The NFL announced its first notable TV flex option on Monday. The league has made a change to Week 11 Sunday Night Football, moving out the Chiefs-Chargers matchup, and replacing it with Bengals-Cardinals. The league has to make these decisions a couple weeks in advance, and it is safe to say Bengals-Cardinals will remain a compelling matchup when Week 11 rolls around.
The San Francisco 49ers have one more prime time game on the schedule, and it is Week 15 Sunday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals remain unbeaten, while the 49ers are circling the drain. The NFL still has a month to figure out the plan for that weekend, but there are a few options that could end up replacing 49ers-Bengals. Here are four games in order of most likely to least likely to be flexed into Sunday Night Football.
1. 7-0 Broncos vs. 4-4 Steelers
2. 6-1 Packers vs. 4-3 Raiders
3. 6-0 Panthers vs. 4-4 Giants
4. 6-2 Cardinals vs. 3-4 Eagles
I have not checked the specifics on how many prime time games each team is playing, but all project to be better matchups than 49ers-Bengals. Of course, given how crazy awful the 49ers have been, maybe the storylines are enough to keep them on national TV. I doubt it, but you never know what will excite the NFL and TV executives.