Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Week 11

Since it started in its current format as the NFL’s main primetime package in 2006, the defining feature of NBC’s Sunday Night Football has been the use of flexible scheduling to ensure the best matchups and showcase the best teams as the season goes along. Well, that’s the theory, anyway; the reality has not always lived up to the initial hype and has at times seemed downright mystifying. Regardless, I’m here to help you figure out what you can and can’t expect to see on Sunday nights on NBC.

A full explanation of all the factors that go into flexible scheduling decisions can be found on my NFL Flexible Scheduling Primer, but here’s the Cliffs Notes version with all the important points you need to know:

  • The season can be broken down into three different periods (four if you count the first four weeks where flexible scheduling does not apply at all) for flexible scheduling purposes, each with similar yet different rules governing them: the early flex period, from weeks 5 to 10; the main flex period, from weeks 11 to 16; and week 17. In years where Christmas forces either the Sunday afternoon slate or the Sunday night game to Saturday in Week 16, flex scheduling does not apply that week, and the main flex period begins week 10.
  • In all cases, only games scheduled for Sunday may be moved to Sunday night. Thursday and Monday night games, as well as late-season Saturday games, are not affected by Sunday night flexible scheduling (discounting the “flexible scheduling” applied to Saturday of Week 16 in recent years and Week 15 this year – see below).
  • During the early and main flex periods, one game is “tentatively” scheduled for Sunday night and listed with the Sunday night start time of 8:20 PM ET. This game will usually remain at that start time and air on NBC, but may be flexed out for another game and moved to 1, 4:05, or 4:25 PM ET on Fox or CBS, no less than 12 days in advance of the game.
  • No more than two games can be flexed to Sunday night over the course of the early flex period. If the NFL wishes to flex out a game in the early flex period twelve days in advance, CBS and Fox may elect to protect one game each from being moved to Sunday night. This is generally an emergency valve in situations where the value of the tentative game has plummeted since the schedule was announced, namely in cases of injury to a key star player.
  • CBS and Fox may also each protect games in five out of six weeks of the main flex period, but all of those protections must be submitted after week 5, week 4 in years where the main flex period begins week 10 (so it is always six weeks before the start of the main flex period).
  • No team may appear more than six times across the league’s three primetime packages on NBC, ESPN, and Fox/NFL Network, and only three teams are allowed to appear that often, with everyone else getting five. In addition, no team may appear more than four times on NBC. All teams’ number of appearances heading into this season may be seen here.
  • According to the league’s official page, teams are notified when “they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.” However, they rarely make this known to the fans, and the list of each network’s protections has never officially been made public. It used to leak fairly regularly, but has not leaked since 2014.
  • In all cases, the NFL is the ultimate arbiter of the schedule and consults with CBS, Fox, and NBC before moving any games to prime time. If the NFL does elect to flex out the Sunday night game, the network whose game is flexed in may receive the former tentative game, regardless of which network would “normally” air it under the “CBS=AFC, Fox=NFC” rules, keeping each network’s total number of games constant. At the same time, the NFL may also move games between 1 PM ET and 4:05/4:25 PM ET. However, this feature focuses primarily if not entirely on Sunday night flexible scheduling.
  • In Week 17, the entire schedule is set on only six days notice, ensuring that NBC gets a game with playoff implications, generally a game where the winner is the division champion. More rarely, NBC may also show an intra-division game for a wild card spot, or a game where only one team wins the division with a win but doesn’t win the division with a loss, but such situations are rare and 2018 was the first time it showed such a game. If no game is guaranteed to have maximum playoff implications before Sunday night in this fashion, the league has been known not to schedule a Sunday night game at all. To ensure maximum flexibility, no protections or appearance limits apply to Week 17. The NFL also arranges the rest of the schedule such that no team playing at 4:25 PM ET (there are no 4:05 games Week 17) could have their playoff fate decided by the outcome of the 1 PM ET games, which usually means most if not all of the games with playoff implications outside Sunday night are played at 4:25 PM ET.

Here are the current tentatively-scheduled games and my predictions:

Week 11 (November 22):

  • Selected game: Kansas City @ Las Vegas.

Week 12 (November 29):

  • Selected game: Chicago @ Green Bay.

