Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 15 Picks

Week 15 (December 18):

  • Tentative game: Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
  • Prospects: 7-5 v. 4-7-1. 7-5 is good enough for a tie for the AFC North lead at the moment, the Steelers are a name team, and the Bengals won, but this would still be very questionable.
  • Likely protections: Patriots-Broncos (CBS) and Eagles-Ravens (FOX).
  • Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Lions (8-4)-Giants (8-4), Bucs (7-5)-Cowboys (11-1), Titans (6-6)-Chiefs (9-3), Colts (5-6)-Vikings (6-6), Raiders (10-2)-Chargers (5-7).
  • Impact of Monday Night Football: The Colts probably need to win to give Colts-Vikings a chance, but given the competition it might not make much of a difference.
  • Analysis: Shortly after last week’s post went up, I read this article that indicated that, in fact, neither Lions-Giants nor Bucs-Cowboys was protected – though in its original version it seemed to forget that Week 17 is not bound by appearance limits anymore, which coupled with how matter-of-factly it stated those non-protections, given the lack of any word of what the protections are to this point (it’s not even confirmed what Fox did protect this week, if anything), make me wonder whether the author actually knew what the protections were or made assumptions based on something else (my site maybe?). Clearly, though, if the author felt those appearance limits were the main obstacle to flexing either game in, as opposed to how many of those appearances would be strung together in a row, then if he was privy to any inside information then neither game can be ruled out, in which case they’re really the only two options; Titans-Chiefs is a skosh less lopsided than Bucs-Cowboys but is worse in both teams’ records and averages out to a worse pair of records than Lions-Giants. My inclination is that Lions-Giants has the edge, not only because it’s less lopsided, but because for some unfathomable reason the NFL thought it was a good idea to schedule a Jets home game for Saturday night and a Giants home game the following Sunday early afternoon, giving the Metlife Stadium grounds crew *maybe* 12-13 hours to turn around the field; moving Lions-Giants to Sunday night would not only give the grounds crew more time to turn around the field, but as pointed out in the comments here, would ease the logistical pressures on NBC as their crew for the Jets game could stay in place for the Giants game. (The league could move Lions-Giants to late afternoon, but unless it’s crossflexed to CBS’ doubleheader it would effectively be an admission that the league goofed up when putting together the schedule to begin with.) The flipside, besides the ratings gold the Cowboys always are, continues to be my concern about scheduling Giants home night games on consecutive December Sundays, especially since, as pointed out in the comments here and alluded to in the above article, many older Giants fans continue to stay away from night games on the perception that they would have to wander into a wretched hive of scum and villainy. (Also, since the article’s concern about appearance limits was that either NFC East game could be picked Week 17, it’s worth noting that while both the Cowboys and Giants are in primetime Week 16, only the Giants are on NBC and would have their streak of NBC appearances extended by a Week 17 move.)
  • Final prediction: Detroit Lions @ New York Giants.
  • Actual selection: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys. And seeing a reference to that selection was what reminded me I needed to write this post. Oops. Good thing I’d already been thinking about it since reading that article and the comments on the last post. For the record, Lions-Giants is staying put at 1 PM on Fox.

8 thoughts on “Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 15 Picks

  1. As said in the other thread, I suspect Giants season ticket holders implored the Giants to ask the NFL to NOT move Lions-Giants to SNF as that game is the last home game of the year for the Giants.

    As noted many times, many of their season ticket holders go back to the days when the Giants were still playing in Yankee Stadium and will only go to 1:00 PM games (even when it’s a 4:05/4:25 PM game, many of them give their tickets to younger relatives and friends who go). A lot of that is I believe not wanting to be out at night if they can avoid it, especially since many of those still remember the days when New York was crime-ridden in the 1970’s and early ’80s and still think of the New York area at night in those terms.

    Another factor is the Giants do play a Thursday nighter next week (12/22) against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, and I think the NFL was trying to avoid a team playing Sunday night and then Thursday night.

