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Could the NFL flex the 49ers’ Ravens or Saints games into Sunday night?

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We got a couple more games to flex in.

On Monday, I wrote about how the Green Bay Packers were the last game the San Francisco 49ers had that could flex into Sunday Night Football. Just one problem, I wasn’t thinking about the Baltimore Ravens or New Orleans Saints. The reason is simple: those games are on in the morning here in the west coast, in the NFL’s terms those are afternoon games because of timezone differences.

That means those two “morning” games are perfect candidates for flex scheduling into Sunday Night. Let’s have a look:

San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens

Date: December 1, 2019
What we’re stuck with: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks

That might be a tough matchup to bump on Sunday Night. Kirk Cousins does better against bad defenses (who would have thought) and Seattle is playing lights out as the runner up in the NFC West. Is the Seahawks defense bad? Well that’s up to you to decide.

So if the 49ers go to Sunday Night you’d get to watch former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman use his offense against that elite San Francisco defense. Snore. I had the 49ers penciled in to lose this game due to travel and the fact they “had to lose somewhere,” but since the 49ers forgot how to lose, I doubt they’d be reminded here. Vikings/Seahawks is a much more intriguing matchup because both divisions are intriguing. NFC West vs. AFC North? Didn’t the 49ers already punk two of those AFC North teams in blowouts?

NFL will make a hard pass here.

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints

Date: December 8, 2019
What we’re stuck with: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Now we’re talking! Who wants to watch the NFC East divisional when you can watch the two best teams in the NFC and possibly the NFL? I sure do!

This is going to be riding on how both the Giants and Eagles are going into this. The Eagles are at 3-3 and the Giants are at 2-4. If a division championship was on the line, I could see this being huge, but with the way the NFC East has been, that honor will go between Dallas and Philadelphia. The Giants are a mess right now and I doubt that improves when Saquon Barkley returns. The NFL loves it some Eagles and Giants, however, so the market and team power could be enough to get this thing into high gear.

But again, it’s the best defense in the league against Drew Brees. I’ve said the only box left to check (if you even want to put one there) is for the 49ers to go up against an elite quarterback. Drew Brees is a bit long in the tooth, but he’s the perfect signal caller to go up against. If the 49ers win in New Orleans then I don’t know who can beat them.

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.