling the flex. It’s not known when they must protect games in the main flex period, only that it’s “significantly closer to each game date” relative to the old deadline of Week 5. My assumption is that protections are due five weeks in advance, in accordance with the 28-day deadline for TNF flexes. Protections have never been officially publicized, and have not leaked en masse since 2014, so can only be speculated on.
  • Supposedly, CBS and Fox are also guaranteed one half of each division rivalry. Notably, some Week 18 games (see below) have their other halves scheduled for the other conference’s network, though none are scheduled for primetime.
  • No team may appear more than seven times in primetime windows – six scheduled before the season plus one flexed in. This appears to consider only the actual time the game is played; Amazon’s Black Friday game does not count even though the rest of their TNF slate does, and NBC’s Saturday afternoon game Week 16 doesn’t count but their Peacock game that night does. This post contains a list of all teams’ primetime appearances entering the season.
  • Teams may play no more than two Thursday games following Sunday games, and (apparently) no more than one of them can be on the road.
  • In Week 18 the entire schedule, consisting entirely of games between divisional opponents, is set on six days’ notice, usually during the previous week’s Sunday night game. One game will be scheduled for Sunday night, usually a game that decides who wins the division, a game where the winner is guaranteed to make the playoffs while the loser is out, or a game where one team makes the playoffs with a win but falls behind the winner of another game, and thus loses the division and/or misses the playoffs, with a loss. Two more games with playoff implications are scheduled for Saturday on ABC and ESPN, with the remaining games doled out to CBS and Fox on Sunday afternoon, with the league generally trying to maximize what each team has to play for. Protections and appearance limits do not apply to Week 18.
  • Click here to learn how to read the charts.

Week 10 (SNF early flex): A week ago, after Aaron Rodgers was seen throwing on the field before the Jets’ game against the Eagles, an injury expert told CBSSports.com that Rodgers was on an “unprecedented timeline” in his recovery from an Achilles tear and, after Jets head coach Robert Saleh had said shortly after the injury happened that he was done for the year, now Rodgers had a chance to get back on the field and play for the Jets as soon as Week… 15. Sorry, but you’re stuck with Zach Wilson when the Jets take the field against the Raiders. (For the record, the Jets’ Week 15 and 16 games are CBS singleheader games that seem unlikely to be flexed in for various reasons, and I have my doubts that Rodgers would parachute in as late as Week 17.)

Even though I just mentioned we might be in for a flex-free year, there is a possibility for this game to be flexed out after the Raiders made the Bears, once thought to be the worst team in the league, look like at least a playoff contender with Tyson Bagent at the helm. The Jets would need to similarly faceplant against the 2-5 Giants, and the Raiders would probably need to go down to the Lions as well, and at least one of the games pitting teams at 4-2 or better would need both teams to win, and Fox might not need to protect Giants-Cowboys so you’d probably need another game in there, and the league probably doesn’t want to put Deshawn Watson in primetime if it can avoid it. (Also, I considered setting the Buzzmeter for Browns games as though they had a .500 record in protest of the extremely questionable calls they’ve benefitted from the past two weeks, but didn’t end up doing it. Just keep in mind that their record might be a mirage.) But if Fox decides to protect “The Battle for the Real Washington” to create a split-national window (or even Saints-Vikings), leaving a 6-2 v. 6-2 Niners-Jaguars game available to replace a 3-4 v. 3-5 Jets-Raiders matchup pitting Zach Wilson against Jimmy Garoppolo, does the league take it? (There are some AFC teams Fox might be willing to protect, but I don’t know if the Jaguars, even with Trevor Lawrence and playing the Niners, are one of them.) Note that if the Jets win, I won’t bother with Last-Minute Remarks and will assume the game keeps its spot.

Week 11: This is the sort of situation the league has to deal with in most weeks where a game might be flex-out material on paper. Even if CBS needed to protect Jets-Bills, there won’t be any alternative available that doesn’t involve a team at 3-4 or worse, the same record as the Vikings and a game better than the Broncos. Raiders-Dolphins would be more lopsided, and I’m not sure Seahawks-Rams involves teams with bigger fanbases than Vikings-Broncos (mostly because of the Rams). That could change, but there’s not a lot of time to do so – only two weeks’ worth of games.

Week 12: The first Monday Night Football game ever to be eligible to be flexed out may well be flexed out, but this is the week where in years past I’d be saying “Thanksgiving week, paucity of good games”, and sure enough the options don’t exactly look encouraging. All the games involve teams at 3-3 or worse, the Raiders didn’t exactly scream primetime material this week, and the other games on the chart are divisional games whose return matches either aren’t or might not be on their respective conference’s network. (Fox might still protect Saints-Falcons just to make absolutely sure they have one-half of the rivalry, but if not… I dunno, Pats-Giants?) Bucs-Colts is still in the running, but even leaving records aside doesn’t scream flex-in material.

