Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Number of Primetime Appearances Per Team for the 2019 Season

Here are each team’s number of appearances across the league’s three primetime packages on NBC, ESPN, and Fox/NFL Network for the season, useful for determining what games can be flexed into or out of Sunday night for my Flex Schedule Watch. Recall the appearance limits are six primetime games for three teams, five for everyone else, and four NBC appearances. In the “Flexible” column, a plus sign indicates SNF games in the Week 5-10 early flex period. Note that the Bucs, Panthers, Jaguars, and Texans may each have one more appearance than I’m crediting them for, as each have games in London airing on NFL Network, and three of the following games will move to Saturday Week 16 on NFLN, increasing their counts: HOU/TB, BUF/NE, DET/DEN, OAK/LAC, or SF/LAR.

Team PT App’s On NBC Flexible
DAL 5 3 0+2
NE 5* 3 1+1
PHI 5 3 1+1
KC 5 3 1+2
LAR 5* 3 2
CHI 5 3 2
GB 5 2 0+1
PIT 5 2 0+1
MIN 5 2 1+1
SEA 5 2 2
NO 4 2 0
LAC 4* 2 1+1
CLE 4 1 0
IND 3 1 0+1
BAL 3 1 0+1
HOU 3* 1 1
SF 3* 0 0
NYJ 3 0 0
NYG 3 0 0
ATL 2 2 0
DEN 2* 0 0
OAK 2* 0 0
WAS 2 0 0
BUF 0* 0 0
All others 1* 0 0

15 thoughts on “Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Number of Primetime Appearances Per Team for the 2019 Season

  1. Here’s an EARLY opinion on how things could shake out for Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling for Weeks 5 through 17 of the 2019 NFL season. Remember this though, in Weeks 5 to 10, a maximum 2 of those 6 games can actually be flexed out. But in Weeks 11 through 16, all of the games could be flexed out and Week 17, there will be a game flexed to Sunday Night Football.

    Week 5 Tentative: Colts @ Chiefs

    A rematch of a Divisional Rd. playoff game from last season and likely stays, unless Indy starts off like last season.

    Week 6 Tentative: Steelers @ Chargers

    It surprised me that the NFL decided to have Sunday Night Football played at the small Stub Hub Center and they did it 2 times no less, but this game could be lopsided; as we don’t know what to make of the Steelers this season. Chargers seem poised for big things, but for those pesky Chiefs. Hard to see this flexed out though.

    Week 7 Tentative: Eagles @ Cowboys

    Like Morgan always says, it would take an act of God to make this matchup move and I will abdicate to his wisdom. Even if both teams are winless going into the game.

    Week 8 Tentative: Packers @ Chiefs

    My Packers are the worry here for me, for this game staying put. New coach, older QB that’s been injured a lot lately, and not committed to one specific RB. Should be Aaron Jones though. And still a very suspect D. We’ll see what happens. Go Pack Go!

    Week 9 Tentative: Patriots @ Ravens

    The Ravens seem to be the team that could make this a tenuous matchup. What will we get out of 2nd year QB Jackson? Can a run oriented team, that added Ingram, really be a success in today’s NFL, seemingly mandated, pass happy league?

    Week 10 Tentative: Vikings @ Cowboys

    From Week 7: “Like Morgan always says, it would take an act of God to make this matchup move and I will abdicate to his wisdom. Even if both teams are winless going into the game.” Okay, maybe I won’t go this extreme on this one, but Jerry would be pissed to lose this game.

    Week 11 Tentative: Bears @ Rams

    A rematch of last year’s Sunday Night Football defensive gem, that the Bears won 15-6. This led to 2 other teams emulating the Bears in how to play against the Rams great offense. One of them happened to be the Patriots in the Super Bowl no less, though I think Belichick probably didn’t need any help from the Bears on how to throttle the Rams. I see this game staying put.

    Week 12 Tentative: Seahawks @ Eagles

    The 2 Wild Card teams from the NFC last season. Both teams should be good and I see this staying put.

    Week 13 Tentative: Patriots @ Texans

    Houston has beaten New England ONCE in their existence and it was when the guys from Foxborough had ZERO to play for at all. The coach for Houston never has the balls to put New England out of it’s misery when it could and they suffer instead. Game stays, unless Texans do their usual and have a bad year after a good one. Oh, this is the Thanksgiving Day weekend too, for what it’s worth. Less choices to flex to.

    Week 14 Tentative: Seahawks @ Rams

    This could be a HUGE game for this NFC West and I easily see it staying put.