Week 13 (December 6):

  • Selected game: Denver @ Kansas City? I guess? There hasn’t been any sort of announcement of a flex outside the Week 15 Saturday games (see below) and the change in this week’s Steelers-Ravens game. It is somewhat defensible as the Broncos with their win aren’t that far outside the playoff picture (though there’s enough congestion for the AFC wild card spots, even with the extra spot, that it’s a long shot), but I have to conclude that Rams-Cardinals was protected, Browns-Titans didn’t have enough name value to make it worth the trouble, and flexing in an NFC East game with a team with a worse record than the Broncos would have been a slap in the face to the rest of the league. (Perhaps next week’s Cowboys-Ravens game, which the Ravens will now be playing on a short week while the Cowboys won’t, could have been moved to SNF once Steelers-Ravens was postponed?) Unless you count the last-minute Seahawks-Cardinals move, it looks like we’re in for another flex-free season (and no, Niners-Cowboys is not getting flexed out, certainly not with the Cowboys in the thick of the division race despite their terrible record; more on the history involved next week).

Week 14 (December 13):

  • Tentative game: Pittsburgh @ Buffalo
  • Prospects: 10-0 v. 7-3. May seem a skosh lopsided, but only three teams would be less lopsided opponents for the unbeaten Steelers, and the Bills still lead the division and represent one of the biggest obstacles for the Steelers going unbeaten the rest of the way.
  • Likely protections: Colts-Raiders if anything (CBS) and Saints-Eagles (FOX).
  • Other possible games: Chiefs-Dolphins is probably the best option even if Colts-Raiders is unprotected (even though Colts-Raiders is less lopsided). Vikings-Bucs doesn’t have as much going for it with the Vikings losing, and Packers-Lions remains a dark horse. Snyders-Niners and Cardinals-Giants continue to have import on the NFC East race.
  • Analysis: No potential option has a worse team better than 6-4, and the league isn’t flexing out an unbeaten team against one of the better teams in the league, so you’re looking at the Steelers and Bills both needing to lose. Even then I don’t think 10-1 v. 7-4 is losing to another game with the same pair of records, or even a less lopsided 8-3 v. 7-4 – especially when Colts-Raiders has nowhere near the name value of the Steelers alone.
  • Final prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills (no change).

Week 15 (December 20):

  • Tentative game: San Francisco @ Dallas
  • Prospects: 4-6 v. 3-7, but with the NFC East tire fire the Cowboys are still within striking distance of the division race, and it might be a sign of the apocalypse if they were ever flexed out of Sunday night.
  • Likely protections: Chiefs-Saints (CBS) and Seahawks-Football Team, Eagles-Cardinals, or nothing (FOX).
  • Other possible games: Bills-Broncos and Panthers-Packers moved to Saturday, but not Lions-Titans. Given the Panthers’ struggles, it seems like the name value of the Packers was the main consideration there, while the Bills leading their division gave them the edge over a game with the same pair of records and the Lions having a slightly easier path to the playoffs in the NFC. If this weekend unexpectedly being college football championship weekend was a factor you would think that would mitigate against Panthers-Packers, pitting two college-mad markets, but it does provide an extra edge for Bills-Broncos over Lions-Titans. Regardless, Fox’s unprotected game(s), plus Browns-Giants, are probably the best options just because of the NFC East tire fire (and you already have that division’s most attractive team), with Patriots-Dolphins, Bears-Vikings, and now Lions-Titans also having outside shots.

Week 16 (December 27):

  • Tentative game: Tennessee @ Green Bay
  • Prospects: 7-3 v. 7-3. Two teams with unexpectedly identical records in the thick of the playoff hunt, but the Packers have a clearer path to both the division and potentially a first-round bye.
  • Likely protections: Colts-Steelers, Rams-Seahawks, or nothing (CBS) and Eagles-Cowboys (FOX).
  • Other possible games: Among the games chosen for a potential move to Saturday, Dolphins-Raiders is notable for involving two teams above .500, with Niners-Cardinals and Bucs-Lions involving teams not too far behind the mark. Nonetheless, CBS’ unprotected games (as this is the most likely week for them to leave unprotected) are still the best options if the Titans and/or Packers collapse, with Giants-Ravens as a dark horse given the situation in the NFC East.

Week 17 (January 3):

  • Tentative game: None (NBC will show game with guaranteed playoff implications).
  • Possible games: Falcons-Bucs, Bidens-Eagles, Cowboys-Giants, Vikings-Lions, Steelers-Browns, Packers-Bears, Saints-Panthers, Dolphins-Bills, Seahawks-Niners, Cardinals-Rams.

