The NFL decided to make an adjustment to the Week 14 schedule. The 10 a.m. PT matchup between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints has been flexed to Sunday Night Football. That game will replace the previous SNF matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. The Falcons have joined the Houston Texans among the bigger disappointments in the NFL. The Packers are still in the playoff race, but they're struggling without Aaron Rodgers.
I bring this up here at Niners Nation because the 49ers face the Seahawks in Week 14. As I understand it, FOX protected the 49ers-Seahawks matchup. With the Packers and Falcons moving back to 10 a.m. PT, the 49ers have limited competition in the afternoon. The 49ers and Seahawks kick off at 1:25 p.m. PT. The other games in the afternoon schedule are Titans vs. Broncos at 1:05 p.m. on CBS, Rams vs. Cardinals at 1:25 on FOX and Giants vs. Chargers at 1:25 on FOX.
Based on that schedule of games, 49ers-Seahawks should get the largest chunk of the broadcast map. Giants-Chargers will get solid coverage, but given the rivalry between the 49ers and Seahawks, I have to think FOX gives it a larger coverage area.
For out of market fans, that hopefully means one more opportunity to see the 49ers on a relatively nationally-televised game. The 49ers play on Monday Night Football this week against Washington, and then have a Monday Night Football game against the Falcons in week 16. Other than the Seahawks game, the only logical candidate for national coverage would be 49ers at Cardinals in Week 17. If both teams can stay at the top of the wildcard race, that game has a good chance of being flexed into Sunday Night Football.
The other candidates at this point are Eagles-Cowboys, maybe Jets-Dolphins, and maybe Broncos-Raiders or Chiefs-Chargers. All of those games could have some playoff implications. If the NFC East is on the line, my guess is Eagles-Cowboys gets the shift, even if 49ers-Cardinals is for a wildcard spot.