Week 13: There’s not really a pressing need to flex out any of these games, especially given the lackluster alternatives once you get past the potential NFC Championship preview. Now, if Green Bay goes into the tank and any of these 3-3 or 3-4 teams go on a tear, that could be another matter, but Chiefs-Packers should draw even if the Packers are bad and there are no viable flex-out alternatives, and after all three of the teams that were 3-3 last week and had games lost, color me skeptical that any of them actually will go on a tear.

Week 14: I wasn’t sure there were any viable replacements for Pats-Steelers last week and that’s even more the case now that the Pats knocked off the Bills. A battle of 3-3 teams between the Texans and Jets isn’t exactly appetizing, especially since it might be the last week before Aaron Rodgers comes back, but it looks like it’ll be the best game available if the “no more than one road TNF game” rule is a thing; Rams-Ravens might be in the running if the Rams can get to and stay above .500, but right now they’re only a game better than the Pats. Even if that rule isn’t a thing, Jags-Browns and Bucs-Falcons aren’t much better, and it may well turn out they’re needed more to backfill a Monday night game involving a Titans team that’s only a half-game ahead of the Pats and might end up not being all that good. (On that note, I forgot to mention last week that Titans-Dolphins is part of an MNF split doubleheader with Packers-Giants, and that game is technically flexible too, but since there are currently games being played at MetLife Stadium on both Sunday and Monday, it can only be flexed out if Texans-Jets was flexed in in its place, and given the name value gap between the teams and Texans-Jets’ eligibility for a TNF flex, that would only happen if the Texans and Jets were two of the best teams in the league and one of the Packers or Giants was an absolute disaster.)

Week 15: What’s bad for NBC, ESPN, and Amazon might well be great for NFL Network; they’re guaranteed to have at least four games reserved for a Saturday move pitting teams with multiple wins! If this is the start of the Bears or Broncos shedding their bad starts to go on tears, the Saturday slate may well approach respectability! Just ignore the Colts losing to cause all five games to involve teams with losing records…

On top of that, the Patriots’ win didn’t do much to improve the chances of Chiefs-Patriots keeping its spot. Fox has two games involving teams at 4-3 (two games ahead of the Pats) or better that aren’t divisional matchups, and one is a West Coast game that’s likely to be buried behind the other. So despite what I said in the intro, this week still has a pretty good chance to see a flex.

Week 16: In the past I’d have skipped this week with NBC abandoning Christmas Eve night to NFL Network and playing non-flexible games on Saturday instead, but by all appearances TNF flexing is in place even if shorter-distance flexes aren’t. Saints-Rams isn’t a great game, but it’s not so bad as to demand a flex without a truly overwhelming alternative, and the best option available to the league right now involve teams with the same 3-4 record as the teams in that game. (Note that if you ignore the return match coming in Week 18, Lions-Vikings would be eligible for a Thursday night flex regardless of the existence of a one-road-game rule… if Broncos-Lions were picked for a move to Saturday the previous week.)

Week 17: This could be an interesting situation if the Packers and Vikings continue to underperform, and a case where the slate of upsets may have materially reduced the chances of a flex. The Lions look to be running away with the division, so this isn’t a tire fire situation where a game between two below-.500 teams somehow has playoff implications, but it also might not be so bad as to absolutely demand a flex-out, especially if its lack of playoff implications works in its favor by allowing the Week 18 slate to be announced before the end of the game, and it is a classic NFC North rivalry between two teams with solid fanbases. (Notably, as mentioned above, the Vikings are only a half-game out of the playoffs.)

Dolphins-Ravens is a good game that’s likely to be unprotected, but the question is whether that would leave CBS with too weak of an early window with Raiders-Colts and Patriots-Bills. You could also see Fox leave Steelers-Seahawks unprotected in favor of Niners-Commies or even Saints-Bucs, since it’ll be pinned to the late singleheader with limited distribution. Speaking of Saints-Bucs, if the NFC South is shaping up to be the tire fire the North isn’t, that game could have significant playoff implications if that outweighs the ease of setting the Week 18 schedule. If the Jets and/or Browns go into the tank, the Thursday and Sunday night deadlines being three weeks apart could leave the league, and Fox, in an odd position, especially since Saints-Bucs might not realistically be movable to Thursday since its eligibility depends on being able to give the Saints a full week off when the Bucs wouldn’t.

Playoff picture charts and Week 18 coverage begin Week 9.

