When Sunday Night Football came to NBC, it arrived with an intriguing twist: Flex scheduling to ensure that bad late-season games can be replaced with something better.
Recently, the Week-11-and-beyond procedure has been expanded to begin as early as Week Five, if necessary. For 2017, however, one of the final weeks of the regular season won’t have a flex option.
As noted by Peter King of TheMMQB.com, flex scheduling won’t happen in Week 16. That weekend has the bulk of all games played on Sunday, December 24. Since it’s Christmas Eve, there won’t be a night game. Instead, the Sunday night game moves to Saturday, December 23.
That night, the Packers will host the Vikings. And that game can’t be flexed, because the league won’t flex games from one day to the next.
Which means that, no matter how good or bad the Vikings and Packers are or how good or bad the matchup may seem to be, that’s the game that will be televised as scheduled. Which means that anyone who will be home on the evening of December 23rd roasting chestnuts over an open fire and/or doing last-minute shopping online in the hopes that the package from Amazon shows up before Santa’s sleigh does should hope that, come Week 16, the Vikings and Packers will be vying for the NFC North crown or some other playoff positioning.