Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 16 Picks

Week 16 (December 22):

  • Tentative game: New England @ Baltimore
  • Prospects: 10-3 v. 7-6; pretty lopsided, but the name value could still save it and the Ravens are very much alive in the playoff hunt (then again, every AFC team that’s not the Texans – more on them in a bit – and Jags are).
  • Protected games: Broncos-Texans (CBS) and Cowboys-Indians (FOX).
  • Other possible games mentioned on Tuesday’s Watch and their records: Saints-Panthers (10-3 v. 9-4 in some order), Colts (8-5)-Chiefs (10-3), Cardinals (7-5)-Seahawks (11-1, both teams currently playing), Bears (6-6)-Eagles (8-5).
  • Impact of Monday Night Football: The Bears are playing, but Bears-Eagles doesn’t really have a shot to be flexed in.
  • Analysis: CBS’ decision to protect Broncos-Texans over Colts-Chiefs was questionable at the time since the Texans definitely had the worst record of the four at 2-3 and seemed to be in a tailspin; now it seems to have given the Texans the kiss of death, as they haven’t won since (even losing to the freaking Jaguars twice!) and the Colts and Chiefs have only two-thirds as many losses between them as the Texans have themselves. But CBS looks to be off the hook for that with the Colts losing, making Colts-Chiefs not only definitely worse than Saints-Panthers but slightly lopsided as well. This selection will say a lot about the NFL’s priorities, because the Ravens have recovered enough to get above .500 (if it weren’t for a questionable pass interference call Patriots-Ravens would be equally as lopsided as Colts-Chiefs and only a game worse) and I might ordinarily side with the tentative game bias here even with Saints-Panthers’ awesome pair of records… on the other hand, the NFL showed with the Chiefs-Broncos protection overrule – oh sorry, “voluntary protection dropping” – a desire to flex in games on the singleheader network to deliver them to a national audience, and Fox has the singleheader this week… on the other other hand, if that were a factor here the NFL wouldn’t have flexed in Panthers-Saints this week, because now flexing in Saints-Panthers means taking away both halves of a divisional matchup from Fox (both of them being flexed in without Week 17’s weird circumstances being a factor) and putting the same matchup on NBC twice in three weeks (without the playoffs being a factor). I’m not saying I would be surprised if Saints-Panthers was flexed in, but considering the records aren’t quite as attractive as Chiefs-Broncos was…
  • Final prediction: New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens (no change).

4 thoughts on “Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 16 Picks

  1. Still no official word on a change as of when this was written, so it may very well be the NFL was waiting for this game to finish before deciding. I suspect they will move Bears-Eagles to Sunday night and give CBS Pats-Ravens back to compensate CBS for giving up an earlier protection of Chiefs-Broncos in Week 11.

  2. Well, I was proven right, Bears-Eagles was in fact flexed to SNF, most likely to compensate CBS for giving up the first Chiefs-Broncos game in Week 11 after CBS protected that game originally and likely also because Cardinals-Eagles likely would have been flexed in Week 13 were it not for issues that prevented any game other than Rams-49ers from being flexed (I believe having to do with factors that probably do not allow any Redskins regular season home game not initially scheduled for 1:00 PM to being moved to that slot since the Redskins have never had an game flexed out of SNF moved to 1:00 AND FOX unable to move Falcons-Bills from 4:05 to 1:00 PM that week due to that game airing nationally in Canada).

  3. Walt, I think the reason why Cardinals-Eagles wasn’t flexed in Week 13 was because it would’ve forced Redskins-Giants to move to a 4:05 start, rather than a 1:00 start. The reason is because the Jets were playing a 1:00 home game against the Dolphins, and according to precedent and it might still be an official rule unless the NFL scrapped it in recent years and I failed to notice, the Jets and Giants cannot play different games at the same starting time. One has to be in the early slot, while the other has to be in the later or prime-time slot.

    With this in mind, FOX would’ve been forced to give up its game of the day, 1:00 Cardinals-Eagles, to NBC while gaining another 4:05 regional game in the Giants-Redskins, when it already had two regional 4:05 games, 49ers-Rams and Falcons-Bills, while CBS had Broncos-Chiefs as its doubleheader at 4:25. Cardinals-Eagles being FOX’s game of the day of course, due to it only having two other 1:00 starts, Vikings-Bears and Panthers-Buccaneers, while its three regional 4:05 starts would’ve been swamped by the national telecast of Broncos-Chiefs.

    Thus, I’m guessing FOX opposed flexing Cardinals-Eagles, while due to the traditional market pull of the Redskins-Giants, NBC didn’t create too big of a fuss about keeping a sub-par game.

  4. Michael:

    CBS would have simply moved Dolphins-Jets to 4:25 if they could have put Giants-Redskins at 1:00. The real problem was I believe the Redskins may not be allowed for whatever reason (nothing to do with the Jets) to have games moved to 1:00 PM on short notice. This may or may not include playoff games, but the Redskins have never played an “early” home playoff game since moving to FedEx Field I believe.

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