50 thoughts on “NFL Flexible Scheduling Watch: Week 7

  1. Call me crazy, but if Atlanta & the Jets keep looking ok & the Cheeseheads continue to lose, we could see Falcons-Jets as SNF for Week 13. Atlanta should be leading the NFC South, & the Jets should be in the thick of the wild card race, along with two big markets. The issue with flexing Dolphins-Commanders to SNF is that the game will probably be similarly lopsided to KC-Packers, & Browns-Rams has the Watson issue. But the only way Swifties-Packers gets flexed out for any game is if Green Bay is 3-7 by the time the flex decision has to be made (Week 11) as if so, they’ll probably be 3-8 by Week 13 as they will most likely lose to Detroit Week 12.

  2. Repost from last thread because no one looked at this

    -Week 10
    49ers Jaguars MUST be flexed into 1:25 or Sunday night football. If it’s not, I’m giving up on flexes for the rest of the season. This game is on fox, fox has the 1:25 game. It’s right there. I will not watch the Giants-Cowboys, that game is going to be horrendous. What I see the best option for the nfl this week to be…

    FOX 10:00
    Browns-Ravens (ANCHOR)
    Giants-Cowboys (New York and Texas and a couple other miscallaneous places)
    Saints-Vikings (Minneapolis, Green Bay, Upper Michigan, Louisiana and Mississippi.)

    FOX 1:25
    49ers-Jaguars (National Broadcast)
    Commanders-Seahawks (Washington and Seattle/Northern Oregon only)

    CBS Single
    10:00
    Packers-Steelers
    Texans-Bengals
    Titans-Buccaneers
    1:05
    Falcons-Cardinals
    Jets-Raiders

    SNF
    Lions-Chargers

    Oh yeah, I switched snf too, forgot to mention that.

  3. Updated post from the last thread:

    Week 10: With the Raiders having an embarrassing loss against the Bears (even with a backup QB on the road), now I think Jets-Raiders will be flexed out for Lions-Chargers (even with the Lions being blasted today in Baltimore and the Chargers losing in KC). One other possible flex-in is 49ers-Jaguars, however, that would require a three-way move since Giants-Cowboys is scheduled for 4:25 PM ET on FOX (though most likely, Jets-Raiders is on CBS at 4:05 with most likely CBS’s other 4:05 game, Falcons-Cardinals moved to FOX at 4:25 (this assumes FOX protected Giants-Cowboys) since Giants-Cowboys is projected to be a stinker.

    Other possibility is Texans-Bengals is moved to SNF (yes, it would mean the Bengals would be on SNF two straight weeks) with Jets-Raiders at 4:05 on CBS and one of Lions-Chargers or Falcons-Cardinals is moved to FOX at 4:25 (I believe the singleheader network can have no more than two games at 4:05) and most likely Vikings-Saints moves to CBS in the 1:00 PM ET slot to even things out.

    Week 11: Vikings-Broncos SHOULD BE replaced, however, is there really a good game that can be flexed? Steelers-Browns can’t be flexed because the first meeting was MNF in Week 2 and it’s possible neither Seahawks-Rams nor Bucs-49ers could be flexed because the 49ers are in Seattle for the Thanksgiving Night game on NBC. No other game is appealing enough to flex. Would the NFL ask CBS to allow Steelers-Browns to be flexed to SNF?

    Week 12: Ravens-Chargers likely stays on SNF, Jags-Texans likely replaces Bears-Vikings on MNF.

    Week 13: I suspect Seahawks-Cowboys stays on TNF, Chiefs-Packers stays on SNF and Bengals-Jags remains on MNF, however, if the Packers continue to falter, Falcons-Jets could wind up replacing it since that game could have impact on both conference races.

    Week 14: GB-NYG likely is on ESPN (ABC in New York and Green Bay/Milwaukee), TEN-MIA is on ABC (ESPN in New York and Green Bay/Milwaukee) as the only possible flex for Week 14 MNF for Packers-Giants would be Texans-Jets (as both New York teams are at home that week). Titans-Dolphins likely has only Bucs-Falcons, which could decide the NFC South as a suitable replacement since Seahawks-49ers can’t be flexed due to the first meeting being Thanksgiving night on NBC (and CBS likely protects Bills-Chiefs, they have Falcons-Bucs at 1:00). NO WAY Eagles-Cowboys is flexed out of SNF.

    Week 15: If Chargers-Raiders is flexed out, I suspect Steelers-Colts, one of the games that is in consideration for the three Saturday games would replace it and Chargers-Raiders becomes the middle (4:30 PM ET) game that Saturday on NFL Network. I don’t see Ravens-Jags being flexed out of SNF, Chiefs-Pats could be flexed out of MNF with one of Cowboys-Bills or Eagles-Seahawks (whichever one is NOT protected by FOX) replacing Chiefs Pats.