43 thoughts on “Sunday Night Football Flex Scheduling Watch: Week 11

  1. Given what happened with NBC losing its Thanksgiving night game through no fault of their own with that game now on Sunday (while still on NBC, it’s opposite games on CBS and FOX), you have to wonder if the NFL will now attempt to make it up to NBC (knowing NBC got screwed) by giving them a game on most likely Christmas Night, perhaps moving the scheduled Sunday night game (Titans-Packers) to Christmas Night and NBC moving another game to Sunday night, in this case because of the circumstances EVEN IF it’s a protected game.

    If that happened and say one of Colts-Stellers or Rams-Seahawks were moved to EITHER Christmas Night or Sunday 12/27 (if Sun 12/27 due to TEN-GB moved to Fri 12/25) AND it was protected by CBS, the NFL can in 2021 make it up to CBS by moving the NFL season opener up one night from Thursday 9/9 to Wednesday 9/8 on NBC and CBS then getting a Thursday night Week 1 game on 9/9 even if the station managers of NBC stations in New York and nearby regional areas complain loudly fearing a nightmare scenario that Wednesday where the US Open Tennis Quarterfinals on ESPN have an epic night where both night matches go the distance and run past 1:00 AM, causing them to lose viewers immediately after the game ends and not getting them back for Jimmy Fallon afterwards (for those unaware, the US Open is a HUGE event in the New York and surrounding areas to where people who otherwise don’t watch tennis AT ALL the rest of the year watch THAT event religiously for those two weeks, with the Women’s semifinals the next night that are not as likely to run super late).

  2. Actually:

    One other possibility is MIA-LV becomes a Christmas night game on NBC (doing a makeup to NBC as well as the Raiders, who did lose a Sunday night game earlier this season due to COVID issues) with TEN-GB staying on Sunday night in that scenario.

  3. If SF@DAL remaings as SNF after what we saw today this would be a complete joke.
    NFL should use protection override and flex KC@NO moving Cowgirls to 4:25 slot.

  4. After today, if the Eagles get their act together, it looks like we will have the Football Team take on the Eagles January 3 for the NFC East in the Sunday night finale since that game would in that scenario be guaranteed to be for the NFC East and nothing else.

  5. Separately, four MORE members of the Ravens have now tested positive for COVID. Perhaps the NFL might very well wind up having to do something like this provides this clears up ENOUGH in time:

    Move Ravens-Steelers to Tuesday night (12/1) at 8:20 PM ET and to FOX and NFL Network due to NBC having commitments to air “The Voice” live in the eastern half of the country on Tuesday.

    Move Cowboys-Ravens from Thursday 12/3 to Sunday 12/7 and to Sunday Night Football on NBC.

    Move Broncos-Chiefs to Monday at 6:00 PM ET (6:05 PM ET kickoff) on and to FOX and NFL Network with this becoming a replacement for Thursday night football.

    Bills-49ers, the scheduled game on Monday 12/7 has its kickoff moved back to 9:25 PM ET while still airing as scheduled on ESPN and ABC.

    NBC gets the game it lost out of this back on Christmas Night, with TEN-GB most likely moved from SNF to a special Christmas Night broadcast on NBC. Given the nature of why this is being done, NBC would then be allowed to choose ANY game (except MIN-NO that is already Christmas Day on FOX/NFLN) to replace TEN-GB, EVEN IF such game was protected. If the game moved to SNF to replace a TEN-GB game moved to Christmas Night was protected, things would then be done as noted in my original post.

  6. Walt, there’s already a game on Christmas at 4:30 p.m. EST/1:30 p.m. PST and the NFL will not be moving another game to that day. Just stating the facts.

  7. (Repost from Week 10 Watch from Mon. 11/23/20)

    Hi all,

    My final Week 13 preferences for Sunday Night Football are:

    #1 – Browns(7-3) @ Titans(7-3) <—NBC hates the Titans, so won't happen but should
    #2 – Rams(7-3) @ Cardinals(6-4) <—huge game in the NFC West

    Broncos(4-6) @ Chiefs(9-1) <—does the Broncos win in Week 11 save this game? I sure hope not, as the 2 games above are definitely better choices

    My current Week 14 preferences for Sunday Night Football are:

    #1 – Steelers(10-0) @ Bills(7-3) <—I still like a Dec. 13th SNF game in Buffalo (brrrrr….)…lock in my book and this is the tentative
    #2 – Colts(7-3) @ Raiders(6-4) <—intriguing, very important matchup
    #3 – Chiefs(9-1) @ Dolphins(6-4) <—got a little skewed this past weekend, but potential playoff matchup. Amazing to say that.

