Last week, we pointed out that the flex-or-no-flex decision for Week 15 could be a difficult one.
The tentatively scheduled Sunday night game, Vikings at Panthers, doesn’t have the sizzle that it was expected to possess when the schedule was released in April.
But with the Colts and Jags playing on Thursday night, the Cowboys and Saints playing on Saturday night, the Giants and Redskins getting together on Monday night, and Bengals-Chargers and Packers-Steelers protected from flexing by CBS and FOX, respectively, we’re told that the NFL and NBC have decided to keep the game that originally was scheduled for evening viewing.
Despite Minnesota’s lackluster performance at Arizona two nights ago.
Sunday’s overall results apparently left the only four viable alternatives — Patriots at Bills, 49ers at Eagles, Dolphins at Titans, and Falcons at Jets — not sufficiently attractive to change the existing plans.
Still, we tend to think New England at Buffalo could be a better game, given that T.O. and the Bills gave New England a great game in Week One, the Pats have struggled away from home this year, and New England will need to win the game in order to secure the AFC East title.
As to the game that will be played in prime time on NBC in 12 days, the Vikings will be making only their second visit to Charlotte, even though the Panthers have been to the Twin Cities seven times since 1996.
The last time the Vikings played at Carolina, Steve Smith torched the Minnesota defense for more than 200 yards and celebrated a touchdown by pretending to row a boat (a possible reference to the still-bubbling Love Boat brouhaha). More importantly, quarterback Daunte Culpepper suffered during the game a torn ligament trifecta in his right knee, the last play of Culpepper’s career in Minnesota.