    Week 16: Saints-Rams likely stays on TNF. I don’t see any other flexes possible given it is Christmas Weekend. NBC and Peacock have Saturday games as I believe NBC has a contractual commitment to air “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve AND I believe NBC affiliates in some markets would have had to pre-empt a Christmas Eve SNF telecast for religious services anyway.

    Week 17: For now, Jets-Browns stays on TNF, however, Saints-Bucs is also a possibility (see below). That week, MNF is on SATURDAY night (Lions-Cowboys) due to the College Football Playoff Semifinals being New Year’s Day/Night (and I believe is an ABC-only game). Doubt that would be flexed out anyway. I suspect Packers-Vikings gets flexed out of SNF for one of Saints-Bucs, Dolphins-Ravens or Steelers-Seahawks with another possibly replacing Jets-Browns on TNF.

    Assuming Saints-Rams remains Thursday night football in Week 16, I could see Saints-Bucs on TNF in Week 17 even though it would be a third TNF appearance for the Saints and second road game. That would be a situation where the Saints would be playing such a Week 17 TNF game on normal rest while the Bucs would be playing that game on three days rest (and there is a precedent for this as in 1997 the then-Tennessee Oilers played on Thanksgiving day in Dallas against the Cowboys and then played the following Thursday in Cincinnati against the Bengals who were playing that game at home on three days rest with the Bengals winning that game easily 41-14 as Corey Dillon ran for 246 yards against the Oilers). In that situation, I suspect the NFL and NFLPA would waive the normal rules against since since the Saints are playing Thursday in Week 16 so they would be playing on normal rest.

    Week 18: Right now, I suspect Steelers-Ravens is a prime candidate for the final Sunday night slot if it’s for the AFC North as is Bills-Dolphins if that is for the AFC East with the other airing Saturday on ESPN. The NFC game on ESPN that Saturday right now looks like Cowboys-Commanders as even if that doesn’t mean anything it’s still Dallas-Washington and that in itself makes it a good game for that Saturday.

  4. Max C. Firstly chill lol. The NFL HATES pulling the early flex, as it’s viewed as a “break in case of emergency” option. While I think the Jets-Raiders should be flexed out, 4-3 vs 3-6 will probably stay. Also, Vikes-Broncos, Bears-Vikes, Swifties-Cheeseheads, Swifties-Pats, & Cheeseheads-Vikes all look good to be flexed out.

  5. I’ll focus on the Packers tentative prime-time schedule, and assume they continue to tank:

    – Week 13 – That will likely stay on SNF only because that is likely the game when the Chiefs will clinch the AFC West. Of course, there is a possibility that the Chiefs clinch in Week 12 by beating the Raiders (making the Week 13 game moot), and a very slim possibility that clinch happens on Week 11. However, Week 13 is the last week that requires a 12-day notice, so only a Week 11 clinch (or no possibility of a Week 13 clinch) would (not could) cause a move.

    – Week 14 – The big tell would be if the Titans-Jets game gets flexed to TNF before 11/10. If that happens, Giants Stadium would be free on Sunday, and any other eligible game becomes an attractive option for ESPN/ABC. Even if that TNF flex doesn’t happen, the swap between the Titans-Jets and Packers-Giants is likely to happen if the Titans/Jets records are better coming out of Week 12, and especially if it’s guaranteed to stick through Week 13. In any case, it won’t be on ABC outside Green Bay/Milwaukee/New York City.

    – Week 17 – That move back to noon Central is a no-brainer at this point. By that time, both the Packers and Vikings are both likely fighting for draft position, not playoff spots.

  6. I’m a Vikings fan… this slander hurts to read.

    (Packers will lose to Vikes and we will get to 4-4, unfortunately making our games more appealing. Even I don’t wanna see the broncos and bears.)

  7. Steve:

    I believe Texans-Jets can only replace Packers-Giants on Monday Night Football. Also, as big of a mismatch as Pats-Steelers is, the Steelers still have a huge national following and I’m not sure Amazon Prime would want that game flexed out. I seriously doubt Meadowlands officials want a game flexed to Thursday Night Football.

  8. Walt:

    Week 18, the 2 games on Saturday are both ABC/ESPN simulcasts. No one on ABC, one on ESPN and there’s no stipulation that each Conference must be represented in each game. It can be 2 from the AFC or 2 from the NFC.