    Bucs-Cowboys will be the first chance for many to see Jameis Winston, plus the Bucs are in the heat of the Wild Card race that could come down to the wire.

  2. Seems Adam Schefter still thinks Week 17 still has team appearance limitations in effect by his tweet last night.

    Adam Schefter ‏@AdamSchefter 15 hours ago

    FWIW: Now that Buccaneers-Cowboys on Dec. 18 has been flexed to Sunday night, Cowboys-Eagles cannot be moved to NBC on Jan 1.

    Is anyone 100% sure the limitation rule for Week 17 has gone away?

  3. I also still question if the “Giants Season Ticket Holders Are Old and Want To Be In Bed By 7pm” argument is legit and if it would really factor into the NFL/NBC deciding who appears on Sunday Night Football. If it did weigh in, why did the NFL/NBC make week 14’s game tentative on Cowboys @ Giants to begin with? I think people may have repeated this notion so much that many think it is fact and that Giant Season Ticket holders have a “Big Say” in the world of NBC. Not a knock on you Walt…just a thought.

  4. Cory:

    There is no limit, however, it won’t matter with the Cowboys because that Week 17 tilt with the Eagles is likely to be meaningless (Cowboys with the #1 seed wrapped up, Eagles playing out the string).

    And no, it’s not that Giants season ticket holders are all old and “want to be in bed by 7:00 PM,” it’s just that the Week 15 game with the Lions is the regular season home finale, a game many of those fans probably want to be at. A lot of them have had season tickets dating back to Yankee Stadium and many of them vividly remember how crime-ridden many parts of New York were in the late 1960’s, ’70s and ’80s in particular. It has only been in the last 25 years that NYC has really been cleaned up, but that perception among those older lingers and I suspect those season ticket holders asked the Giants to ask the NFL not to move the game with the Lions to SNF because they don’t want to be out at night, especially two weeks in a row.

  5. Hello Flex Schedule friends,

    Here’s my first analysis on Week 17. Usually I’d be previewing Week 16 AND Week 17 this week, but since Week 16 Sunday is Christmas this year, that makes Week 16 moot.

    So far, I only have 5 of the 16 games on my radar for SNF. Current #1 choice is Oakland(10-2) @ Denver(8-4). #2 choice is Houston(6-6) @ Tennessee(6-6). #3 choice is Green Bay(6-6) @ Detroit(8-4). #4 choice is NY Giants(8-4) @ Washington(6-5-1) and lastly my #5 choice is New England(10-2) @ Miami(7-5). Looking forward to seeing the choices of all my friends here soon. Go Pack Go this week at the Frozen Tundra vs. the Seahawks. 😉

  6. Hi my flex schedule friends,
    Here are my picks for Week 17 games for SNF 17 from most likely to least likely.

    1. Oakland (10-2) @ Denver (8-4)

    2. Ny Giants (8-4) @ Washington (6-5-1)

    3. New England (10-2) @ Miami (7-5)

    And lastly for now 4. Houston (6-6) @ Tennessee (6-6)

    I will update after Week 14 games. Go Raiders Go. Let’s take care of the Chiefs tomorrow night on NBC.

  7. I Think 1 if 2 Games Could Be Oakland at Denver. Or I Think The Favorite Will Likely Be New England At Miami. Well I Think that Game New England At Miami seems to be one of the 2 favorites. Because I’m Glad that Dal At Phil Is not getting flexed. Because that’s not going to happen. and I don’t want to see Giants Redskins or Packers Lions cause I’m sick of the NFC it’s the AFC’s Turn this Year.

  8. I Think 1 of 2 Games Could Be Oakland at Denver. Or I Think The Favorite Will Likely Be New England At Miami. Well I Think that Game New England At Miami seems to be one of the 2 favorites. Because I’m Glad that Dal At Phil Is not getting flexed. Because that’s not going to happen. and I don’t want to see Giants Redskins or Packers Lions cause I’m sick of the NFC it’s the AFC’s Turn this Year.

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