    My current Week 15 preference for Sunday Night Football is:

    #1 – Chiefs(9-1) @ Saints(8-2) <—clear cut #1, that hopefully unseats the tentative below

    49ers(4-6) @ Cowboys(3-7) <—Cowboys means no moving this, plus some good(?)
    games are going to move to Saturday, lessening the chances even more of a flex. Ugh!!!…This game gets worse and 2020 has been so bad that this might be the season that Morgan's "apocalypse" happens and the Cowboys get flexed out. Please, please flex out this disaster for Week 15. There's only 1 good game to go if it isn't protected and I mention it above and it probably is protected. 🙁

    Current Records for Tentative Week 16 Sunday Night Football matchup:

    Titans(7-3) @ Packers(7-3) <—looking good, plus some good(?) games are going to
    move to Saturday, lessening the chances even more of a flex

    No tentative game for Week 17 & scheduled games are:

    Dolphins(6-4) @ Bills(7-3)
    Jets(0-10) @ Patriots(4-6)
    Ravens(6-4) @ Bengals(2-7-1)
    Steelers(10-0) @ Browns(7-3)
    Jaguars(1-9) @ Colts(7-3)
    Titans(7-3) @ Texans(3-7)
    Chargers(3-7) @ Chiefs(9-1)
    Raiders(6-4) @ Broncos(4-6)
    Cowboys(3-7) @ Giants(3-7)
    Redski…(3-7) @ Eagles(3-5-1)
    Packers(7-3) @ Bears(5-5)
    Vikings(4-6) @ Lions(4-6)
    Saints(8-2) @ Panthers(4-7)
    Falcons(3-7) @ Buccaneers(7-4)
    Cardinals(6-4) @ Rams(7-3)
    Seahawks(7-3) @ 49ers(4-6)

    Go Pack Go this week in Week 12 on Sunday Night Football at Lambeau vs the Bears. 🙂

  8. (Repost from Week 10 Watch from Mon. 11/23/20)

    Week 15 and Week 16 each have 5 games that can be moved to Saturday from Sunday. The NFL can choose to move a minimum of 2 games and up to 3 games each of these weeks.

    Here’s how things currently look for these Week 15 and Week 16 Saturday games.

    Week 15 potential Saturday games(has to be decided by end of Week 11 at latest, which is NOW!!!!):

    Texans(3-7) @ Colts(7-3) <— no
    Panthers(4-7) @ Packers(7-3) <— unlikely, but due to Packers name recognition and the game closer now record-wise, might it sneak in?
    Bills(7-3) @ Broncos(4-6) <— probably
    Jets(0-10) @ Rams(7-3) <— no no no
    Lions(4-6) @ Titans(7-3) <— probably

    I only see 2 of these 5 moving and if the NFL could make none move, they would. Horrible options now. This has turned into horrible football game Saturday for the NFL.

    Week 16 potential Saturday games(has to be decided by end of Week 12 at latest, which is after this coming week's games):

    Dolphins(6-4) @ Raiders(6-4) <—definitely will be moved, It's a lock. Yes indeed.
    Broncos(4-6) @ Chargers(3-7) <—nah nah nah
    Buccaneers(7-4) @ Lions(4-6) < —less likely now due to Lions loss in Week 11.
    49ers(4-6) @ Cardinals(6-4) <—still gets nod over Bucs/Lions due to Kyler Murray factor and with Cardinals lost last Thursday these teams are closer now on record
    Browns(7-3) @ Jets(0-10) <—no no no

    It's looking like 2 of the 5 will move now, not 3, but one never knows. Will be interesting to see.

    We'll see how these things pan out as the next few weeks move forward and we get more clarity. However, in this COVID influenced NFL season, anything can change at any time, as the very short notice of a Week 7 SNF change has proven.

    I just hope that we can all stay healthy, get a vaccine ASAP(looking more promising as of 11/09/20 and even more promising as of 11/16/20 and 11/23/20) and get back to normal ASAP, and get the 2020 NFL season completed as scheduled.