  9. Walt,

    First, I mistyped the Week 14 Jets match-up – it’s the Texans at the Jets (I don’t know why I had the Oilers/Titans on my mind). That is very much a flex possibility to either TNF or MNF, especially since the Texans don’t have any prime-time games. It’s also the only 1 of 3 unprotectable CBS flex candidates eligible to go to TNF, with CBS almost certainly protecting the Bills-Chiefs game against NBC, ABC/ESPN and Amazon.

    I’m reasonably sure MetLife staff would appreciate the additional time to switch over the stadium between Jets green and Giants blue more than the hassle of having a Thursday game. Rather, the big strike against a Jets move to TNF on Week 14 is the 2-game limit on TNF flexes.

    The TNF games on Weeks 13 and 17 (the first and last weeks of potential TNF flexes) look to stay as scheduled as they should be good games. The Week 15 and Week 16 TNF games look to be worse than the Patriots-Steelers one on Week 14, though the Week 16 one should at least be meaningful enough to stay there.

  10. Jeff:

    They must have changed the rules for Week 18 then because in the past I did put two games from one conference on Saturday only to have it always be one from each conference.

    Still think the NFL needs to add a new Week 19 (second bye week tied to mid-week games and if teams have two TNF/Thanksgiving appearances they are both tied to games mid-week) where all games in a conference are played simultaneously and air between ALL of the NFL’s broadcast partners using DT-2/3/4 channels for the least important games that also air on such network’s cable outlets. As said before, the order for games would be this:

    1st: NBC

    2nd and 3rd: FOX and CBS (one goes second at 3:30, the other at 8:20 PM ET).

    4th: ABC

    5th: ESPN (games also air on LivWell, ABC’s DT-2 Channel)

    6th: Amazon Prime and NFL Network (games also air on COZI-TV, NBC’s DT-2 Channel and would use NBC announcers because the games are on COZI-TV).

    7th and 8th: CBS (for CBSSN and DECADES, CBS’s DT-2 Channel) and FOX (for FS1 and EITHER MOVIES, FOX’s DT-2 Channel OR BUZZR, FOX’s DT-4 Channel). This would be the reverse of who picks 2nd/3rd in each time frame.

    One conference would have games at 3:30 PM ET, the other at 8:20 PM ET (specifically to allow CBS to fulfill FCC commitments with 60 Minutes). Week 18 would remain as it is now except there would possibly have Thursday and Monday night games added.

    All Week 19 games would be made available on Amazon Prime (Twitch for those not Amazon Prime members as is the case now for TNF) and on NFL.com regardless of whether or not you have a cable subscription.

    The model for Week 19 is the same that is used throughout European Soccer on the final day as well as many other pro sports leagues worldwide.

  11. Just want to point something out. CBS’s NFL Week 13 games look downright ABYSMAL. The only good teams in those games (Pittsburgh & Houston) are playing pushovers in the Broncos & Cardinals, & the best CBS game on the docket as of now is maybe Colts-Titans on the fact that both teams are hitting the easiest parts of their schedules & have a very slight chance of looking okay by gametime. Even if this somehow happens, I predict the game to be no better than 5-6 vs 6-5, & CBS would be pissed if that ends up being their best game that week.

    Thankfully for CBS though, even if Green Bay is 3-7 by the time a decision has to be made on whether or not to flex out Chiefs-Packers, Kansas City probably wins the AFC West with a win on SNF that week, as the rest of the division is ass. When you pair this with T-Swift shots & big fanbases in a night game at Lambeau, this game probably stays no matter how bad it is.

    If it does get flexed because Green Bay is that bad, it goes to CBS as its main game of the week, & Falcons-Jets gets flexed to SNF. I say Falcons-Jets because of playoff implications for the NFC South & AFC Wild Card. But the biggest problem with Dolphins-Commies & Lions-Saints being flexed to SNF is that it will probably have the same issue as Chiefs-Packers, which is lopsidedness, which is EXACTLY why Chiefs-Packers would be flexed out!

    If Dolphins-Commies or Lions-Saints were to be flexed to SNF, it would be reminiscent of Cards-Eagles being flexed to Week 15 SNF in 2015, except that none of these teams would be maxed out on night games. Things can easily change in the next month, but this is how I think it plays out.

    If Chiefs-Packers stays, Lions-Saints or Falcons-Jets gets crossflexed to CBS with Romo/Nantz on the call.

  12. Ik im just huffing hopium but if Denver loses & Cousins ankle injury is really bad then Titans-Jags may be Week 11 SNF. I think that Fox ends up protecting Bucs-49ers as Steelers-Browns is inherently protected with the divisional games rule.

