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Week 15 flex decision ruffles some feathers within the league

Denver Broncos v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

I’ve got no real opinion regarding the league’s decision not to move the Ravens-Chargers game out of the Sunday night prime-time slot, in favor of the Battle of The Five-Letter Quarterbacks Not Named Favre.  Baltimore at San Diego has the potential of being a better overall game than Patriots-Broncos, especially if Tom Brady and company can put the pedal to the metal early.

But plenty of people around the league have a very strong opinion about the situation.  As one source with one of the teams not directly involved in the situation explained it, the decision has sparked a significant amount of strongly-worded email traffic among executives with the various teams regarding the manner in which the league handled the decision not to shift New England at Denver from 4:15 p.m. ET to 8:20 p.m. ET.

Per the source, there are two concerns.  First, some teams believe that it’s the latest example of unfair and inconsistent treatment by the league office.  Many believe that the Patriots pushed for the status quo, as a favor to CBS.   Peter King of SI.com has suggested on Twitter that the Ravens and Broncos also were involved in the lobbying, and that the perception Pats owner Bob Kraft strong-armed the league into keeping New England at Denver on CBS is incorrect.  (King promises to tell the full story in the next Monday Morning Quarterback.)  Regardless of whether it was the Patriots only or the Patriots along with the Broncos and Ravens, the source explained that most teams are ignored when making requests regarding flexing and non-flexing decisions.

“Only a few clubs are treated with such delicate gloves,” the source said.

Second, there is some discontent with the league’s failure to be candid about the situation with the other 28 teams.  The internal memo explaining the situation was regarded by some as an insult to the intelligence to those who understood what was going on — that CBS and NBC were fighting over which network would televise the game, and that one or more teams were actively involved in lobbying the league toward keeping Ravens-Chargers in the prime-time position.

As a result, other teams that now want to lobby for games to be flexed or not to be flexed will be able to point to Week 15 of the 2011 season as the precedent for trying to influence the process.  And so the league office can expect the volume — and the volume — of such requests to increase in the future.

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88 Responses to “Week 15 flex decision ruffles some feathers within the league”
  1. eaglesnoles05 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:24 AM

    Geese and Ganders and money and panties in wads.

  2. gforce90 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:26 AM

    Ravens rule! The rest of you teams can suck it! Mainly you jerks with the little yellow towels.

  3. ccoolahan14 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:29 AM

    The only team that would have the ability to basically tell the league what they want to do besides the Patriots is the Steelers. And people wonder why both of their games are rigged. The LAST teams anyone wants to face in the playoffs are the Steelers and Patriots- the refs will do EVERYTHING in their power to make sure they make the Super Bowl (just look at the Steelers last year).

  4. eabeaj says: Dec 8, 2011 9:29 AM

    Battle of the Five-Letter Quarterbacks Not Named Favre?

    Palko-Hanie?
    Moore-Young?
    Yates-McCoy?

    Hey, did anyone notice how most of the active backup QBs this season have five-letter names?

    never mind…

  5. tdk24 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:29 AM

    The only games that should be allowed to be flexed are MNF games.

  6. petehemlock says: Dec 8, 2011 9:34 AM

    “Hey, No fair! Let’s rid the earth of favoritism and the lucky few.”

  7. comeonnowguys says: Dec 8, 2011 9:34 AM

    This shouldn’t really be a surprise, but they opened up a can of worms admitting they do listen to select teams.

    The NFL needs to put the best games in prime time (See: Please, Baby Tebow, no more Jaguars!) and tell the teams to deal.

  8. crubenst says: Dec 8, 2011 9:35 AM

    The people who should have the biggest problem with this are the people at NBC. They negotiated the ability to put a better game in their slot and if they’re being blocked from doing so its money out of there pocket.

  9. Mike Tomlin says: Dec 8, 2011 9:35 AM

    Harbaugh has complained in the past about playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh on primetime and got his way so why shouldn’t every team just create their own schedule and let the networks sort it out?

  10. jnbnet says: Dec 8, 2011 9:35 AM

    As a Patritos fan, I am pleased that they will play earlier…but I feel bad for the nutural fans who would have liked to see the game, but are kicked to the curb.

  11. realitypolice says: Dec 8, 2011 9:36 AM

    I don’t care what Peter King says in MMQB next week. The fact that Kraft has a business relationship with CBS (there is a CBS Sports Restaurant on the grounds of Gillette Stadium for god’s sake) was clearly at play here.

