UPDATE: Pat wrote this up last night but it’s official:
We knew it was likely going to happen but hearing that 49ers/Seahawks will be flexed to Sunday Night Football for Week 17.— KP (@KP_Show) December 22, 2019
The Texans clinched on Saturday, which all bur assured the 49ers game was going to be flexed, and that was confirmed late Sunday morning.
NFL has flexed 49ers at Seahawks in Week 17 to Sunday night on NBC.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 22, 2019
The game will be for the NFC West division, and numerous playoff seedings. By the time kickoff has arrived, we will know every situation. and have you covered on each scenario to expect.
The San Francisco 49ers have to be the favorite for prime time this week.
The 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams to keep pace in the NFC West race. All that’s left is a trip to CenturyLink Field and the Seattle Seahawks. If the 49ers win there they not only win the division, but they also win that precious first seed.
Those stakes make this the game to be flexed into Sunday Night Football. The Houston Texans locked up the division Saturday, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the only other candidate could be the Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. The 49ers-Seahawks game has a lot more at stake beyond divisional winner, and both teams have amassed more than 10 wins.
Scheduling the final SNF game of the season is a bit different. In order to ensure a money matchup (and not two teams out of contention) the NFL has six days to flex a game into Sunday night. There are no teams being flexed out of it and most networks have little control over the final week of the season. Throughout the season the networks can “protect” a particular game as moving it to NBC means they miss out on the advertising revenue.
There’s no announcement yet, but given what’s outlined above, it will be more surprising if it isn’t.
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 are moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:25 p.m. ET.
- Week 17 start time changes could be decided on six 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.