Ever since the NFL introduced the concept of flex scheduling, first for Sunday Night Football in 2006, and then cross-flexing for Sunday afternoons in 2014, fans have liked the idea of having the best possible games in the NFL’s most-watched timeslots. At the NFL annual meetings in Boca Raton, FL, the clubs approved a resolution that will allow for any team to be flexed into Sunday Night Football without any restrictions. This increases the opportunities to have a play-in game in the last game of the season which the NFL likes.
Previously, there were restrictions on primetime appearances, teams could have up to five with as many as three teams allowed for six primetime games. This reduced the opportunities for play-in games so now, with the shackles released, the NFL can place any team its wants into the SNF slot which will certainly make NBC happy and the league happy.
The NFL likes having drama with a “winner goes in, loser goes home” scenario in the 256th and final regular season game and didn’t get that last season when Green Bay and Minnesota were flexed into Sunday Night Football as both teams were going to be in the playoffs no matter who won.
It has had this scenario in the past, but with the restrictions, there were times the NFL was handcuffed especially if teams had reached the maximum number of primetime appearances. So with this latest change, the NFL can make Week 17 truly dramatic with all eyes on Sunday Night Football as teams will have pressure to win to get into the playoffs.