The game between the Broncos and Patriots is the obvious choice for flexing into NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Currently, the Ravens and Chargers occupy the spot. And there aren’t any other particularly good options that week.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that CBS and Patriots owner Robert Kraft are both fighting to keep the game in the late afternoon time slot. [Editor’s note: Maybe Tom Brady is concerned that Broncos fans will be extra “lubed up” for the night game.]
The Patriots possibly don’t want to take a later flight out of Denver. Kraft also has a separate business relationship with CBS, which owns a restaurant at Patriot Place in Foxborough.
It was clear even before Klis’ report that something unusual was happening. In all weeks (other than Week 17), the announcement is made 12 days before the game. Usually, the decision comes on a Tuesday morning, if not sooner.