There’s a first for everything, right? Well, for the first time ever, the NFL is flexing a “Monday Night Football” game. They’ve always had that option, but they haven’t used it until now. In addition to that flexed game, the NFL has announced a bunch of Saturday games for Week 15. Here’s the tally.
Why is the NFL flexing a “Monday Night Football” game?
First, let’s focus on that big “Monday Night Football” flex. The NFL has flexed the Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks game in Week 15 to Monday night. That will take the place of the the Kansas City Chiefs at the New England Patriots. If you take out the Taylor Swift factor, that Kansas City vs. New England game doesn’t look too exciting. The Patriots are tanking this year. Sorry, Bill, but let’s be real. The legendary Patriots are having their worst season in more than 20 years. So, that game looks to be a blowout. Frankly, I wouldn’t even go so far to say the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks game will be much better. The Eagles are No. 1 in the NFL right now, and the Seahawks have been on a losing streak. Still, the Hawks are fighting for a wild-card spot, so that’s likely what the NFL is thinking will make this a compelling watch.
So, the Eagles and Seahawks will snag that much-coveted primetime audience for “Monday Night Football” on Dec. 15. What about the other games that have been moved?
Saturday Games for Week 15
In addition to the Philly vs. Seahawks game being flexed to “Monday Night Football” on Dec. 15, the NFL has announced the three Saturday games for Week 15. The first game will be Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals at 1 p.m. ET, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts at 4:30 p.m. ET and, finally, the Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions at 8:30 p.m. ET.
A Saturday of football. What could go wrong? Well, the catch is that all three games will air on NFL Network. Those who don’t get the NFL Network are out of luck when it comes to viewing these games, expect that some local stations in those teams’ hometowns will air the games locally. That said, if you don’t have the NFL Network and want to watch teams outside your viewing era, your best bet is to hit a local sports bar that has the NFL Network to get in on the Saturday fun.
The NFL hand-picked these teams for Saturday games because all of them are still in playoff contention or likely to make the playoffs but trying to improve their seeding.
In the past, the NFL has been extra caution about flexing games, because it can ruin fans’ plans, especially fans who have made travel plans. The Week 15 games on Saturday will be Dec. 16, and the Monday night game, as previously mentioned, will be on Dec. 18. So, fans will have to scramble to make new plans for games just a week away.
That said, it’s understandable that the NFL would wait this long to schedule these primetime games, because it can be difficult to predict which teams will be hot come Week 15. For example, this Monday’s Week 13 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars was shaping up to be a real nail-biter, but now that Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is out for the season, it doesn’t look nearly as compelling.
Will the NFL continue to flex Monday night games?
The whole purpose of flexing Monday night games is to make sure a good game plays in the oh-so important “Monday Night Football” primetime slot. Time will tell if the league starts flexing more, but it sounds like an option they’re finally willing to, well, flex their muscles on.