The NFL introduced flex scheduling 11 years ago. The entire reason for the existence of flex scheduling was to ensure quality matchups on Sunday Night Football: the league would replace an originally scheduled SNF game that has little significance or interest with a game that has huge significance or interest, such as a game with playoff implications. Flex is also specifically designed to allow a surprise team to play their way onto primetime television.
A patented Surprise Team of 2017 is the
St. Louis Los Angeles Rams: first-year head coach; second-year quarterback who had an awful rookie season; second-year in L.A., in which they cannot fill more than half their stadium. Is there any wonder that the only primetime game they got this season was behind the walled garden of NFL Network? The NFL scheduling gods obviously thought they would stink again. But here they are at 9-3 and in command of the NFC West.
In South Alaska, we have the Seattle Seahawks: lost Sherman; lost Avril; lost Chancellor; dumped Freeney (WTF was up with that, Schneider?). But they held the highest-scoring offense of the Eagles to 10 points in Week 13, they’re now sitting at 8-4, and challenging the Rams for the NFC West title. Plus they have a magicman quarterback who has been directly responsible for over 90% of their offense, and is now considered a front-runner for this year’s MVP Award.
If the Rams lose to the Eagles next week and the Seahawks beat the Jaguars, their Week 15 matchup will decide the NFC West.
This Week 15 contest is a complete and exact example of the type of game that is to be flexed onto primetime.
But wait…the teams originally scheduled for SNF in Week 15 are the Cowboys and the Raiders? Both teams are currently sitting at 6-6? Neither team is currently projected any higher than 9th seed? Now THAT’S compelling football! I can’t wait to see what draft positions each team earns from this game! No flex!
So you may be asking yourself: why did the NFL break their own rules on flex scheduling? It’s the same reason why criminals rob banks: money. People all across America will tune in just because they like to watch America’s Team lose…that’s some serious advertising dollars, ya know.