    Jeff

  9. (Repost from Week 10 Watch from Tues. 11/24/20)

    Well it sucks that the game wasn’t changed for Week 13 SNF, but I guess that the Broncos win over the Dolphins might have saved the game. There were definitely 2 better options, barring protections.

    And the NFL moved 2 games to Saturday for Week 15 and they are:

    Bills(7-3) @ Broncos(4-6) – 4:30pm EST/1:30pm PST
    Panthers(4-7) @ Packers(7-3) – 8:15pm EST/5:15pm PST

    These games are both on the NFL Network exclusively as a doubleheader. Lions @ Titans didn’t get in due to the ratings hit they figured that the game would get compared to the Packers and anyone they were playing. Record-wise Lions/Titans was only slightly better when it came to won/loss records.

    We’ll see what happens next week.

    Go Pack Go!!!! 🙂

  10. New possible scenario that could happen based on what has been bandied:

    Football Team-Steelers scheduled for Sunday 12/6 is moved up to Tuesday 12/1 or Wednesday 12/2 and becomes an NBC game.

    Cowboys-Ravens is played as scheduled Thursday 12/3 on FOX/NFLN

    Ravens-Steelers is rescheduled for Monday 12/7 and becomes Monday Night Football on ESPN and ABC, though possibly with a 7:00 PM ET start time depending on other moves.

    Bills-49ers, the scheduled MNF game on 12/7 is shifted to SNF 12/6 and to NBC OR remains on ESPN BUT becomes the second half of a doubleheader with a 10:25 PM ET kickoff OR moves to FOX/NFLN with a 10:35 PM ET kickoff.

    Broncos-Chiefs, the scheduled SNF game stays where it is OR is moved to Monday night with a 10:25 PM ET kickoff as the second half of an ESPN doubleheader OR moves to FOX/NFLN (there is a precedent as a Week 1 Chiefs home game several years ago was the second half of an MNF DH with a 10:15 PM ET kickoff)

    All of this may explain why DEN-KC was NOT flexed out of SNF as the NFL I suspect realized they may have to get REAL creative and juggle the schedule considerably.

  11. Jeff:

    The MIN-NO game was already scheduled for Christmas Day. IF BAL-PIT is played Sunday afternoon or not played at all, I suspect the NFL may be put in a position where they may owe NBC a game that NBC lost through no fault of their own and if so, they have to give it to NBC Christmas night after MIN-NO on FOX/NFLN and allow NBC if they move TEN-GB to Christmas Night to replace it with any other game for SNF and do any compensation as noted.

    As said, the way things are going, I suspect we may now see WAS-PIT moved up to Tuesday or Wednesday 12/1 or 12/2 with DAL-BAL played as scheduled Monday 12/3 and BAL-PIT played Monday 12/7. That may not be far to WAS but this are highly unusual circumstances.

  12. Jeff:

    I think the NFL knows NBC is still owed because the rating will be much lower (IF the game is played Sunday, and that is still a MASSIVE IF at this point) for Sunday afternoon opposite other games on CBS and/or FOX than if it were standalone and NBC is going to have to do a ton of “make goods” on ads. That’s why (assuming it is played Sunday afternoon, this all goes by the boards if that game winds up on Tuesday) I would give NBC an additional game Christmas Night, most likely moving TEN-GB to Friday 12/25 with an 8:20 PM ET kickoff and let NBC take whatever game it wants to replace it for SNF EVEN IF it was a protected game and if necessary compensate CBS or FOX next season if so with a Week 1 Thursday night game and NBC’s opener moved up to Wednesday.

  13. (That is with regard to NBC getting a makeup game Christmas Night).

    What could now happen is this:

    BUF-SF, the scheduled Monday night game on ESPN 12/7 becomes Sunday Night Football on 12/6 on NBC.

    DEN-KC, the scheduled Sunday night game, moves to FOX/NFLN and is at 6:00 PM ET Monday 12/7.

    DAL-BAL becomes Monday Night Football on ESPN and ABC at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT.

    This may be why DEN-KC was NOT flexed out of SNF once the Ravens situation became known knowing there could be other moves later.

