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Week 15 flex decision presents limited choices

Someone asked us this morning whether the NFL and NBC will keep the Vikings-Panthers game in prime time on the evening of December 20.

We didn’t know the answer, so we decided to take a closer look.

With the Vikings-Cardinals game being flexed into prime time this weekend, it probably makes sense to not show Minnesota again, especially with the Panthers slumping at 4-7.  The problem, however, is the absence of many attractive alternatives. 

Per a non-NBC source with knowledge of the list of protected games, CBS has protected the Bengals-Chargers game and FOX has squatted on Packers-Steelers.

With the Cowboys and Saints playing on Saturday night that week, the Colts and Jags playing on Thursday night, and the big-market Giants going to D.C. on Monday night, the league and NBC will weigh, in our view, four games:  Patriots at Bills, 49ers at Eagles, Dolphins at Titans, and Falcons at Jets.

The decision likely depends in large part on the outcome of the current weekend’s games.  If the Titans beat the Colts, Tennessee will be expected to beat the Rams next Sunday, and thus the Titans likely will be 7-6 and still alive for a playoff spot in Week 15.  If Tennessee loses, San Fran-Philly could be viable, if the 49ers beat the Seahawks and the Cards lose to Minnesota on Sunday. 

Pats-Bills and Falcons-Jets would be the fallback options, given New England’s national following and the Jets’ grip on the New York market.

A decision will be made and no later than Tuesday.
 

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37 Responses to “Week 15 flex decision presents limited choices”
  1. TP7 says: Dec 4, 2009 11:02 AM

    Way to go, Kravon!

  2. kravon says: Dec 4, 2009 11:03 AM

    You are welcome Pro Football Talk readers!

  3. scrapdawg12 says: Dec 4, 2009 11:03 AM

    The 49ers at Eagles will be a good game. Especially if the 49ers can get on a role and have a shot at the playoffs. The only reason I say the 49ers is because they have one of the most under rated RB’s in the game. Frank Gore is everything for that team. Vernon Davis is up and coming along with Crabtree. As for my Eagles, everybody likes watching Donovan throw bombs to Desean.

  4. shinsnake says: Dec 4, 2009 11:05 AM

    Yeah, I think since CBS protected the Bengals/Chargers game, the Dolphins/Titans game will get flexed, possibly even if they don’t beat Indy. I guess the problem with spreading games out to Thursday and Saturday is the unappealing matchups left for Sunday games and the flex scheduling.

  5. leatherneck says: Dec 4, 2009 11:05 AM

    49ers at Eagles will be a good game.

  6. MKSilv says: Dec 4, 2009 11:13 AM

    It probably won’t be the Eagles game, because Eagles-Broncos (with Dawkins return to Philly) is the most likely candidate to be the flex game the following week.

  7. MKSilv says: Dec 4, 2009 11:14 AM

    It probably won’t be the Eagles game, because Eagles-Broncos (with Dawkins return to Philly) is the most likely candidate to be flexed the following week.

  8. GBP says: Dec 4, 2009 11:14 AM

    Wow, Florio. Straight up sports reporting. I’m impressed.

  9. hayward giablommi says: Dec 4, 2009 11:24 AM

    Per the PFT discussion regarding the Vikings-Cardinals game bumping the Pats-Dolphins this week, everyone hates the Pats and allegedly turns them off when their on tv. Ditto for the Dolphins, otherwise that game is on in prime time this week. The Jesters are, well, the Jesters, and nobody wants to see the Falcons without Matt Ryan. The Eagles have managed achieve relative success despite dumb coaching and remaining completely uninteresting.
    Brett Favre, on the other hand, is adored by the masses, his farts smell like freshly picked tulips, and he is in the process of bring world peace for all eternity. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Vikings fans who claimed he sucked all those years and watched him imploded year, after yeart, after year.
    So, you really think that Minny-Carolina game is getting moved? Think again.

  10. carolinatide85 says: Dec 4, 2009 11:28 AM

    I was wondering the same thing. I hope they do flex it because I really don’t want to see my Panthers get destroyed on national TV.

  11. eagles_2031 says: Dec 4, 2009 11:29 AM

    like it even matters, the nfl will still lick the owrst game and pt itn like a few weeks ago got stuck watching kc and oakland, are those 2 teams even in the nfl anymore or are they division-1a now?

  12. btg19 says: Dec 4, 2009 11:30 AM

    BENCH PETERSON! HE MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!! HE’S A HORRIBLE PERSON FOR SPEEDING! HIS FUMBLING SHOULD BE THE REASON THE VIKINGS DON’T GET ANOTHER PRIMETIME GAME!
    Vomit.

  13. RIP__21 says: Dec 4, 2009 11:34 AM

    Who cares, none of those matchups are intriguing.

  14. Tompadre says: Dec 4, 2009 11:36 AM

    Just curious -when do the networks pick the games they want protected? Do they make a list at the beginning of the year? Is it several weeks or just before the flex schedule is about to start? In all of the articles concerning the flex schedule, I’ve never seen this addressed.