    We could see an Eagles-Rams scenario where Burkhardt/Olson calls Bucs-9ers at 1:05 & has a similar market share to Steelers-Browns. Tennessee has a decent chance of beating Pittsburgh if Pickett is out & we should beat Tampa Bay the week after. That would mean Tennessee is 5-4 & Jacksonville ends up 6-3 probably

  13. Isaiah:

    I don’t see Bucs-49ers being flexed to SNF because the 49ers play in Seattle against the Seahawks Thanksgiving Night on NBC. That prevents IMO the 49ers or the Seahawks games from being flexed to SNF in Week 11.

  14. My thoughts on Week 11 SNF:

    With Denver pulling the upset against the Chiefs, Vikings-Broncos seems likely to stay, but in the Vikes-Packers game earlier, Kirk Cousins tore his achilles. This makes the chances of Vikings-Broncos staying a bit less likely, but the only good flexible alternative is Titans-Jaguars.

    Titans-Jags will be flexed to SNF if whoever starts for Minnesota looks very very very bad, & the Vikings lose along with the Titans looking good in a win vs Pittsburgh. Even then, Vikings-Broncos may stay, but I’ll feel more confident in definitively saying something either this upcoming Thursday or Sunday.

  15. Yes the 49ers just lost to the Bengals for their 3rd straight loss but that huge game against the Jaguars in 14 days looks huge. Will 49ers Jaguars go to the late window on Fox as the main 325 game as the Giants are depleted at Quarterback where the Cowboys will rout them for sure. Jets beat the Giants but I still think Jets Raiders in week 10 is flexed out of SNF. Lions should handle the Raiders tomorrow on MNF.

    With the Broncos just beat the Chiefs and Vikings earlier today beating the Packers I still think there week 11 game on SNF gets flexed out as Kirk Cousins likely suffered an Achilles injury today. I think Jaguars Titans is the front runner to replace Vikings Broncos on SNF, doubt it will be Steelers Browns. I don’t think Seahawks Rams either since Stafford suffered a thumb injury today against the Cowboys.

    I think Bears Vikings in week 12 on Monday Night is definitely getting flexed out. Jaguars Texans, Steelers Bengals are possibilities.

  16. I also think Packers Vikings week 17 on SNF will likely get flexed out as well. I am going to guess Ravens Dolphins is leading candidate to replace that game.

  17. So it now looks like week 10 SNF will probably stay put but the JAX-SF should be flexed into the 4:25 Slot at the very least. MIN-DEN now appears to be a goner with Kirk Cousins having torn his Achilles.

  18. The problem with week 11 though is the rest of the slate is mehhh at best. The only decent option I see is JAX-TEN. Why not since it seems to be Will Levis time in Nashville. I’m going to say week 10 stays with Jets-Raiders and week 11 sees MIN-DEN get bumped for JAX-TEN. If they don’t then I seriously question why they even bothered implementing flex scheduling to begin with.

  19. After week 8, I see Jets-Raiders staying even if the Raiders lose tonight. The Jets having a winning record means that they’re not bad enough to be flexed out, and the NFL loves showing primetime games at Allegiant Stadium. Even though SF-JAX and CLE-BAL look like viable replacements, currently the Week 10 schedule has 6 games in the early window and 4 games in the late window. If an early game is flexed into SNF, that would leave 5 games in the early window and 5 in the late window, which isn’t ideal for FOX because they’d have to distribute their two games nationally in the early window and have 3 games to distribute in the late window. Lions-Chargers is an easy plug-in as Jets-Raiders could move to the CBS late singleheader, but for reasons stated above and the fact that Bears-Chargers wasn’t flexed out, this game isn’t enough to bump off Jets-Raiders.

    Suddenly, Vikings-Broncos was going to be a lock to stay on SNF with both teams playing much better football as of recent, but with Kirk out, I’m not sure it’s enough to stay. I think Titans-Jags is a probable replacement with Will Levis suddenly giving the Titans national appeal. If they beat the Steelers on Thursday, I’d pencil this matchup in, though I am concerned about their markets not being good enough for SNF. Most other matchups are hindered by teams playing on Thanksgiving the following week but not sure how strict the NFL will be.

    For Week 12, Bears-Vikings still looks like a prime MNF flex candidate. Keep an eye out for Saints-Falcons (may be protected by FOX) and Jags-Texans. It’s possible that Steelers-Bengals also gets moved but the other half is on NBC so not sure if the NFL would take that away from CBS.

    Week 13 – Packers have looked god awful as of late, but as long as they don’t lose all of their next few games, the Chiefs should be enough to keep them on NBC. It’s sort of like Packers-Eagles last year, where the Packers were well below .500 but the Eagles were good enough to keep them on SNF. If the Packers are actually 2-8 or something, Lions-Saints and Falcons-Jets are games to keep your eyes on.

