Expect NBC To Only Flex One Game This Year

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I was doing some more research into NBC's Flex Games today, and was trying to figure out which (if any) games that the network would be flexing during the final few weeks of the season. After deciding to keep the Bears at Vikings on December 30th in Week Thirteen, the answer looks to be one. Well, two technically if you count the empty slot in Week Seventeen.

The one game in question would be the Patriots-Seahawks game in Week Fourteen, but the options that NBC has to replace it with aren't necessarily that much better. FOX naturally protected the Dallas-Pittsburgh game, which leaves only WAS-BAL, ATL-NO and PHI-NYG, as viable options. A switch to the Eagles and Giants would make sense, but the network already aired the two teams' matchup in Week Ten. Not sure if there's a rule for airing the same set of teams in a season, but if there isn't, watch for NBC to make the move.

Week Fifteen is the Giants and Boys, so that's not going anywhere, and CBS has protected Pittsburgh-Tennessee the following week, so look for the Chargers and Bucs to also stay in primetime during Week Sixteen. That leaves the blank spot during Week Seventeen, and depending on the Titans' schedule at the time, you can almost bet it's going to be Tennessee at Indy. If the Titans have one or two losses, and benching starters, we'll probably be looking at one of the final AFC East matchups (NE-BUF, MIA-NYJ).

Update#1: Here is a little bit more info from our friend Neil Best at Newsday....

"There is nothing to stop the league and NBC from picking that Giants-Eagles game even though they already have shown that matchup, so that game is a very live possibility to be moved, I assume more so if the Eagles win this week."- WatchDog

Update #2: A commenter, That's My Story, has provided a list of protected games...

Week 13 - PIT @ NE (CBS), NYG @ WAS (Fox)
SNF: CHI-MIN (announced to stay put)

Week 14 - JAX @ CH (CBS), DAL @ PIT (Fox)

Week 15 - None
SNF - NYG @ DAL (Given to stay put)

Week 16 - PIT @ TN (CBS), PHL @ WAS (Fox)
SNF: SD-TB (Likely to be flexed as NYG-CAR, FOX dropped the ball there because that is a real good game for NBC)

(AA Note: I still think the Chargers and Bucs are staying in that spot, but like someone pointed out in the comments, the Giants-Panthers could be for home-field advantage in the NFC.)

Week 17 - Unprotected
SNF - Open game and anyone's guess.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 4:35 PM


Are these protections conjecture, and if not, do you have a complete list of them for at least Weeks 14, 15, and 16? It's been irking me that I haven't had even a hint from any media source. (***SHAMELESS PLUG*** For my flex scheduling watch of course.)

To your proposition that Week 14 is the only flexible week, I have three words for you: Four. And. Six. That's the Chargers' record if I have it right, and I don't think the star power of LT and Co. will be enough for NBC to take a below-.500 team (especially given the Tampa Bay No-names) when there are better games on the schedule Week 16 even beyond Steelers-Titans. Then again, I thought Week 12 was close to a mortal lock to be flexed out.

Morgan Wick said...
Nov 18, 2008, 5:15:00 PM  

Atlanta/New Orleans would at least be entertaining. Hopefully they can both stay in the mix for a few mroe weeks.

GMoney said...
Nov 18, 2008, 5:33:00 PM  

Is FOX protecting the Panthers-Giants game in Week 16?? That could determine homefield in the NFC

Anonymous said...
Nov 18, 2008, 6:03:00 PM  

Panthers/Giants is unprotected to my knowledge & if SNF does not take Giants/Eagles it should be fine

flmesfn3 said...
Nov 18, 2008, 6:09:00 PM  

Did CBS protect Pats-Steelers or Broncos-Jets? If they protected NE-PIT then DEN-NYJ becomes the Kornheiser clusterfuck mancrush for Madden...and Favre hasn't been on over-the-air National TV yet.

