Pat’s update: Upon further examination, the Ravens/Saints game CAN be flexed in. The NFL refers to afternoon games based on the east coast time NOT west coast time. Therefore, we can have Ravens/Saints be slotted in as well. We’ll get something up tomorrow on those remaining games.
So the NFL gave us Chargers-Steelers for Sunday Night Football instead of 49ers-Rams. Honestly, it could go either way. Chargers-Steelers got a bit more interesting towards the end whereas the 49ers-Rams game was over the moment the 49ers defense forced a conversion on downs after a goal line stand. But, man, what a goal line stand it was! Let’s be honest, for most of the game, if you were not a 49ers fan, it was kinda, well, boring.
That doesn’t mean the NFL still can’t flex the 49ers into Sunday night. There is one game left that could do nicely for Sunday Night Football.
Now you’re probably wondering why just one game. Well, for starters, 49ers- Ravens and 49ers- Saints are both morning games, which makes them unable to be flexed. Only afternoon games can get the honors. So why this afternoon game in particular? As I said yesterday, the only thing left for the 49ers defense (if you want to leave anything or make any sort of argument) is for them to face an elite quarterback. Russell Wilson is one we’ll get an idea with, but let’s go out of the division. The 49ers get the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football for one game and then have them for the final game of the season. Outside of Wilson, there’s only one team capable of fitting this:
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Date: Nov. 24 2019
What we’re stuck with: Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles
The Packers and 49ers square off Sunday afternoon and it’s the first time outside of the Seahawks they go up against an elite quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. At this point in the season, things will have divisional repercussions and also playoff seeding issues as well.
The storyline going into this could be about the Packers offense being similar to what the 49ers run thanks to head coach Matt LaFleur and “who runs this offense better.” They also could ask who the better defense is, especially since both teams run different concepts on that side of the ball.
Given what we’ve seen, this very well could be a fun game from start to finish. Plus, it’s the Packers. Anyone who knows me knows my feelings towards Green Bay (a certain quarterback gave me a bad childhood). I had them penciled in to win at the beginning of the year, but I’m not so sure Rodgers gets embarrassed like he did against the Jim Harbaugh 49ers (when Vic Fangio was dialing up all sorts of fun stuff) in Week 1 of 2012. Of course, the Packers are 4-1 right now, but that could change if the Minnesota Vikings heat up or if the Detroit Lions do something. I don’t see that happening, however.
So what are we in line to get instead? Seahawks at Eagles. The Eagles are 3-3 right now and the Seahawks are sitting in second place for the NFC West. If their gap on the division widens and the Eagles don’t get out of the .500 funk, this game could not be something we look forward to. Sure there could be playoff implications, but wouldn’t you rather a playoff game in late November? I sure would.
There’s nothing else on the schedule I would have as “flex-worthy.” The Atlanta Falcons stink; they missed an extra point to tie the game against the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter Sunday. The Cardinals themselves aren’t much better. There’s the Carolina Panthers game, but the Packers play the Kansas City Chiefs that same evening the 49ers play the Panthers. There is no way the NFL bumps Packers-Chiefs to FOX/CBS unless both of those quarterbacks go on IR.
There’s also nothing else that could get the nod that particular week of 49ers/Packers. You want to watch Oakland Raiders at New York Jets on primetime? Ohhhh give me some Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots! That’s the stuff!
This is the only game that makes sense. The 49ers need to keep winning to make it happen, but if they stay in first place of the division with a decent lead, and the Packers can do the same, this has a good chance of going into Sunday Night.
NFL Flexible Scheduling 101
- Begins Sunday of Week 5
- In effect during Weeks 5-17
- Up to 2 games may be flexed into Sunday Night between Weeks 5-10
- Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
- The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
- The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 p.m. ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
- No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
- The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce as early as possible the game being played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game. The NFL may also announce games moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:25 p.m. ET.
- Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications.
- The NBC Sunday night time slot in “flex” weeks will list the game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night.
- Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
- NFL schedules all games.
- Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.