    Week 14 – Patriots-Steelers could get moved from TNF but I honestly doubt it.
    Week 15 – Vikings-Bengals, Broncos-Lions, and Steelers-Colts still seem like the best options for Week 15 Saturday. Keep an eye out for Chiefs-Pats MNF – it’s late enough in the year to be flexed out if the Pats have no shot of playoffs, even though they’re playing the Chiefs.
    Week 16 – there will be no flexes this week. Saints-Rams is decent enough to stay.
    Week 17 – Packers-Vikings looks horrible at this point. Dolphins-Ravens is still a prime candidate (possibly could decide the #1 seed?) for SNF.

  20. Walt’s Lover: They owe us one of Walt’s ” Make-Up flexes” after not flexing out that garbage that last night! Lol. I agree though week 10 not going anywhere. Week 13 though needs to go. DET-NO would seem like the best choice right. It’s all but guaranteed that FOX will protect Eagles-Niners that week.

  21. As for week 12 potential MNF flex, yea the original has gotta go!!! CBS will definitely protect my Birds vs. The Bills and Chargers-Ravens should stay put in SNF. Maybe we see CIN-PIT get flexed into MNF!? When do they need to announce that by?

  22. Honestly Jets Raiders could possibly stay just simply due to the market sizes, also fox probably protected niners jags over giants cowboys so that leaves the conversation for browns ravens….. i could see it but again I dont know if the ravens being on tnf will impact that decision. My guess is Jets Raiders stays. Now week 11 is where things will get interesting….. Vikings Broncos will surely get flexed out, just comes down to the options…. You have Steelers Browns, and maybe Seahawks Rams?? So my guess is assuming nfl doesnt flex out jets raiders, they flex steelers browns in week 11. Thats just my guess as of now though. Ps I will be at Broncos Bills MNF game 😀

  23. Flexing:

    Week 10 SNF will likely stay NYJ-LV, even with the Raiders loss tonight, but SF-JAX would be my 1st choice, followed by CLE-BAL and NO-MIN

    Please oh please flex out Week 11’s SNF of MIN-DEN, but now likely to stay due to the rise of these teams. NYJ-BUF would be a nice option if not for the prior being in Primetime. So that leaves us with PIT-CLE as an option

    Week 12 SNF likely to stay as BAL-LAC

    Week 12’s MNF CHI-MIN needs to go with either PIT-CIN or BUF-PHI replacing it or maybe NO-ATL….

    Week 13’s TNF needs to be decided by 11/02/23 and SEA-DAL and is going nowhere though

    Week 13’s SNF will likely stay as KC-GB, unless my Pack really fall off (an my Pack have fallen off)

    Week 13’s MNF will remain CIN-JAX

    Week 14’s TNF needs to be decided by 11/09/23 and NE-PIT is currently in trouble with some decent options….though it’s 2 recognizable teams and only 2 TNF games can be flexed…..probably stays put

    Week 14’s SNF will stay PHI-DAL of course

    Week 14’s MNF games are TEN-MIA and GB-NYG and Titans-Dolphins is likely to stay and Packers-Giants could get replaced with decent options, as mentioned for TNF and that’s looking more and more likely

    Week 15’s TNF LAC-LV likely in ugh, as that must be decided by 11/16/23….hmm

    Week 15’s three (3) Saturday NFL Network seem to be needing to be decided by 12/10/23 or 12/11/23. ATL-CAR (no), MIN-CIN (well, good chance), CHI-CLE (no), DEN-DET (looking good now), and PIT-IND (yes, probably)……

    Week 15’s SNF is staying with BAL-JAX

    Week 15’s MNF KC-NE should lose its spot, but with the Week 8 SNF decision I’m not convinced it’s going anywhere, though it should

    Week 16’s TNF that must be decided by 11/23/23 should stay with NO-LAR, as that’s currently a decent matchup and it’s Christmas weekend and it’s the only game that can be flexed out that week

    Week 17’s TNF that must be decided by 11/30/23 looks like it might stay all of a sudden with NYJ-CLE (please of please, lots of snow!!!)

    Week 17’s SNF is GB-MIN may stay, though there might be 3 (?) options to replace it

    Week 18’s two (2) Saturday games…….and SNF game….will ATL-NO be a win and in / lose and out game? If so, that will be SNF…..the 2 Saturday games could be….PIT-BAL, CLE-CIN, BUF-MIA….hmmmm

  24. If the NFL is keeping Raiders Jets on SNF and Giants Cowboys as the main 325 game on Fox for week 10. I give up with NFL Flex Scheduling because I don’t trust them anymore.

