NBC’s Sunday Night Football schedule includes from Week 11 through Week 16 the ability to abandon the tentatively-scheduled game, and to replace it with another Sunday game. Through the first five weeks of the flex portion of the schedule, no changes have been made.
The league has announced that the December 19 game between the Packers and Patriots in Foxboro will stay put on Sunday night.
There really weren’t any viable options. CBS has Jets-Steelers, but that game surely was one of the five per year that the network had the ability to protect against a shift.
Jaguars at Colts very easily could be for the AFC South crown, but Packers-Pats is one of those special interconference battles between teams that very well could meet again in February.
The streak of non-flexing surely will end at five. In Week 16, Chargers at Bengals has landed in the tentative prime-time position. We’d be shocked if it stays.
In Week 17, no Sunday night game is scheduled in advance, and the final decision is made after Week 16 ends, if not sooner depending on the relevance of the Week 16 Monday night game. Possibilities include Buccaneers at Saints, Raiders at Chiefs, Rams at Seahawks, Cowboys at Eagles, and Dolphins at Patriots.
The challenge in picking the regular-season finale will be to ensure that the game has playoff implications regardless of the outcome of the games played earlier in the day.