  15. RaiderChile says: Dec 4, 2009 11:38 AM

    Put the Whiners vs the Feagles so the Whiner fans can see they are not ready for prime time like the Raiders.

  16. Bob Loblaw says: Dec 4, 2009 11:38 AM

    On the bright side, that means I get to watch Colts-Jags on Thursday, Cowboys-Saints on Saturday, a choice of some good games all day Sunday, and Giants-Redskins on Monday.
    That’s a lot of good football spread out over five days. With playoff battles going on, I’m glad the best games aren’t all going head-to-head with each other.

  17. MNFANINAZ says: Dec 4, 2009 11:39 AM

    Who doesn’t want to see the Vikes in Prime Time?
    Quit stirring the pot Florio.
    The question shouldn’t be whether the Vikes are on in primetime again, but rather should they have a Brett Favre camera again.
    I missed it the first time around…
    I was in Lambeau.
    Favre undefeated against the Pack
    Vikes undefeated in Lambeau in the playoffs
    MNFANINAZ undefeated in Lambeau
    ALL WE DO IS WIN
    ALL WE DO IS WIN
    4
    Brett Favre, Viking.

  18. MNRunLeft says: Dec 4, 2009 11:41 AM

    Not a lot of options there, I’d kind of be surprised to see Philly get another primetime game, how many have they had this season? No matchup seems like it will be able to pull a large number of casual viewers from around the nation. If I’m the NFL I’d go with Titans vs Dolphins, Chris Johnson is the most explosive player in the league and makes any game interesting to watch.

  19. pilot08 says: Dec 4, 2009 11:48 AM

    My only panthers game of the season, leave it the way it is for farve sake.. the vikings will likely be needing the victory for playoff seeding implications with the saints in the same boat.. and who knows, maybe matt moore will have the panthers near .500 at the time.

  20. SF Saints Fan says: Dec 4, 2009 11:52 AM

    If Philly wins, Cardinals lose (to “help” the Niners) and if the Niners win, I would think it would be a lock that they move the Niners vs. Eagles. It would be the only possible game with playoff implications for both teams.
    Vikings vs. Panthers has no national interest other than casual fans who want to see Favre on TV again. But, given they are not playing the Packers, who really cares……..
    Maybe they can “flex” the Packers into that game instead of the Panthers? Minnesota could then beat them again…..

  21. Scrip Club Lover says: Dec 4, 2009 11:53 AM

    Please, do not put my Bills on national TV. We all know how well these things work out, especially against the Patriots.

  22. DocBG says: Dec 4, 2009 12:05 PM

    # btg19 says: December 4, 2009 11:30 AM
    BENCH PETERSON! HE MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!! HE’S A HORRIBLE PERSON FOR SPEEDING! HIS FUMBLING SHOULD BE THE REASON THE VIKINGS DON’T GET ANOTHER PRIMETIME GAME!
    Vomit.
    ——————————————————
    Bob nelson, your rants have gone too far, you need to grow up and move along. You do not deserve to run your mouth like this after hiding behind other screen names. get a clue and move along, or at least have the balls to say it with the right screen name. Peterson is the best back in the conferance, and outside of maybe chris johnson the best in the league. get over yourself and your jealousy and move on.

  23. sand0 says: Dec 4, 2009 12:07 PM

    Unless a situation emerges in which two playoff contenders meet or a team is fighting for life they will show the Vikings Panthers.
    All season people have tuned into the Vikes who have been shown nationally as much as any team out there really. Even though it is the Panthers people will tune in to watch Brett and the other very talented players on this team.
    Vikings are very fun to watch this year and the ratings are in line with that.

  24. Q says: Dec 4, 2009 12:33 PM

    I am an Eagles fan and would find it hard to beleive they would flex the Niners/Eagles game. If they do it will place the Eagles on Sunday night 4 times in 7 weeks (Cowboys, Bears, Giants and Niners). I can’t imagine the rest of the country would be thrilled with that. I think a better chance is for the Eagles vs. Denver to be moved to 4:15 as I think CBS will protect that game.

  25. btg19 says: Dec 4, 2009 12:40 PM

    @DocBG
    Not Bob Nelson…I was just illustrating the lunacy of some people on this site, screaming on and on about how Peterson needs to be accountable and he thinks he’s above the team, blah, blah, blah. That’s why I put “Vomit” at the end. Just a poor attempt on my part at tongue-in-cheek humor.