  25. Robert:

    I suspect given we now know 49ers-Jags was protected by FOX, Giants-Cowboys is likely going to be a 1:00 PM game with 49ers-Jags at 4:25. As for Jets-Raiders, the Raiders for all their troubles have a winnable game this week against the Giants and should be 4-4 for their game with the Jets.

    I suspect Lions-Chargers at this point if any game is flexed to SNF is it.

  26. Isaiah: This is interesting. With the new protection rules, it seems like CBS and FOX will always protect their best game of the week and the only way a game gets flexed to SNF is if either network’s second best game is better than the SNF game. It seems like we will get Burkhardt/Olsen on SF-JAX in the early window because it’s the best game, but keep NYG-DAL in the late window to get more national coverage since it’s the Cowboys. Works out perfectly for FOX… not sure if this is fair to NBC

  27. 49ers Jaguars just got more interesting as the 49ers traded for Chase Young. Still can’t believe 49ers Jaguars hasn’t been flexed yet to 325 as Cowboys Giants still have that spot yuck. Cowboys Giants should be moved to Noon at once.

  28. Wtf nothing?? Not even moving the JAX-SF to a better timeslot??? Seriously wtf are they doing over there!

  29. WTF is right, that is another strike on the NFL for not flexing out Raiders Jets out of SNF for Jaguars 49ers or Ravens Browns. Plus Cowboys Giants is still the 325 game on Fox as the Giants are becoming the laughing stock of the NFL. The NFL needs new people in the scheduling department as this is a complete travesty and disgrace to millions of fans. Roger Goodell needs to do some about this ASAP as today was a wasted and failure by the NFL as I am very angry once again for the second time in three weeks. Shame on you NFL for messing up flex scheduling once again. What’s the point of Flex Scheduling and not using it?????????

  30. Well, I just got to nflcommunications.com and saw we got another ZERO burger for Flex Scheduling for Week 1. That was 1 whole game that moved in the first 10 weeks of the season and that was Lions/Bucs moving from the early window to the late window.

    Jeff: Browns vs Steelers was MNF Week 2 <—thank you Isaiah Little

  31. Isiah: That actually might help this game…lol. It’s no secret that the Raiders hated playing for McDaniels!

  32. Yeah, I’m surprised that Giants-Cowboys wasn’t moved to 1:00 PM since the Giants have been horrible this season and 49ers-Jaguars looks like a much better game. It would not be unprecedented for something like this to happen because in 2017, a Cowboys-Giants game in New Jersey was flexed to 1:00 PM because the Giants had a very disappointing season and I believe Seahawks-Jaguars was moved to 4:25 PM to replace it.

    At the very least, they could have moved 49ers-Jaguars to 4:25 PM so that more people would be able to see that game.

  33. Robert: Agreed because I understand why they would keep the SNF game as is. Giants and Dallas is an awful 4:25 game. I guess they did not want to flex the Cowboys out of a national game. We’ve seen this show before.

  34. Cowboys as always getting first class getting as many national games as possible which is completely stupid and bogus. No one wants to see the putrid Giants on National TV especially there bad offense. I rather see 49ers vs Jaguars instead of this one sided rivalry. Shame on you NFL for once again botching it always favoring the Cowboys.

  35. I’d say the Week 11 SNF situation is pretty cut and dry:

    Titans-Jags becomes SNF with a Tennessee win & a Minnesota loss

    Vikings-Broncos stays as SNF if the conditions above aren’t met

  36. So the Steelers just beat the Titans on Thursday night football, so what if the Vikings lose to the Falcons on Sunday? Broncos are off this weekend does Vikings Broncos stay as the SNF game for week 11? I think Steelers Browns is now the favorites to replace Vikings Broncos since the Browns play the lowly Arizona Cardinals this week and should win that or could the Jaguars Titans still be a possibility?

  37. Well, today was the deadline to flex Week 13 TNF and from checking at nflcommunications.com, there’s no change noted. Not that I was thinking SEA-DAL was going anywhere.

  38. Jeff: Interesting, but expect that dallas @ Philly is almost entirely nationally televised. One thing I noticed about this season is that there are no nationally televised 4:25 games, unlike last season where certain games (e.g. Bills/Chiefs, Bucs/Rams, Vikings/Packers before Rams/Chargers joined them at that slot) were the only one in the late doubleheader.

    besides that, I unfortunately think that we are stuck with Vikings-Broncos week 11. A 3-5 Titans team is not enough to be flexed in. Steelers-Browns is staying on CBS and the other games all have teams playing short week. If the NFL decides to ignore that consideration, bucs-9ers is an option if the bucs win this week, but otherwise, there aren’t any other potential games. Seahawks-Rams also isn’t good enough for a flex. Looks like Jets-Bills will stay the 4:25 feature game as there are no better options.

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