    If I told you that an owner had influenced a league decision, and it was either a)Steve Biscotti, b)Alex Spanos, or c) Robert Kraft, which would you choose?

    I thought so.

  12. richie500 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:39 AM

    We all knew the Patsies were the darlings of the NFL, this just confirms it!

  13. warvette says: Dec 8, 2011 9:39 AM

    the executive in charge of this decision should get a $1million bonus. all executives should, and the unions should be crushed according to most pft commenters…

  14. redrew says: Dec 8, 2011 9:43 AM

    Tesus proclaimed…..”And down from the heavens I come, rewarding my believers in daylight.” Horse Teeth read the scripture, jumped upon the bandwagon (finally), and Denver plays in the afternoon sun of Mile High…as preordained

  15. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:44 AM

    What is the fuss? The Bolts are going to win out and the Ravens will pose a challenge to the Bolts’ offense in the process. Both defenses are stout. That’s going to be a good game. If the Patriots can keep contain on Tebow on the outside, that’s going to be a blowout. NFL got it right.

    For once.

  16. picksix401 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:45 AM

    oh please, give me a break. maybe the league should start concentrating on football for once, and not what time and what station the games will be aired on. the jags are blacked out like every week for christ’s sake

  17. jeepin08 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:45 AM

    Boo Hoo. Someone notify the whambulance company right away.

  18. swervinmervin says: Dec 8, 2011 9:46 AM

    “Only a few clubs are treated with such delicate gloves,” the source said.

    I would imagine that the Kraft’s group is one of those few clubs.

    And is anyone surprised that Peter King is defending Kraft and the Patriots? Come on.

  19. ud1hens says: Dec 8, 2011 9:48 AM

    I’m sure the Ravens really wanted to be flexed out to 1pm so the team they are directly competing for the #1 seed with has to play in prime time vs a hot opponent. Plus it prevents SD from playing with extra incentive to get jacked up for a National TV game.

  20. xxwhodatxx says: Dec 8, 2011 9:50 AM

    Tdk has a point, this year has been the worst MNF schedule I remember. ESPN must be pissed.

  21. dhawk12 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:51 AM

    gforce90 says:
    Dec 8, 2011 9:26 AM
    Ravens rule! The rest of you teams can suck it! Mainly you jerks with the little yellow towels.
    —————–
    Yep…loved how the Ravens ruled in their visit to Seattle.

  22. dickroy says: Dec 8, 2011 9:52 AM

    The Patriots are the official team of Berman and ESPN.

    Little yellow towel owner.

  23. bwisnasky says: Dec 8, 2011 9:52 AM

    I’m just thankful I don’t have to see Tebow in primetime again.

  24. dhawk12 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:52 AM

    tdk24 says:
    Dec 8, 2011 9:29 AM
    The only games that should be allowed to be flexed are MNF games.
    —————-
    This makes almost NO sense. It is one thing to change the time of a game, but the date, too? How does that work? There is a lot of prep and city planning for most venues to host a Monday game given traffic flow issues.

  25. pigskinswag says: Dec 8, 2011 9:54 AM

    I support flex scheduling of Sunday Night games AND Monday Night games. Some of the games on MNF in recent years have just been awful. In the offseason certain games seem attractive, but often things change during the season and some of the games lose their appeal.

  26. dhawk12 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:54 AM

    Speaking as a fan that travels for games, I’m glad they kept the game in place. The flex schedule makes sense to avoid some bad games, but precedence should be given to the game that was originally scheduled.

    It is one thing if a game was changed because of heavy lobbying, but the fact that the original game was kept in tact because of possible coercion seems insignificant.

  27. dvdman123 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:54 AM

    The “Old” NFL money still rules in the NFL.

  28. Ralphie says: Dec 8, 2011 9:54 AM

    This flexing is pure political bullish*t anyway. The bottom line is “the bottom line”; what’$ good for the networks. They flexed the Pats and Colts out of the primetime slot last Sunday because the Colts suck this year and they were worried that their ad revenue would suffer – so this crap goes both ways. Plus, the networks are always going to do battle because you have multiple networks sponsoring games on Sunday.