    Week 15 Tentative: Vikings @ Chargers

    Minnesota is the team I see making this game be flexed out. 10-3 Los Angeles vs. 5-8 or 6-7 Minny wouldn’t be too fun to watch now, would it?

    Week 16 Tentative: Chiefs @ Bears

    Potential Super Bowl preview that stays put.

    Week 17 Tentative: None (usually selected during Week 16 Sunday Night Football’s game)

    Browns @ Bengals – Cincy makes this no good.

    Redskins @ Cowboys – Washington ruins this.

    Packers @ Lions – I’d like to see it matter because my Green Bay is doing well and Detroit is too. I doubt both will happen, plus Andrew DeCaro might be a dangerous man if this is selected. Ha!

    Titans @ Texans – NBC prays they don’t get forced another AFC South matchup that’s the only win and in game.

    Colts @ Jaguars – NBC prays they don’t get forced another AFC South matchup that’s the only win and in game.

    Chargers @ Chiefs – I see this as the best chance and everyone at the network hopes that both of these teams have the same record entering this matchup, at say 12-3 each. Though if that happens, it could have ramifications on other teams and thus necessitating they play at 4:25pm EST/1:25pm PST.

    Bears @ Vikings – I see Minny as the problem here.

    Dolphins @ Patriots – until Belichick and Brady are no longer together, the AFC East will never have a matchup in this game in Week 17.

    Eagles @ Giants – Eli is too old to make this game matter anymore. Get a younger QB to go with RB stud Barkley and things might turn.

    Falcons @ Buccaneers – The networks generally DO NOT want games from the South divisions on National TV games. Could be a better game than expected though, as Bruce Arians is a great coach.

    Steelers @ Ravens – my current 2nd choice behind Chargers/Chiefs, but both of these teams could be 7-8 going into the matchup.

    Jets @ Bills – see above post about Dolphins/Patriots ^^^^^ and you know my sentiments.

    Saints @ Panthers – Carolina was good last season until Pittsburgh beat the crap out of them on Thursday Night Football last season. Cam had shoulder surgery, right? I don’t see this Carolina team being good enough to make this matter. Due to my thinking, the Panthers will be 15-0 going into the game.

    Raiders @ Broncos – the game that decided who gets the 1st pick in the 2020 NFL draft?

    49ers @ Seahawks – I like Lynch as GM in San Fran, but is this team any good yet? The early season will decide yes or no. Not 100% sold on Garafalo yet either, though I wish good things for him.

    Cardinals @ Rams – Cardinals are only as good as their coach is and this coach isn’t that good. Whisenhunt and Arians were their best coaches and they let them both go. The organization has always been rather cheap and it’s sad they have never given Fitzgerald much to compete better. If not for old guys Warner and Palmer, they would have been even worse. Rams are too good for Arizona in this game. 11-4 Rams vs. 2-13 Cardinals is NOT a good matchup for the final SNF game of the season.

    There you all have it. NFL Christmas happened on Wednesday the 17th with the schedule release. I hope to see some other opinions/posts here soon. Even from you too Morgan, if you have some time.


  2. If the 49ers have a hot start, I suspect SF-LAR will be one of three games moved, and most likely into whatever is the “late” slot (since there will be three games and no times have been given for such). OAK-LAC I think unless the Raiders play way better than anticipated is strictly an emergency fill-in. BUF-NE looks to be a prime candidate for the “early” slot and the “middle” slot likely will be HOU-TB.

    The NFL went to that Saturday quirk this year because this year, Thanksgiving is on its latest possible date, also meaning the second Saturday in December is on its latest possible date, preventing the NFL from schedule games on Saturday in Week 15 due to laws forbidding the NFL to have telecasts of games outside of a 75 mile radius of the home markets from 6:00 PM Friday to 11:59 PM Saturday. This used to be to the first Saturday in December but was extended to the second Saturday after 9/11 in case colleges and high schools have to extend their seasons a week due to unforeseeable circumstances. Also, many states have high school championship games the second Saturday in December.

  3. Jeff:

    Even I won’t go that far this early.

    One thing I could see this year in the attempt to have competitive balance and not subject west coast fans in some markets to meaningless football. As noted before, the last week should be likely most other pro sports leagues worldwide, in this case having all games in one conference at 3:00 PM ET and the other at 7:00 PM ET, with the conference having the most meaningful games getting the prime time slot unless stadium commitments for Bowl Games force once conference to be earlier than the other. As also noted before, NBC would get the top game in each slot, FOX/CBS split 2-3, ABC gets 4, ESPN (and LivWell) 5, NFL Network (and either MOVIES or BUZZR) 6 and CBSSN and FS1 (and DECADES and MOVIES/BUZZR) getting games 7-8 (LivWell, DECADES and MOVIES are DT-2 channels for ABC, CBS and FOX respectively and BUZZR is the DT-4 channel for FOX).