  14. Walt what you say always becomes moot. not one of your hair brand conspiracy theory ideas has ever come to fruition has it? Dancing with the Stars doesn’t create the schedule and networks do not get “makeup games”… But I fully expect some long drawn-out theory about what will happen with the Cowboys Ravens and how they might put them on TruTV with Fox getting old a game in 2027 and a second round draft pick 🤦‍♂️

  15. In this case, it became moot as the NFL did what they SHOULD have done in the first place with BAL-PIT:

    They likely didn’t because I would think Jerry Jones objected with HIS likely wanting DAL-BAL to remain on Thursday night at all costs. THAT, BTW, is why I could now see where NBC gets BUF-SF on SNF, FOX/NFL gets DEN-KC (the scheduled SNF game) as a 6:00 PM ET Monday game that technically becomes TNF and DAL-BAL becomes MNF on ESPN and ABC at 9:00 PM ET as I would think Jones would want that.

  16. Walt:

    You should always read the WHOLE press release before making your comments because it makes you look amateur by not doing enough research.

    “Should the game be played on Tuesday, the Week 13 Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens game, originally scheduled for Thursday, December 3, will be moved to Monday, December 7, at 5:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on FOX/NFL Network/Amazon.”

    https://nflcommunications.com/Documents/2020%20Football%20Information/11%2027%2020%20-%20Week%2012%20Bal-Pit%20Tuesday.pdf

    I like you Walt, but your theories are never right. 😀 This isn’t a personal attack on you. I just want you to read the whole release before making some comments, so you can save your fingers some typing. 🙂

  17. Cowboys-Niners might stay? Good lord! Again, if you’re not going to use it properly why even have the ability to flex games anyway?! History aside, that is an absolute garbage, non-divisional game that nobody wants to watch. Not to mention there will be zero playoff implications!

  18. Chris:

    I wonder if the reason CLE-TEN didn’t get onto SNF was Ohio’s business curfew of 10:00 PM-5:00 AM and bars can’t stay open past 10:00 PM? Also, could it be the Browns asked not to be flexed to SNF because of that curfew, possibly because they could not land in Cleveland until 5:00 AM Monday if so?

    That might have played into it.

    Also, the NFL still could have to make other changes in Week 13 if the Ravens COVID problems continue,

  19. No Walt. It had nothing to do with bar curfews or the browns asking out of Sunday Night Football. No team would ever ask out of a national TV appearance. That’s another hair brained theory. It has to do with one thing and one thing only: PATRICK MAHOMES is and always will be a bigger draw than Browns Titans to a national audience. Kansas city is in a race for the number one seed and a bye week and that is enough of an excuse for NBC to keep the best player in the history of football on their prime Time showcase. Nobody wants to see Baker Mayfield versus Ryan tannehill even if they were hammered drunk at an Akron Ohio bar with LeBron James. Better luck next time.

  20. Mahomes is not enough to overcome a bad matchup that now looks WORSE if they don’t have a QB again next week. Browns-Titans on paper was a far more attractive matchup, which to me is why Ohio’s curfew may have come into play. We’ll probably find out on that one in a couple of weeks when Steelers-Bengals is scheduled for MNF with an 8:15 PM ET as that one could have to be moved if even with no fans in attendance the NFL is denied being allowed to play that one in Cincinnati if the state-wide curfew is still ongoing then.

  21. Chris said:
    on November 28, 2020 at 1:08 am

    “The Browns at Titans could be a battle of 8-3 teams and it doesn’t make the cut for flexing to SNF?”

    Good prognostication Chris. Indeed they are both 8-3 and it would have been a real fun matchup to see on SNF next week. Oh well. 🙁

    Go Pack Go tonight at Lambeau vs. the Bears. 🙂

    P.S. – On another note, the Santa Clara County Health Department and/or Board of Supervisors have gone ultra-draconian and have banned sporting events and it appears that the 49ers could have to finish their “home” season in the Arizona Cardinals stadium. Ugh!!! That could lead to a trickle down effect and where I work and lives 3 miles from, Los Angeles County could do the same and hose the Rams and Chargers both. I sure the hell hope not. That vaccine can’t get here soon enough.

  22. Ryan:

    I think they would have given the Broncos situation but I still suspect as much as people want to see Mahomes, it would be in a game that is a total mismatch. That’s why I suspect either elected officials in Ohio informed the NFL due to Ohio’s statewide curfew, even though the game is in Nashville the didn’t want the Browns on SNF (and if so, out of concerns bars and other outlets would illegally stay open past 10:00 PM as that curfew is in place out of concern of people more likely to be outside inebriated and not of sound mind during the overnight hours) OR the Browns asked not to be flexed to SNF because they might not be allowed to land back home in Cleveland until at least 5:00 AM local time Monday due to the state curfew.