  26. Twiz says: Dec 4, 2009 1:05 PM

    I think as much depends on the ratings that the Vikes generate this Sunday as it does vs a game with playoff potential.
    The only possibility I can see knocking the Vikings out of that night is the Niners and that will only be if they are pushing for the number one spot.
    Beyond that, no other game has the ratings potential another Vikings game in prime time will have.
    Just my .02

  27. DarnFlorio says: Dec 4, 2009 1:09 PM

    hayward giablommi says:
    December 4, 2009 11:24 AM
    Per the PFT discussion regarding the Vikings-Cardinals game bumping the Pats-Dolphins this week, everyone hates the Pats and allegedly turns them off when their on tv. Ditto for the Dolphins, otherwise that game is on in prime time this week. The Jesters are, well, the Jesters, and nobody wants to see the Falcons without Matt Ryan. The Eagles have managed achieve relative success despite dumb coaching and remaining completely uninteresting.
    Brett Favre, on the other hand, is adored by the masses, his farts smell like freshly picked tulips, and he is in the process of bring world peace for all eternity. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Vikings fans who claimed he sucked all those years and watched him imploded year, after yeart, after year.
    So, you really think that Minny-Carolina game is getting moved? Think again.
    ___________
    Sounds like a bitter jealous Pats fan to me…pissed that his team is on their way DOWN.
    As for the Vikings, good luck to them and their fans…I hope that my Niners can catch up to them in the next few seasons and things look pretty promising under Coach Singletary.

  28. this class sucks says: Dec 4, 2009 1:23 PM

    Roger Goodell should suspend Peterson. It’s not like they will lose to the panthers anyway but you need to keep a level playing field. If that was Brent Celick, or Alan Faneca they would
    probably get a fine and a call to the priciples office.

  29. CapsLockKey says: Dec 4, 2009 1:50 PM

    We’ve already seen Pats/Bills on primetime earlier in the year. No way that happens again, especially with the shape Buffalo is in right now. I say Atlanta/NYJ presents the best matchup. Titans would draw if they continue on their win streak regardless of who they play.

  30. Fan of Football says: Dec 4, 2009 1:56 PM

    All they care about is ratings, not the best matchup. Favre will get them more ratings then any of those match-ups. Hence, we will see the Vikes twice in the last 5 weeks on Sunday night.

  31. Route36West says: Dec 4, 2009 4:07 PM

    Well if the Falcons win(they wont) and a couple of the teams(Jaguars Patriots Texans Broncos Steelers and Ravens) in the AFC wildcard lose then the Jets would be very much alive in the playoff race so that game would probly be the most interesting.

  32. Kevin from Philly says: Dec 4, 2009 4:13 PM

    I really hope it’s not the Eagles game – our string of nice weather for home games is due to change. Sure don’t feel like freezing my ass off just to watch them beat San Fran.

  33. hayward giablommi says: Dec 4, 2009 4:25 PM

    Lets see here:
    Most ignorant, homophobic know-absolutely-nothing on this site (that’s DarnFlorio, fka PornFlorio, kids), who in the process of grinding any discussion to a screeching halt, is constantly makes reference to the Patriots playing from Massachusetts, and how that must make them and all their fans a queers who like to give blowjobs (some logic there)…
    … has finally outed himself as a 49ers fan. Last time I checked, San Francisco is known as the gay capital of the world. So, um, yeah…looks like I was right about this closet case all along.
    p.s. Just for the record, I was at the Pats-49ers game at Candlestick last year and did not see a single homosexual act from my seats 9 rows up from the field.

  34. hayward giablommi says: Dec 4, 2009 4:32 PM

    @ Kevin from Philly:
    Come on man…you’re from the northeast…and from Philly. Supposed to be a tough town I thought.
    I’ll be decked out in 7 layers for the Pats/Panthers game next weekand I am hoping like hell that it snows, but I guess us New Englanders are a different breed like that.
    Anyway, I think Broncos-Eagles the week after is a game that is almost certain to be moved to either 4:15 or Sunday Night (replacing ‘boys-‘skins).

  35. JustBornFlorio says: Dec 5, 2009 2:31 PM

    hayward giablommi says:
    December 4, 2009 4:25 PM
    Lets see here:
    Most ignorant, homophobic know-absolutely-nothing on this site (that’s DarnFlorio, fka PornFlorio, kids), who in the process of grinding any discussion to a screeching halt, is constantly makes reference to the Patriots playing from Massachusetts, and how that must make them and all their fans a queers who like to give blowjobs (some logic there)…
    … has finally outed himself as a 49ers fan. Last time I checked, San Francisco is known as the gay capital of the world. So, um, yeah…looks like I was right about this closet case all along.
    p.s. Just for the record, I was at the Pats-49ers game at Candlestick last year and did not see a single homosexual act from my seats 9 rows up from the field.
    __________
    The NEW gay capital of the world is New England, fool…due to the prevalence of legal gay marriages in that area of the world. You know, since you are in one of them yourself, know-nothing fool.

  36. Papoose059 says: Dec 5, 2009 3:00 PM

    Im a Dolphins fan, but this game needs to be flexed because of Chris Johnson. The way he is playing right now I have to admit I’m becomming somewhat of a fan. Just not in week 15, although I can see a huge game against the Dolphins D which is decimated by inuries. The whole team is decimated.

  37. PantherMike85 says: Dec 5, 2009 4:04 PM

    I would say this game would get bumped but everyone will want to see it because of the Jesus of football, Brett Favre.

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