JamesCraven said...
Nov 18, 2008, 6:56:00 PM  

Here were the unofficial list of protected games going into the season, with the game scheduled:

Week 11 - SD @ PIT (CBS), CH @ GB (Fox)
SNF: DAL @ WASH (already happened)

Week 12 - NYJ @ TN (CBS), NYG @ AZ (Fox)
SNF: IND @ SD (scheduled for this week)

Week 13 - PIT @ NE (CBS), NYG @ WAS (Fox)
SNF: CHI-MIN (announced to stay put. Stupid. Jets/Broncos was free)

Week 14 - JAX @ CH (CBS), DAL @ PIT (Fox)
SNF: NE-SEA (Flexed for sure. WAS-BAL is likely. I don't think NBC wants to use up its Giants games on a repeat against Philly, who are just about done)

Week 15 - None
SNF - NYG @ DAL (Given to stay put)

Week 16 - PIT @ TN (CBS), PHL @ WAS (Fox)
SNF: SD-TB (Likely to be flexed as NYG-CAR, FOX dropped the ball there because that is a real good game for NBC)

Week 17 - Unprotected,
SNF - Open game and anyone's guess.

Nov 18, 2008, 6:59:00 PM  

I'm so sick of watching the Steelers. For crying out loud I get stuck watching them as the late game or they end up being the Night games.

Anonymous said...
Nov 18, 2008, 7:25:00 PM  

That's my story, NBC doesn't get the Kornheiser clusterfuck mancrush that is Brett Favre?

I'm damned sure if i was NBC, I would have taken it. Two division leaders, another great QB in Cutler...

JamesCraven said...
Nov 18, 2008, 7:34:00 PM  

Niel Best at Watchdog made the announcement last night. And yeah I am just as surprised. NBC keeps the CHI-MIN game and DEN-NYJ is moved to 4:15 to be the PIT-NE back up?

NYG-WAS (protected) play at 1 and a) its FOX's national game so they can't put it against CBS's and b) Jets and Giants can't play at the same time (its a New York thang).

Terrible decision making there. Here's the link to Best.


Nov 18, 2008, 7:41:00 PM  

they will keep tampa as a dress rehersal for the super bowl.

to make sure cameras are all set up and stuff

Anonymous said...
Nov 18, 2008, 8:36:00 PM  

In an office in New York City at 280 Park Avenue, Roger Goddell is screaming "WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT!?!"

JamesCraven said...
Nov 18, 2008, 8:41:00 PM  

aa, I hope you're watching college gameday. Definitely some good stuff, including Vitale dancing with EA.

walnuts said...
Nov 18, 2008, 8:41:00 PM  

CBS must have protected Dolphins-Bills in Week 14. That game will be in Toronto and the organizers don't want it moved to a nighttime kickoff.

Also, Broncos-Jets may very well be the primary CBS late game for Week 13.

Anonymous said...
Nov 18, 2008, 8:45:00 PM  

Week 17 - Unprotected,
SNF - Open game and anyone's guess.

Lions-Packers: The Quest for 0-16, Baby!

Nov 18, 2008, 9:49:00 PM  

I realize how sarcastic RJBO can be when he mentions Lions-Packers as a possible SNF finale...

JamesCraven said...
Nov 18, 2008, 9:57:00 PM  

How is Redskins/Ravens a bad matchup?

Brad James said...
Nov 19, 2008, 1:51:00 PM  

Wait... I'm a giants fan love the g-men but... 3 SNF's with them in a row? Really? Really?

Drew said...
Nov 19, 2008, 4:16:00 PM  

Brad James: I said Redskins-Ravens is more likely than a second Giants-Eagles.

Drew: Giants would be sandwiched in between week 14 (he he I said sandwich), so it's not 3 weeks in a row. I think they would pass on the Eagles because with the Carolina game, they are still open to take the week 17 game against Minnesota.

Nov 19, 2008, 10:05:00 PM  

I think an NFC south match-up would be great down the stretch. Matt Ryan and the Falcons are a great story and their upcoming matchups with Tampa and NO both have playoff implications.

Anonymous said...
Nov 19, 2008, 11:07:00 PM  

Drew: My apologies, you are right - 3 straight Giants game is a possibility (weeks 15, 16 and possibly 17).

But again, who knows what will happen week 17.

AA: Jeff Garcia does not equal ratings. But gratuitous shots of his hot ass wife would get me to watch.

Nov 20, 2008, 6:37:00 PM  

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