Week 10 in the NFL, the weekend of November 10, marks the first week of NFL’s “flexible schedule.” The flex scheduling gives the NFL the ability to switch out games that the league thought were going to be viewer friendly when originally putting the schedule together in favor of better match ups. Last year, the NFL didn’t flex primetime until Week 16 and then flexed it again in Week 17. Both switches turned out very ‘meh.’
The NFL has smartly decided not to mess with the Pats/Jets Sunday Night Football game already planned for Week 10 and simply pushed the Lions/Bears game back to 4:15 p.m. EST. I can’t see the NFL really flexing its muscles until Week 13 when the Colts are supposed to play the Patriots on SNF. I think Bengals/Steelers, Falcons/Texans, Lions/Saints, and Packers/Giants are the match ups that could wind up in prime time (ed. note: if they’re not one of the games protected by FOX or CBS). It’ll be interesting to see how the NFL handles it when the time comes, assuming things don’t change too much over the next few weeks.
With the exception of Week 17 (which is six days to ensure a game with playoff implications), the NFL must make flex decisions at least 12 days before the games. The NFL can flex this year in Weeks 10-15 and Week 17 (Week 16 has 13 games being played on Saturday, December 24, so there will be no flexible scheduling that week).
Week 10 also marks the first Thursday Night Football on NFL Network game of the season between the Raiders/Chargers.
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)