Nov 26, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts after a victory against the Buffalo Bills at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

NFL’s first-ever ‘MNF’ flex bumps Chiefs-Patriots for Eagles-Seahawks

The Philadelphia Eagles-Seattle Seahawks Week 15 game will be played on Monday, Dec. 18, marking the first flex in “Monday Night Football” history.

Bumped to make room for the battle of the birds, the Kansas City Chiefs and Patriots will play the day before — Sunday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET — a step that prevents New England (2-9) from making three consecutive primetime appearances.

The Seattle-Philadelphia game moved to Monday was previously scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 17 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

The NFL also made official the Week 15 tripleheader on Saturday, Dec. 16.

The Minnesota Vikings are at the Cincinnati Bengals (1 p.m. ET), followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts (4:30 p.m. ET) and the primetime Saturday finale featuring the Denver Broncos at the Detroit Lions (8:15 p.m. ET).

In other Week 15 scheduling news, the Atlanta Falcons-Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears-Cleveland Browns games will be played Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants co-owner John Mara watches from the sidelines during an NFL International Series game against the Green Bay Packers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL will allow teams to play on two short weeks

NFL teams will be allowed to appear in two Thursday games on short weeks based on a rule change implemented Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

The league tabled a vote on permitting flex scheduling for Thursday night games, a tweak that, if ultimately approved, could prevent matchups of losing teams in a prime-time showcase.

The change that was implemented could end up seeing some teams play on Thursday three times. Should a team be scheduled on consecutive Thursdays, only the first of those two games would be considered a short week.

In prior years, every team was assigned at least one Thursday game per season, but that will no longer be a requirement moving forward.

NFL executive vice president and chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp said, “We’re interested in making sure that we get exposure for all of our clubs. We also believe that these national windows are for clubs that are playing well. We want to put the best teams in the best windows.”

As for flex scheduling for Thursday games, New York Giants owner John Mara, who opposes the idea, fears it might pass at the next league meetings in May, according to ESPN.

“At some point, can we please give some consideration to the people who are coming to our games?” Mara said, according to ESPN. “People make plans to go to these games weeks and months in advance. And 15 days ahead of time to say, ‘Sorry, folks, that game you were planning on taking your kids to Sunday at 1, now it’s on Thursday night?’ What are we thinking about?”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to Mara’s remarks by saying, “There isn’t anybody in any of our organization that doesn’t put our fans first. Providing the best matchups for our fans is what we do. That’s part of what our schedule has always focused on. Flex has been part of that. We are very judicious with it and careful with it. We look at all the impacts of that before a decision is made.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 11, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (27) during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

NFL flexes Steelers-Ravens to SNF in Week 17

The Baltimore Ravens will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on the penultimate edition of “Sunday Night Football” on Jan. 1 after the NFL flexed the Week 17 game into the primetime slot on Sunday.

The all-Los Angeles matchup between the Rams and Chargers is being flexed out of the primetime slot and into the afternoon.

It will be the first time the historic AFC North rivals play a primetime game against one another since 2018, and with playoff consequences aplenty.

The Ravens (10-5) beat the Atlanta Falcons 17-9 on Saturday to clinch a playoff berth and remain one game behind the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North. The Steelers (7-8) beat the Las Vegas Raiders 13-10 on Saturday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans at 7-8, one game behind the 8-7 Miami Dolphins for the seventh and final seed in the AFC. The Steelers need to win their final two games and get help from the other AFC teams in order to sneak into the playoffs.

It’s also unknown if former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson will return from his knee injury to quarterback the Ravens. Jackson hasn’t played since Dec. 4 against Denver and has missed three games.

The Ravens beat the Steelers 16-14 on Dec. 11 in Pittsburgh with Tyler Huntley under center in place of Jackson. The Ravens rushed for 215 yards that day.

The Rams-Chargers game will shift to 4:25 ET/1:25 PT. No other Week 17 games were flexed.

–Field Level Media

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) drops back to ass against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Nov. 27, 2022.

NFL moves Week 14 Dolphins-Chargers game to SNF

NFL Most Valuable Player candidate Tua Tagovailoa and the rising Miami Dolphins will get an extra prime-time showcase, as their Week 14 road game against the Los Angeles Chargers was moved to the “Sunday Night Football” slot.

The move was announced Tuesday as part of the NFL’s flex scheduling plan. The league reserves the right to replace the Sunday night games late in the season in favor of a better matchup.

In this case, the Dec. 11 Dolphins-Chargers game will get the 8:20 p.m. ET position on NBC, trading places with that day’s Kansas City Chiefs-at-Denver Broncos contest, which will now air on CBS at 4:05 p.m. ET.

The Dolphins (8-3) have an 8-0 record in games that Tagovailoa has started and finished. Tagovailoa was carted off from the field during Miami’s 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29, and the Dolphins dropped the next two games without him.

Tagovailoa has thrown for 2,564 yards and 19 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He is the third favorite for MVP at DraftKings with +500 odds, trailing just Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (-160) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (+350).

FanDuel has Mahomes at -140, Hurts at +350 and Tagovailoa at +600.

The Chargers (6-5) are just one win out of a playoff position after pulling out a 25-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the last minute on Sunday.

The Chiefs (9-2) own the best record in the AFC, but their matchup against the Broncos became less appealing with Denver sitting at 3-8 and riding a three-game losing streak.

–Field Level Media