    We could get the answer to that as early as a couple of days from now: The Ravens play the Browns in Cleveland (which I had forgotten about when I posted what I did earlier) two weeks from Monday (12/14) and the following Monday (12/21), the Steelers are in Cincinnati against the Bengals. The State of Ohio could decide those games have to be played with an earlier kickoff to assure they are completed by 10:00 PM even if one of both wound up going to five-quarter ties or played Sunday afternoon because of the curfew.

  23. The way the Falcons stomped on Las Vegas today how about Tampa Bay at Atlanta for the Week 15 SNF game instead of Cowboy Crap?

  24. In case you didn’t hear, BAL-PIT has been postponed AGAIN(!), this time to a 3:30 PM ET kickoff on Wednesday. WAS-PIT is now going to be on Monday (12/7) at 5:00 PM ET and it will be very interesting to see how this is handled.

    The BAL-PIT game, BTW is a 3:40 PM ET kickoff on Wednesday because NBC has a prior contractual commitment to air the tree lighting in Rockefeller Plaza Wednesday night, with the first hour of that scheduled to air on NBC Owned and Operated stations (plus some NBC affiliates) at 7:00 PM Eastern Time (and on the full network at 8:00 PM/7:00 CT). One of the things I would do if we add a second bye week is to tie it to mid-week games, which would for example allow the tree lighting to be incorporated into a Wednesday-after-Thanksgiving game on NBC that could be played at Met Life with the Jets and Giants alternating as hosts (and sometimes playing each other) that could have a 7:30 PM ET kickoff and an expanded halftime for the tree lighting dubbed “The NFL Holiday Kickoff.”

    I would look at handling the moved games this way:

    DAL-BAL becomes a 3:30 PM ET game on FOX/NFLN

    WAS-PIT becomes part of a doubleheader on ESPN with BUF-SF, with the games at 7:10 and 10:40 PM ET and ONE of the two games also airing on ABC (ABC is scheduled to also air BUF-SF next Monday)

  25. And literally right after I write that, they announce this:

    WAS-PIT Mon 12/7 5:00 PM ET on FOX (only)

    BUF-SF remains as scheduled

    DAL-BAL moves to Tuesday 12/8 at 8:05 PM ET on FOX/NFLN

    Probably the most fair way to clean up this mess.

    This strengthens my opinion that NBC (which is getting screwed because of the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony forcing BAL-PIT to Wednesday afternoon) should be allowed to get an additional game Christmas Night, most likely moving the scheduled SNF game of TEN-GB to Fri 12/25 and being allowed to choose a replacement for Sun 12/27.

  26. WRONG again Walt. ESPN reporting Monday will be a TRIPLEHEADER with cowboys/ravens, steelers/skins, bills/49ers. go ahead and proceed with your sure to be incorrect theories on who will go opposite of Days of Our Lives and All My Children on Spike TV

  27. Actually Walt might be right (for once) Adam Schefter with a big mistake on MNF pregame show saying 3 games next Monday. CBS seems to back Walt.

    Not so fast my friends!

  28. Love how everyone is using names of those involved with football on this:

    What I wrote was made official and is in fact the NFL schedule.

    Yes, it was INDEED the tree lighting that force BAL-PIT to Wednesday afternoon and then the NFL made the subsequent changes.

    As said, if it were up to me, TEN-GB is moved to Christmas Night (Fri 12/25) on NBC and NBC gets to choose ANY GAME to replace it on SNF 12/27, even if it was a game originally protected by FOX or CBS.

  29. Morgan Wick: People are looking at this site more than ever. This would be a great time for you to do a daily blog with all the covid news and schedule changes. seriously. there’s no go-to site for this stuff…. the window is open for you….

    (or Walt G)

  30. Hi all,

    My final Week 14 preferences for Sunday Night Football are:

    #1 – Steelers(10-0) @ Bills(8-3) <—I still like a Dec. 13th SNF game in Buffalo (brrrrr….)…lock in my book and this is the tentative….only change for Week 14 was moving my Packers game so this game stayed put as it should

    #2 – Colts(7-4) @ Raiders(6-5) <—intriguing, very important matchup
    #3 – Chiefs(10-1) @ Dolphins(7-4) <—got a little skewed this past weekend, but potential playoff matchup. Amazing to say that.

