Decision to flex Steelers-Ravens instead of Dolphins-Patriots suddenly looks even better

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The NFL had a decision to make regarding the Week 17 prime-time game. The league knew that Rams-Chargers had to exit prime-time on NBC. The question what which game to replace it with?

Eyebrows were raised when the league decided to flex Steelers-Ravens. However, per a source with knowledge of the situation, CBS had protected Vikings-Packers — and Fox had protected Panthers-Buccaneers. That basically made the options Steelers-Ravens and Dolphins-Patriots.

While Dolphins-Patriots is an elimination game, both teams have struggled in recent weeks. The Dolphins, after an 8-3 start, have lost four in a row. The Patriots have lost four of five. And the prime-time crowd in Boston on New Year’s Day may not have been impressive, to say the least.

Steelers-Ravens is a rivalry that always brings excitement and intensity. The Steelers are trying to pull another late-season inside straight to the postseason — and to avoid the first ever losing season in coach Mike Tomlin’s time with the team. The Ravens are trying to stay within a game of the Bengals, setting up what would be a division-title game in Week 18 in Cincinnati. The stadium should be a-rockin’. Which helped convince the NFL to go a-knockin’.

The placement of Tua Tagovailoa in the concussion protocol makes the decision seem even more prudent, in hindsight. With or without Lamar Jackson (he has a good chance to play, returning from a knee injury), the Ravens will play the Steelers tough. Both of those teams always do.

14 responses to “Decision to flex Steelers-Ravens instead of Dolphins-Patriots suddenly looks even better

  1. Forget business decisions, Lamar needs to play if he is able. The fans deserve that …

  2. I was thinking MIA-NE would have been the more entertaining matchup, yet if Tua is out, PITT-BALT is a no brainer. I can imagine my friends in Cleveland would then be rooting for these 2 teams to each take an L, somehow…

  3. No. No, it doesn’t. Dolphins-Pats has playoff implications. Plus, if Harbaugh plays Jackson, he should have his head examined.

  4. After the Rams blowout of the Broncos Sunday night I think the league was premature in making this more, I think they flexed out of the best game of those 3!

  5. terpking11 says:
    December 26, 2022 at 11:20 pm
    The patriots are irrelevant.

    We’ll see who’s irrelevant once the Pats harpoon the Phins!

  6. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it – whiners. But you will, because you love football, and to complain.

  7. I am a Pats fan who has a tough time watching the Pats. I can’t fathom the rest of the country would have interest.

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