  29. Mitch Rogers says: Dec 8, 2011 9:56 AM

    “the refs will do EVERYTHING in their power to make sure they make the Super Bowl (just look at the Steelers last year).”

    ccoolahan14 is an idiot.. pretty sure the refs didn’t cause Ray Rice to fumble … and the Steelers responded to Bart Scott’s “Can’t Wait” by building a 20 point lead at halftime. You really think the league wouldn’t of wanted the New York Jets with Rex Ryan in the Superbowl? Yeah it’s rigged! ?!

  30. southpaw2k says: Dec 8, 2011 9:56 AM

    I don’t see how Monday night games could be flexed since that would affect travel plans for the road teams significantly. If a team is scheduled for a road game on a Sunday afternoon, and then less than two weeks prior to that game the league decides to move the game to Monday night, I would imagine the coaching staff would be furious over the sudden short week coming home.

  31. weepingjebus says: Dec 8, 2011 9:57 AM

    Ravens/Chargers should be a good game, and the Ravens in particular deserve the spotlight. Anything the Patriots did or didn’t do would have caused people to whine about favoritisim, including just letting themselves get flexed into prime time. If you really want to complain about favoritism, take a look at all the consistently mediocre but lucrative teams populating the MNF lineup. The Redskins got their doors blown off by the Eagles last year on MNF in which they visibly quit in the first quarter, yet there they are again. The Giants actually got home and away MNF games.

  32. matthewcarlson1 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:02 AM

    Okay, The Chargers are not good this year (haha) but yet they are on tv EVERY week. I live in MN and I hate the Chargers. The Broncos are fun to watch so put them on. OR ANYONE else except the Chargers and Ravens.

  33. marvsleezy says: Dec 8, 2011 10:03 AM

    They can flex the whole damn schedule the last few weeks for all I care – Spice it up – Get rid of the junk match ups.

  34. dcfan4life says: Dec 8, 2011 10:03 AM

    Technically all 4 teams have a playoff chance, so changing a crucial game from the originally scheduled teams isnt fair since it still has 2 teams in the playoff hunt. But if you want to write 4 paragraphs over analyzing something, go right ahead…

  35. PFTiswhatitis says: Dec 8, 2011 10:03 AM

    Its a CBS/NBC issue. I don’t understand why you guys do not just come out and explain it for all. Kraft has a close working relationship with CBS (ala CBS Scene at Patriots Place) and CBS wanted to keep this game (hey they got stuck with Pats v Colts last week – cant blame them) so he spoke up. Is it unfair bias or did the league just make a decision and others got their panties in a bunch? Get over it.

  36. joetoronto says: Dec 8, 2011 10:05 AM

    I disagree, Thursday night games should be flexed too.

    Have a look at the last 5 games, they’re fugly.

  37. wte1 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:05 AM

    The original intent of allowing the Sunday Night flex was to avoid having teams with non-playoff implications face each other.

    Baltimore obviously has playoff implications and you can argue that San Diego is still alive in the tight AFC West as well.

    Therefore, I’m sure CBS argued that NBC is simply trying to steal the more glamorous Patriots/Broncos game and the intent of the Sunday Night flex is being manipulated.

    Everything else that’s being discussed is secondary or incorrect info.

  38. mattmillen4president says: Dec 8, 2011 10:05 AM

    I seem to recall the Ravens also begging out of the Season Kickoff at Pittsburgh because they were tired of getting their asses kicked in primetime at Pittsburgh.

  39. ryan7977 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:06 AM

    personally, i’d LOVE to see the pats/broncos game. tebow is a great story line, and i actually think that will be a competitive game.

  40. paleandpasty says: Dec 8, 2011 10:10 AM

    News flash…. the Patriots will also never have to play a game in London.

  41. nfloracle says: Dec 8, 2011 10:11 AM

    Just like almost everything else these days, it’s mainly about power flexing by the 99%ers.

  42. rayriceisnice says: Dec 8, 2011 10:13 AM

    Gforce90…dude I got mad love for you cause you are a ravens fan, but can you not give all of us a bad name by trolling posts. Your better then that, your 21 bro, act it. I am glad they kept the game as it is, I’d hope people would rather see ravens defense vs. rivers and co. Over teabows 44 yards passing in the first half, and goldy locks Brady throwing for 399 yards. But everybodies different. Get it done ravens, bring us home for the playoffs!

