We have reached the portion of the NFL regular season where the NFL can opt to flex out certain primetime and double-header 4:25 games on either FOX or CBS games. Once the schedule is initially announced at the start of the season, certain games look appealing but as the season progress, some teams don’t live up to early season expectations while others surprise the football world. “Flexing” starts in week 11 of the season and runs until the final week of the year.
According to the NFL, the league will announce any changes to the schedule no later than 12 days prior to the respective weekend.
The league announced on Monday that the Sunday night primetime games for weeks 14 and 15 will not be flexed. The Detroit Lions travel to Green Bay on December 9 while the San Francisco 49ers will take on the New England Patriots.
There are no other compelling games in week 14 that have playoff implications and given the popularity of the Green Bay Packers, I see why the league opted to not flex them out of a primetime game.
The New England Patriots will receive two back-to-back primetime games in weeks 14 and 15, both being home games. In week 14, the Patriots host the Houston Texans, in what might be the best matchup of the week. In week 15, the San Francisco 49ers come to town in what should be another appealing game for football fans to watch.
In week 15, there could have been the possibility of flexing two games while moving the Patriots and Niners out of the national spotlight. The Chicago Bears will host the Green Bay Packers in the league’s oldest rivalry and playing in a game with serious playoff implications.
The other game that could have been flexed featured the Denver Broncos traveling to take on the Baltimore Ravens. That game could be a post-season preview but both teams could have firm grips on their respective divisions, something which isn’t as compelling to the league.