    My current Week 15 preference for Sunday Night Football is:

    #1 – Chiefs(10-1) @ Saints(9-2) <—clear cut #1, that hopefully unseats the tentative below

    49ers(5-6) @ Cowboys(3-8) <—Cowboys means no moving this, plus some good(?)
    games are going to move to Saturday, lessening the chances even more of a flex. Ugh!!!…This game gets worse and 2020 has been so bad that this might be the season that Morgan's "apocalypse" happens and the Cowboys get flexed out. Please, please flex out this disaster for Week 15. There's only 1 good game to go if it isn't protected and I mention it above and it probably is protected. 🙁

    My current Week 16 preference for Sunday Night Football is:

    #1 – Titans(8-3) @ Packers(8-3) <—looking good, plus some good(?) games are going to
    move to Saturday, lessening the chances even more of a flex
    #2 – Rams(7-4) @ Seahawks(8-3) <—huge game in the NFC West
    #3 – Colts(7-4) @ Steelers(10-0) <—important game, but it's a skosh lopsided though I can see Indy winning

    No tentative game for Week 17 & scheduled games are:

    Dolphins(7-4) @ Bills(8-3)
    Jets(0-11) @ Patriots(5-6)
    Ravens(6-4) @ Bengals(2-8-1)
    Steelers(10-0) @ Browns(8-3)
    Jaguars(1-10) @ Colts(7-4)
    Titans(8-3) @ Texans(4-7)
    Chargers(3-8) @ Chiefs(10-1)
    Raiders(6-5) @ Broncos(4-7)
    Cowboys(3-8) @ Giants(4-7)
    Redski…(4-7) @ Eagles(3-6-1)
    Packers(8-3) @ Bears(5-6)
    Vikings(5-6) @ Lions(4-7)
    Saints(9-2) @ Panthers(4-8)
    Falcons(4-7) @ Buccaneers(7-5)
    Cardinals(6-5) @ Rams(7-4)
    Seahawks(8-3) @ 49ers(5-6)

    Go Pack Go this week in Week 13 on Sunday at Lambeau vs the Eagles. 🙂

  31. Week 15 and Week 16 each have 5 games that can be moved to Saturday from Sunday. The NFL can choose to move a minimum of 2 games and up to 3 games each of these weeks.

    Here’s how things were decided for these Week 16 Saturday games.

    Buccaneers(7-4) @ Lions(4-6) <—1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST on NFL Network
    49ers(4-6) @ Cardinals(6-4) <—4:30 p.m. EST/1:30 p.m. PST on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch…..I had no idea this was even being considered, but it's also on the NFL app and Yahoo Sports App. I will be able to watch it on the Yahoo Sports App on my phone
    Dolphins(6-4) @ Raiders(6-4) <—8:15 p.m. EST/5:15 p.m. PST on NFL Network

    I just hope that we can all stay healthy, get a vaccine ASAP(looking more promising as of 11/09/20 and even more promising as of 11/16/20 and 11/23/20 and 11/30/20) and get back to normal ASAP, and get the 2020 NFL season completed as scheduled.

    Jeff

  32. 2020 is a crazy year and Walt finally gets his wish of an NFL game on NBC on the day of the Christmas Tree Lighting. Only in this pandemic season.

  33. Hi, Jeff. I really like your wise comments on the NFL schedules of NFL football games this season. Anyhow, for example, not a when, but an if, IF the Vikings barely make it to the playoffs this season by clinching the wild card in 2nd place, I could see a Sunday night football NBC primetime of the Packers vs. Vikings at Lambeau Field come January 2021 on the wild card round, depending the seeding between those 2 rivals.

  34. Hey there Brian,

    Thank you for the props. 🙂 And yes, a matchup of Packers/Vikings is definitely possible. The Vikings are only 1 game out of a playoff spot at the moment. I don’t really prefer to see them for a 3rd time this season, as they are highly dangerous.

    Peace and as always, Go Pack Go!!!

    Jeff

  35. I wonder if the NFL would consider moving SF-ARI to Christmas night (8:20 PM ET kickoff) and to NBC to make up for the fiasco NBC is dealing with with what was supposed to be their Thanksgiving Night game (while giving Amazon Prime/Twitch another game to replace it). That game actually could wind up being for the last wild card spot in the NFC as it looks like we will have three NFC West teams in the postseason and if I’m at NBC I’m demanding a Christmas night makeup since that is the closest to what NBC was going to have Thanksgiving night.

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