The San Francisco 49ers season has taken an ugly turn, but it does not appear that it will cost them their next prime time game. The 49ers face the Green Bay Packers this weekend, but then Week 5 has them traveling east to face the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. It would appear the game will remain on NBC, based on the lack of an NFL announcement this week indicating otherwise.
After the last two games, as well as the Giants own struggles out of the gate, I thought there might be a chance the game gets flexed out of prime time. The NFL instituted flex scheduling in 2006 for Sunday Night Football in Weeks 10-15. A year ago, they expanded to as early as Week 5. One notable rule was that only two games could be flexed between Week 5 and Week 10.
As bad as the 49ers and Giants have looked at times, they are still both very popular teams. Both have national fanbases, and even with ugly losses on the books thus far, the fans will tune in. The only alternatives for the slot (have to be afternoon games) would be Cardinals-Lions, Patriots-Cowboys or Broncos-Raiders. I could have easily seen Patriots-Cowboys getting it, but keeping the New York and Bay Area markets is not exactly a bad business decision.