  4. I could see Packers vs. Bears game at Lambeau Field on week 15 flexed to Sunday night football NBC for playoff implications in which that could be a battle for the NFC North title because the Packers made good improvements this off-season such as being aggressive on free agency by signing one of the good players like safety Adrian Amos from Chicago Bears.

  5. I could see Packers vs. Bears game at Lambeau Field on week 15 flexed to Sunday night football NBC for playoff implications in which that could be a battle for the NFC North title.

  6. Jeff:

    Saw it. Did not see exact times for that tripleheader, which means we could actually see some oddball scheduling, maybe with an eye towards if the late game is on the west coast, it kicks no earlier than 11:00 PM ET/8:00 PM PT so much of the second half is after Saturday Night Live ends at 10:00 PM PT/1:00 AM ET when many 18-49 would come over. Perhaps that tripleheader being NFL Network-only winds up being 3:00, 7:00 and 11:00 PM ET.

  7. Never mind, saw the times afterwards.

    I would have looked at doing 3:00-7:00-11:00 mainly to take advantage of the second half of the 11:00 PM ET game being after SNL.

  8. I believe that Fox is required to delay the Emmys(since this year it’s their turn) because of NFL rules, if the Panthers-Cardinals or Giants-Bucs games run late. Has that happened before in the history of the Emmys?

  9. I’m guessing the NFL may decide to put the Detroit @ Denver and LA Rams @ San Francisco game son NFLN, so Fox can show Dallas @ Philadelphia to 80 percent of the country. But if Carolina @ Indianapolis turns out to be a huge game, or even NY Giants @ Washington, i could see the league “cross-flex” either game to CBS.

  10. I’m showing a Fox bias, but Buffalo @ New England or Houston @ Tampa Bay could be dark horses for Saturday too.

  11. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. LA Chargers week 6 might be flexed out of Sunday night football NBC with Steelers’ main QB Ben Roethlisberger out for the rest of this season and the Steelers’ poor start of this season.

  12. It’s that time of year already. It’s time to look ahead at the early flex period, that runs from Weeks 5 through 10. Don’t forget the most important thing about this early flex period; in that the NFL can only flex 2 games in this 6 week stretch.

    So, without for further ado, here’s my stab at how things are starting to shape up for these 6 weeks.

    The scheduled games:

    Week 5 – Indy(1-1) @ KC(2-0)
    Week 6 – Pitt(0-2) @ LA Chargers(1-1)
    Week 7 – Phil(1-1) @ Dal(2-0)
    Week 8 – GB(2-0) @ KC(2-0)
    Week 9 – NE(2-0) @ Balt(2-0)
    Week 10 – Minn(1-1) @ Dal(2-0)

    Looks like the NFL has made great selections for these 6 weeks. Week 7 and 10 will NOT be flexed out ever, as Morgan says, because the Cowboys are scheduled. And Weeks 8 & 9 look real strong to stay, as all 4 teams in those 2 weeks, are currently 2-0.

    Week 6 is indeed looking like the best candidate for a flex out, as the Steelers look like they could be in dire shape and the Chargers just lost in Detroit, so one can never tell what to expect with them.

    Week 5’s Colts at Chiefs has a possibility of being flexed as well, as it might get lopsided. However, the decision must be made by next Tuesday (09/24/2019), so it’s not terribly likely to lose it’s spot. The Colts would have to lose at home this week vs. the Falcons and the Chiefs would have to win at home this week vs. the Ravens.

    Other possibilities for Week 5 are:

    Atl.(1-1) @ Hou. (1-1)
    TB(1-1) @ NO(1-1) <—Brees out hurts this
    Buff(2-0) @ Tenn(1-1)
    GB(2-0) @ Dal(2-0) <—best game, but very likely protected by FOX

    Other possibilities for Week 6 are:

    Phil(1-1) @ Minn(1-1)
    Hou(1-1) @ KC(2-0)
    Sea(2-0) @ Clev(1-1)
    SF(2-0) @ LA Rams(2-0) <—best game and can FOX protect this as well as the game from Week 5?

    This weekend's games of Week 3 will tell us more of the story.

    Go Pack Go!!! 🙂

  13. Go Pack Go is right and also, Go Minnesota Vikings Go! 🙂 Also, on week 15 of NFL season this year, Packers vs. Bears game at Lambeau Field could easily flex to Sunday night football for example like Chargers could miss the playoffs this year and the Packers and the Bears defense are strong this season.

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