  43. gb4mn0 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:14 AM

    I’m disappointed that Jan 1 doesn’t have a late game to flex the Bears at MN to.

    The queens are on pace to have their worse season in team history and nothing would make me happier than to bring in the New Year celebrating in prime time the lavender larry losers suffering the final lose to seal up an historical 2-14 season.

    Life couldn’t possibly get any better, could it?

    skoal!

  44. phrancheyez says: Dec 8, 2011 10:17 AM

    I thought the whole idea of the FLEX schedule was to FLEX games that once were thought to be good, but by time the season rolled around, figured to be bad. Therefor the league would FLEX a seemingly ‘better game’ into the primetime slot.

    That said…what’s wrong with Chargers-Ravens? Is this supposed to be boring? The Chargers may be the most disappointing team over the past decade (in terms of expectations vs. accomplishments), but they’re still a good team. And half the power rankings out there have the Ravens at #2. Why would this game ever be considered to be FLEXed anyway? Because of Tim Tebow? That’s just offensive to the Chargers and Ravens, in my opinion, to even consider FLEXing Patriots-Broncos in.

    The Patriots-Broncos game is a toss-up. It COULD be a good game, Tebow COULD make it interesting, or the Pats COULD blow the roof off of Tebow’s season. And if the Patriots were to win at, say, 42-13 or worse, then everyone is going to cry about it. I’m pretty sure theres a MUCH better chance the Chargers-Ravens turns out to be a better game.

    I’m shocked this is even a debate, to be honest.

  45. CKL says: Dec 8, 2011 10:21 AM

    ccoolahan14 says:
    Dec 8, 2011 9:29 AM
    The only team that would have the ability to basically tell the league what they want to do besides the Patriots is the Steelers. And people wonder why both of their games are rigged. The LAST teams anyone wants to face in the playoffs are the Steelers and Patriots- the refs will do EVERYTHING in their power to make sure they make the Super Bowl (just look at the Steelers last year).
    ________________________________
    The fact that as of 10:20 am, 62 people agree with this is sad.

  46. quizguy66 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:22 AM

    It all goes back to last week when the NFL moved the Vikings-Broncos game off CBS to FOX (the first time in at least decades where something like this happened – the road game determines which TV network gets the game). NBC’s flexing in Detroit-New Orleans last week was cited as the reason they needed to do that. I have to figure that CBS didn’t wanna get screwed out of Tebow a 2nd time. The NFL is ultimately to blame for screwing up the schedule and having too many AFC teams on the road last week.

    -QG

  47. quizguy66 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:23 AM

    Put more simply, the rules of the contract were broken when they moved Den@Minny off of CBS. There’s a TV contract coming up. CBS was not going to stand for getting screwed twice.
    -QG

  48. steelerdynasty2010 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:25 AM

    didnt the ravens ask not to be scheduled for night games in pittsburgh a few years ago? and wasnt that request granted?

  49. Derty Ernie says: Dec 8, 2011 10:28 AM

    First I don’t totally agree with this article in that it only talks about week 15. Fact is the games have been manipulated for at least half the season. Case in point.
    Here in the midwest we hear stories that there are teams with names like Cincinatti, Cleveland,Houston, Tennessee. Wouldn’t really know.
    ALl I know is Sunday Night and Thursday night football has been the Jets, Patriouts, Steelers, NY Giants. I did see Frico play once and hear they have a pretty good team.
    Lets get one thing clear, its advertizing baby that runs who plays in primetime. More people on the east coast wathching games then Ohio and Texas – minus Dallas of course.

  50. tatum064 says: Dec 8, 2011 10:29 AM

    “The Patriots-Broncos game is a toss-up. It COULD be a good game, Tebow COULD make it interesting, or the Pats COULD blow the roof off of Tebow’s season. And if the Patriots were to win at, say, 42-13 or worse, then everyone is going to cry about it. I’m pretty sure theres a MUCH better chance the Chargers-Ravens turns out to be a better game.

    I agree. But if Tebow upsets the Pats (magical fourth quarter comeback, etc), and the Ravens steam roll the Chargers , who simply out passed the offense-less Jags last week, CBS will look ridiculous…a lot of people want to see Tebow continue to roll…and CBS is an SEC College Game network…

  51. bosfaninva says: Dec 8, 2011 10:29 AM

    While I think Tim Tebow is a good guy, I am sick of this Tebowmania so as a Pats fan I certainly hope they put the pedal to the metal and crush the Broncos, making Tebow look inept in the process.

