The deadline for the NFL to announce its Week 14 flex scheduling decisions was Tuesday. No news means no changes.
What it also confirms is that the Seattle Seahawks won’t have yet another Sunday Night Football game flexed out of primetime because of their less than stellar opponent. While last week’s win at the Philadelphia Eagles ceded the spotlight to the San Francisco 49ers’ shellacking of the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks’ divisional matchup at the sinking Los Angeles Rams is still set for a 5:20 PM PT kickoff on December 8th.
Looking at the Week 14 schedule, the 49ers at New Orleans Saints would be prime SNF material but presumably FOX protected that game several weeks ago. Likewise for CBS’ late doubleheader feature of the Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots. That would leave only one logical SNF replacement candidate: Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills.
Given Baltimore is 9-2 and Buffalo is 8-3, this is frankly a much better and meaningful game than the Rams trying to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. Besides, wouldn’t the NFL want more Lamar Jackson in primetime? Well the problem is CBS has the doubleheader that week, and this is their lead 10 AM game. Want to know what the rest of their 10 AM schedule looks like?
And if you think they can just pluck a game from FOX — the NFL can do this — here’s FOX’s utterly dismal lineup outside of 49ers-Saints!
This is a roundabout way of saying much of Week 14’s Sunday slate is absolute garbage and the NFL’s hands are tied. They do want to maximize ratings as much as they can in every timeslot, so it’s probably best that the league didn’t tinker with the lineup.
There’s a scenario where if the Rams lose to the Cardinals this weekend, the Vikings beat the Seahawks (Minnesota does not have a tiebreaker over Los Angeles), and Minnesota beats Detroit in Week 14, a Seahawks win over the Rams would mathematically eliminate them from postseason contention. Now I’m not liking the “Seahawks lose to Vikings” part of the scenario, but there’s something sweet about potentially officially ending the defending NFC champions’ season in their stadium on Sunday Night Football.