Week 11 presents no clear flex possibility


Despite the relationship between PFT and NBC, PFT never has inside information regarding what will happen with any of the decisions to flex or not to flex games into the Sunday Night Football slot. Besides, the decisions technically are made not by NBC but by the NFL.

So any speculation appearing in this space at any time regarding potential flex options is just that: Speculation. So when it comes to the first clear flexing opportunity for 2015, I know absolutely nothing.

Some of you would say I know absolutely nothing on plenty of other topics too.

With that background, let’s look at the alternatives in Week 11 to the 2-5 Chiefs visiting the 2-5 Chargers.

With the Giants and Steelers on a bye that week, a pair of teams that would otherwise be attractive for a nationally-televised game already are out of play.

The first game that jumps off the page as a replacement for the game between the teams tied for last place in the AFC West comes from the top two teams in the NFC North: Packers at Vikings. But the Vikings’ lease to play in the University of Minnesota’s stadium prohibits prime-time games while classes are in session. So that game can be scratched from the list. (It’s also possible FOX exercised its privilege to protect that game, regardless of the language of the lease.)

Bengals at Cardinals has unexpected sizzle; however, the Cardinals play the Seahawks on NBC during the preceding Sunday night. (One solution would be to flex out of Cardinals-Seahawks in Week 10 and into Bengals-Cardinals for Week 11. However, beyond Patriots-Giants, which CBS undoubtedly has protected, Vikings-Raiders is the only game that currently stands out as a viable alternative to Cardinals-Seahawks. Besides, Cardinals at Seahawks could be a very good game, despite Seattle’s struggles.)

The only other game that would be clearly better than Chiefs-Chargers for Week 11 features the Cowboys visiting the Dolphins, for the anticipated return of Tony Romo against a rejuvenated Miami team. The rules, at last check, limit prime-time appearances to six for any one team. The Cowboys currently are due to play in five prime-time games; flexing Cowboys-Dolphins to Sunday night in Week 11 would prevent another shift later in the year.

The NFL may decide not to hold that extra Cowboys’ prime-time game until the final weeks of the season. Already, Dallas hosts the Jets on Saturday night in Week 15. The Week 14 trip to Lambeau Field surely has been protected by FOX. In Week 13, the Cowboys play Washington on Monday Night Football, and Week 12 has Dallas hosting the Panthers on the afternoon of Thanksgiving.

So that leaves Week 16 (at Buffalo) and Week 17 (vs. Washington). Which means that if the Cowboys are going to have a sixth prime-time game, the best option could be Week 11, at Miami.

If the Dolphins can upset the Patriots on Thursday night, it becomes an even better choice for the Sunday night game in Week 11.

Again, I’ve got zero inside information at all regarding the decisions the NFL may make, and I’ve had no communications with anyone at NBC about the topic of whether there will even be a flex out of the Chiefs-Chargers game. This is an old-school PFT spitball, which really isn’t all that old school given plenty of the stories I write.

Given the rarity in recent years of a necessity to flex out of the games selected in April, it makes the looming decision even more intriguing.

37 responses to “Week 11 presents no clear flex possibility

  1. natelan and humbolt MIA….. Did they die with the Chargers on Sunday, or just cowards scared to face the music? Funny, the biggest crap talkers are always the first to walk away.

    Raider Nation bishes!!

  2. Speaking of great prime time games….that Ravens/Browns Monday night nov 30th game and saints/lions three weeks later should be just fantastic. And since I’m on my soapbox…..when is the NFL going to ax the lions and Cowboys on turkeyday??? Enough is enough. The heck with “tradition”

  3. I don’t know how you are overlooking the Colts vs. Falcons game in Week 11 as a viable alternative.

  4. Sunday night against Dallas with Miami can be a good game to watch with Tony coming back. Bill

  5. This flex deal makes no sense. Next Sunday night the Cowboys vs Eagles will stay as the primetime game with both teams potentially going in below .500 but yet the packers vs panthers stays at the 1200 slot both potentially being undefeated. SMH

  6. “With the Giants and Steelers out of play”- This. This is what is garbage about the national media. The Giants although 4-3 are still a bad team and only not 3-4 because of Romos injury. They had a losing record the last 3 years and are still on 5 prime time games this year because they are in NY. It’s an absolute joke. The same teams are recycled through prime time over and over regardless of their recent success, or lack there of.

  7. The fat chicks at UM have to be at the dorm by 7pm to eat. And all the guys will be passed out by then.
    It would be embarrassing to have a prime time game with no fans.

  8. Seattle’s struggles? They are 3-4 and led in the fourth quarter of every loss. They were 3-3 after 6 games last year and went to the super bowl. Get out of here with that noise.

  9. Wow, you made my head spin there Mike but good for you for figuring out the complexity of an NFL schedule based on who is playing who, who is prime time worthy, along with the other variables that come into play.

    It’s been such a weird season. Besides the more than usual undefeated teams at this time of year, the rest are actually still in the hunt considering how many teams are sitting around .500.

  10. If the Colts can get their cranial-rectal inversion straightened out, Indianapolis at Atlanta sounds like something they’d choose.

    As for Week 10, if they’re both still competitive in a couple weeks, New Orleans at Washington could be interesting too.

  11. Seattle has blown large 4th qtr leads late in games. They’ve done most of that on the road with the exception of Carolina. The seahawks Cards is EASILY the best flex game.

    The author should also note the Cards have beaten NOBODY and still had a ton of division games left. Seattle beats the cards in both games this year.

  12. I don’t understand why the week 9 packers @ panthers game, a game that possibly could be 7-0 vs 7-0, wasn’t flexed for the Eagles and Cowboys. The coverage that the worst division in the NFC gets is sickening.

  13. Watching Philip Rivers in the fourth quarter of games this year is a blast. I say keep the Chargers-Chiefs.

  14. “Some of you would say I know absolutely nothing on plenty of other topics too.”

    After reading your Mallet to the Pats article, that is pretty much a given.

  15. If there’s a way to flex in a team from the NFC Least, then the NFL and NBC will work together to make it happen.

    The Hardyboys are America’s team. The Gee-Men are Park Avenue’s team. The Eagles are the team that so many want to fail. And the Redsomethings are the League’s longest running soap opera.

  16. arctantheta says:
    Oct 28, 2015 3:54 AM

    so why can’t the cards just play two sunday night games in a row?
    Truthfully, it’s because the Cardinals have no fan base at all outside of Arizona.

  17. Im a Vikings fan and I do not want the Vikes to play on a Sunday night. Seems like the only time the Vikes show up at all is at noon, on Sundays……and this is since the beginning of the Frazier era. Any other time slot but noon and they play like they are a deer in the headlights. Another thing Zimmer needs to change in the culture.

  18. As soon as the NFL draft
    Is over, everyone knows who the winners and losers are. The Browns, the Lions, and all the rest of the bottom tier teams will be were they always are. Don’t even think about a tv schedule for these teams. Work everybody else in and flex in a bottom team if a miracle happens. That’s the best way not fair but that’s the NFL.

  19. They need to flex both Philly & Dallas right off primetime for the remainder of the season. How many times has the primetime games featured one of those two sorry teams? Too many is the right answer.

  20. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Oct 28, 2015 12:03 AM
    Please don’t flex the Vikings into a Sunday night game! They never win when they play in prime time. The 49ers game in Week 1 is Exhibit Q.


    Or the Josh Freeman game where millions of people got to watch a guy whose been on a team for ten days, play like a guy whose been on a team for ten days.

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