  52. Derty Ernie says: Dec 8, 2011 10:32 AM

    We have short memeories on how when Favre got hot, all of a suddent all the GB games were on the air so they could promote his mystique. Advertisers love mystigue, it sells cars and stuff so Tebow is now the Favre and they can’t get enough of him.

  53. PFTiswhatitis says: Dec 8, 2011 10:44 AM

    “paleandpasty says:Dec 8, 2011 10:10 AM

    News flash…. the Patriots will also never have to play a game in London.”

    They already have but thanks for letting us know how pathetic you are.

  54. greenbayraven says: Dec 8, 2011 10:58 AM

    steelerdynasty2010 says:
    Dec 8, 2011 10:25 AM
    didnt the ravens ask not to be scheduled for night games in pittsburgh a few years ago? and wasnt that request granted?

    mattmillen4president says:
    Dec 8, 2011 10:05 AM
    I seem to recall the Ravens also begging out of the Season Kickoff at Pittsburgh because they were tired of getting their asses kicked in primetime at Pittsburgh.

    Worked out pretty well for the Ravens this year…………taste it.

  55. wannabeqb says: Dec 8, 2011 10:59 AM

    “News flash…. the Patriots will also never have to play a game in London.”

    Already have, genius

  56. realitypolice says: Dec 8, 2011 11:11 AM

    Flexing is overrated anyway.

    I’m much more likely to skip a bad matchup in the afternoon, where they may actually be something else on.

    What else am I going to watch on Sunday night? They could re-air last year’s puppy bowl and I would probably watch it.

  57. harleyrider1973 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:13 AM

    If the league was truly interested in putting the best games in prime time then we (the fans) wouldn’t have had to sit through last Monday Nights game.

  58. dickroy says: Dec 8, 2011 11:29 AM

    I just wish that the Sunday and Monday night games would start an hour earlier. The heck with the West coast.

  59. 6ball says: Dec 8, 2011 11:30 AM

    .

    Revenue : CBS has a guaranteed winner in the prime 4pm time slot with New England @Denver as its feature game nationally. What’s the replacement? Cleveland @Arizona? If I ran CBS, I would have fought to the death to keep that game.

    .

  60. efriedo says: Dec 8, 2011 11:31 AM

    “The only team that would have the ability to basically tell the league what they want to do besides the Patriots is the Steelers.”

    Really? When was the last time the Patriots won a playoff game???

  61. micronin127 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:32 AM

    Why is Ravens – Chargers a bad game again?

    Especially if Tebow loses a few games and Oakland keeps sliding, the Chargers will be right in the thick of it and they hardly ever lose in December.

    Ravens – Chargers is a better game.

  62. efriedo says: Dec 8, 2011 11:33 AM

    “The LAST teams anyone wants to face in the playoffs are the Steelers and Patriots- the refs will do EVERYTHING in their power to make sure they make the Super Bowl (just look at the Steelers last year).”

    Pats haven’t won a playoff game since… 2007!

  63. jjwalkerisdynomite says: Dec 8, 2011 11:40 AM

    “If the league was truly interested in putting the best games in prime time then we (the fans) wouldn’t have had to sit through last Monday Nights game.”

    Or the upcoming Monday night snooze fest between the Seahawks and Rams. What part of Alaska is Seattle from anyway?

  64. pastabelly says: Dec 8, 2011 11:41 AM

    To be fair, Kraft’s relationship with CBS extends far beyond the CBS Scene restaruant. He has business relationships with the local CBS sports radio station (all games and pre and post game shows) and the CBS locally owned tv station (preseason games, pre-game and post-game shows). The relationships are pretty deep. But I still think any lobbying on this one came as the result of Belichick’s preferences, especially with a short week and a game next Saturday. Everything having to do with football in Foxboro has to with a focus relating to winning games.

  65. 8man says: Dec 8, 2011 11:56 AM

    Patriots fan here. Just a few observations:

    Yes. Kraft is the darling of the league. He’s the best owner. Get over it.

    Raven/Chargers as of right now, is just as good a matchup as Patriots/Broncos. You switch to a better matchup, if there is one.

    Steeler fans are still the most irritating swine to wander this mudball. And that’s being unkind to all other types of swine. I don’t just hope for your team to lose, I hope for your personal lives to tank as well.

