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49ers vs. Seahawks: Could it be flexed into Sunday Night Football?

We take a look at whether or not the NFL will consider flexing the 49ers-Seahawks Week 16 matchup into Sunday Night Football


In recent years, the NFL television deal with NBC created an opportunity for flexing regular Sunday games into Sunday Night Football. If there is a better matchup available, NBC and the NFL can switch games around to improve the matchup for Sunday Night Football.

In a few weeks, the 49ers will travel to face the Seahawks in what could prove to be a huge divisional matchup. The 49ers hold a game and a half lead on the Seahawks, but their schedule of vs. Miami and @ New England seems a bit more difficult than the Seahawks vs. Arizona and @ Buffalo. It is entirely possible that the two teams will be playing with first place on the line.

As Mike Sando pointed out (h/t Tyson Langford, as I had missed it), the NFL is in a position to flex 49ers-Seahawks into prime time in Week 16. Right now, Chargers-Jets is the SNF game. If the NFL keeps that game there, I really don't know what to say. Here is the Week 16 schedule (not including Falcons-Lions on Saturday as that is already on ESPN):

49ers @ Seahawks
Saints @ Cowboys
Titans @ Packers
Colts @ Chiefs
Bills @ Dolphins
Rams @ Buccaneers
Raiders @ Panthers
Patriots @ Jaguars
Giants @ Ravens
Vikings @ Texans
Redskins @ Eagles
Bengals @ Steelers
Browns @ Broncos
Bears @ Cardinals

In determining the games, the NFL has indicated they will announce the start times of games on Sundays no later than 12 days prior to that weekend. If that means 12 days prior to the Sunday, that means we would have to find out by next Tuesday. If it means 12 days prior to the start of that weekend's games (Saturday game), then we would find out next Monday. I'm guessing it's the former, but just throwing that out there.

From that schedule of games, Mike Sando pointed out that FOX has protected Giants-Ravens and CBS has protected Bengals-Steelers. That means they cannot be flexed onto NBC, which removes them from the discussion.

In looking at the remaining games, depending on how this weekend goes, you could make arguments for Saints-Cowboys, Rams-Bucs and maybe Vikings-Texans. Other than that, there aren't many great matchups. If those are the choices, as long as the Seahawks win this wekend (or both teams lose), I have to think 49ers-Seahawks will be in primetime on December 23.