By Josh Edwards
(247 SPORTS) – The NFL has the right to re-schedule games based on early season outcomes. They have exercised that right for four games during the final weeks of the regular season.
In Week 15, the New York Jets will host the Houston Texans on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 PM Mountain Time on NFL Network. Later in the day, the Denver Broncos will host the Cleveland Browns at 6:20 PM Mountain Time on NFL Network.
The following week, Week 16, the Tennessee Titans will host the Washington Redskins on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2:30 PM Mountain Time on NFL Network. The Los Angeles Chargers host the Baltimore Ravens at 6:20 PM Mountain Time on NFL Network the same day.
Those are the only two weeks in which games are played on a Saturday.
The Jets played two primetime games earlier this season against the Detroit Lions and Browns. They are 1-1 in those showings. They finish with three primetime games. The Texans had a Sunday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys. They also play the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football this week and later in Week 12 against the Titans on Monday Night Football.
The Browns have a total of two primetime games this season given the recent news. They defeated the New York Jets at home, 21-17, on a Thursday night in Week 3. The Broncos had two primetime games earlier this season against the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs. They have two more primetime games in consecutive weeks later in the season. In Week 16, they play the Oakland Raiders.
The Titans have a Monday Night Football game upcoming against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 5. They play the three of their final six regular season games in primetime against the Texans, Jaguars and now Redskins. The Redskins have three primetime games in addition to playing on Thanksgiving. They lost to the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football earlier this month.
Los Angeles has their only two primetime games in back-to-back weeks in Week 15 (at the Chiefs) and Week 16. The Ravens had a Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals and a Sunday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have their third primetime game now against the Chargers.
Here are the flex rules according to NFL.com:
Begins Sunday of Week 5
In effect during Weeks 5-17
Up to 2 games may be flexed into Sunday Night between Weeks 5-10
Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window.
The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
The majority of games on Sundays will be listed at 1:00 p.m. ET during flex weeks except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time zones which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
No impact on Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
The NFL will decide (after consultation with CBS, FOX, NBC) and announce as early as possible the game being played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game. The NFL may also announce games moving to 4:05 p.m. ET and 4:25 p.m. ET.
Week 17 start time changes could be decided on 6 days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications.
The NBC Sunday night time slot in “flex” weeks will list the game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night.
Fans and ticket holders must be aware that NFL games in flex weeks are subject to change 12 days in advance (6 days in Week 17) and should plan accordingly.
NFL schedules all games.
Teams will be informed as soon as they are no longer under consideration or eligible for a move to Sunday night.