  66. moronhater16 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:57 AM

    Flex this………

  67. cliverush says: Dec 8, 2011 12:09 PM

    If anyone believes that the Patriots or the Steelers influenced the decision based on personal relationships they do not understand what rules the NFL these days. Plain and simple the answer is money. Think about the West Coast viewers who will watch the game at 5:30 PM vs. the East Coast viewers who will be going to bed before the second half. The situation will be perfect for ratings, with the fans of Tim Tebow hoping for an upset against the Pats. The afternoon start insures fans will be treated to a game they can watch with their family. The 8:30 start is too late for the East Coast.

  68. kurb21 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:13 PM

    Look, the issue is that CBS gave up two Tebow games in a row, which this season translates into lost ratings for CBS. For them, I understand they would make a business decision to fight for their game.

    To throw Bob Kraft under the bus, you know, that guy who pretty much saved the season, is unfair. He is protecting his interests as well, and I do not have a problem with that.

    Lastly, no one from Pitt. should be saying that the Pats get special treatment. Pitt., Green Bay, Dallas and New England are the most powerful teams in the league – in that order (and I am not talking about on the field).

  69. oside760 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:21 PM

    the NFL absolutely, 100% made the correct decision. I DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT TEBLOW AND BRADY

  70. ticalcaldwell says: Dec 8, 2011 12:22 PM

    This is the most terrible group of primetime games I have ever seen……….Jaguars-Chargers………..Rams- Chargers…………ect…ect….Terrible

  71. ccoolahan14 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:27 PM

    Mitch Rogers says: Dec 8, 2011 9:56 AM

    ccoolahan14 is an idiot.. pretty sure the refs didn’t cause Ray Rice to fumble … and the Steelers responded to Bart Scott’s “Can’t Wait” by building a 20 point lead at halftime. You really think the league wouldn’t of wanted the New York Jets with Rex Ryan in the Superbowl? Yeah it’s rigged! ?!

    ——–

    So your logic is that if a team fumbles, then the game CLEARLY can’t be rigged! Guess what? I’m pretty sure the refs didn’t cause Roethlisberger to fumble (and have it returned for a TD) either! But the refs DID take away a Ravens TD on an awful holding call that would have given the ravens the lead (they did the SAME THING this year too on the first play of the game! …Coincidence???), they did allow Maurkice Pouncey to move the ball forward a FULL YARD on fourth and ONE before the play EVEN STARTED (yes, the refs allowed them to get the first down literally without running a play….and there’s video to prove it), the refs did call the Ravens for DEFENSIVE HOLDING on a RUNNING play (the single rarest call in football) when the replay clearly showed TWO steelers holding Ravens defenders (neither of which was called!). Oh, and these are just the rigged calls in the last FOUR MINUTES OF THE GAME! They made ALL of these calls in THE LAST FOUR MINUTES OF A TIED PLAYOFF GAME! And the game wasn’t rigged????

  72. ccoolahan14 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:36 PM

    Four most rigged games I’ve seen this year:

    -Steelers @ Texans (EVERY single good play by the Texans got called back by terrible calls, including TWO TDs. The Steelers lost by 7, but anyone who watched the game knows that if not for rigging, this is literally a 30 point blowout.)

    -Steelers @ Cardinals

    -Bengals @ Steelers

    -Ravens @ Steelers (The refs literally took THREE Ravens TDs off the board….And the Steelers fans are COMPLAINING about the officiating! I think that tells you all you need to know about the officiating in this series…Rigged doesn’t come close to doing it justice.)

    Anyone ever wonder why the Patriots have historically dominated the Steelers? Could it be because the Patriots are one of the only teams the refs wouldn’t rig the game against? Hmm….A lot of “coincidences” regarding the Steelers.

  73. kcjimb says: Dec 8, 2011 12:37 PM

    Kraft saved the season for the NFL (just ask Jeff Saturday of the Colts) while his wife was dying of cancer. Even if you buy into the inane notion that he used his influence to keep the Patriots in their current time slot and on CBS, how about we give him a pass on this one? Personally, I think the argument that prevailed is that there is nothing wrong with the Ravens- Chargers matchup that would warrant a flex to Broncos- Patriots. That, combined with CBS already losing one Tebowmania tour stop, it’s what swayed the decision IMHO.

  74. ravensfan4life52 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:37 PM

    Tebow isn’t that good. The Broncos D is pretty good. I want to see Tebow go up against a top 5 defense so we can truly see how “good” he really is.

  75. warvette says: Dec 8, 2011 12:50 PM

    you’re scaring me, conspiracy14..

  76. Confucius says: Dec 8, 2011 12:56 PM

    @ccoolahan14

    You watch a lot of Steeler games for being a hater. Anyway, blaming the refs is for losers, loser.

  77. havok82 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:58 PM

    If you’ve watched some of the officiating in Pats games objectively, I don’t think the game is “rigged” for them at all. Watch the helmet catch play again and count the holds by the Giants OL. Watch the AFC CG against the Colts and the ridiculous Offensive PI on Troy Brown or the “faceguarding” DPI on Ellis Hobbs that gave the Colts a 1st and goal.

    31 teams get screwed….the only team that always got the calls were the Colts. Polian is the devil.

  78. dannyabramowitz says: Dec 8, 2011 1:02 PM

    Another Goodell screwup. I swear Goodell is a modern day Gomer Pyle/Gilligan, everything he touches turns to horse manure.

  79. pencepost says: Dec 8, 2011 1:03 PM

    Bob Kraft just doesn’t want to miss the Survivor season finale.

  80. dickroy says: Dec 8, 2011 1:16 PM

    Steeler fans are still the most irritating swine to wander this mudball. And that’s being unkind to all other types of swine. I don’t just hope for your team to lose, I hope for your personal lives to tank as well.
    ————————————————-

    Bitter! Bitter!
    As much as I dislike the Patriots, I would never wish ill on their fans.

  81. maryannwiththeshakyhands says: Dec 8, 2011 1:51 PM

    Somebody tell Randy Lerner that the American football team he owns play tonight. Yes Randy they have Thursday night games now.

  82. rraider says: Dec 8, 2011 2:07 PM

    To prove the league isnt bias they should throw a bone to two long struggling franchises and flex the Raiders-Lions into primetime. Afterall it is a must win game for both and now that Al has passed it is okay for the NFL to give the Raiders a home primetime game.

  83. pzimm7778 says: Dec 8, 2011 2:11 PM

    To the person who said the Jaguars are blacked out almost every week, you must have them confused with the Bucs or Bengals seeing as how they haven’t had a blackout since 2009. Granted, that streak may end this week. Thanks.

    On to this (non) story. I fail to see why any of this matters. The game didn’t get moved. So?

  84. snnyjcbs says: Dec 8, 2011 2:42 PM

    Have you ever looked at the schedules the NFL hands this Team year in and year out? And now the NFL that will not let Las Vegas even buy an add on their Super Bowl Program is looking the other way as the owner in New England comes up with some kind of shady deal to have Wynn build a Gambling Casino across the street from their Ball Park. Add in all the gray area the NFL has created with the rules that can be called any way they want to call them from game to game and one can see that the NFL is shady as hell. Hypocrites they are, Las Vegas cannot place an add with them but they allow an owner to build a Casino across from his Ball Park.

  85. eleventyeight says: Dec 8, 2011 3:24 PM

    For the record- Robert Kraft sat on the Board of Directors of CBS Television for many years, including the Patriots SB* years.

    I don’t think he does anymore though, and I don’t see what NE would gain from being flexed into primetime at this point anyway.

    Personally, I think NE-DEN will be a more interesting game I guess BAL-SD could be good too.

  86. hishighness says: Dec 8, 2011 9:03 PM

    Nice to see NBC stir up the crap storm. Cuz they have no interest in this issue… oh wait.

    Also, why has no one mentioned that CBS and FOX have the option of protecting 5 games a year (1 per week) ??? Maybe it’s because of all the morons that hate the Patriots.

    So, in closing, Go Pats and the rest of the league can cram it with walnuts.

  87. bigredtuna says: Dec 9, 2011 4:54 AM

    Michael Heistand in USAToday got it right. Flex scheduling is not intended to give SNF choice of the best game of the weekend; it is intended to protect NBC from lame matchups. Baltimore at San Diego is not Indianapolis at St. Louis. Leave the Broncos alone.

  88. ciillinoisproud says: Dec 9, 2011 10:55 AM

    Aw come-on fellas can’t we all just get along!

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