Want better games in the primetime slots this NFL season? Turns out, so does the league. According to a report from Pro Football Talk, the NFL plans to expand its flex scheduling opportunities for games later in the season.
Under the current flex scheduling plan, the NFL has the opportunity to swap out a Sunday afternoon game and move it into the Sunday Night Football slot. The league has done with some of the bigger games on the schedule in an effort to attract more eyeballs.
For 2023, the league reportedly plans to expand that. For weeks 12-17, the league could potentially move a Sunday afternoon game into the Monday Night Football time slot.
Per the report, the NFL will make final decisions on flexing Monday Night Football games 12 days in advance. It’s a way for the league to avoid some potentially dull matchups in those primetime TV spots, and elevating a more entertaining game so more viewers catch it.
But it’s not quite as simple as just selecting the best game on a given Sunday and swapping it out. Both CBS and FOX can protect one game every week. So, ESPN‘s Monday Night Football may not get the best game each week. However, the NFL could still swap out a potentially boring matchup for a more important contest.
It’s something to keep an eye on throughout the course of the upcoming NFL season.
Al Michaels excited about NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ schedule
Part of the reason the NFL probably wanted to expand its flex scheduling plan is because of last season’s Thursday Night Football disaster. Week after week, those games turned out to be some of the most boring of the season.
Amazon Video play-by-play man (and sportscasting legend, might we add) Al Michaels is actually looking forward to this year’s slate of games. He believes it’s in much better shape than a year ago.
“Absolutely!” Michaels said to SI’s Jimmy Traina. “Love the way we come out of the gate. Three ‘A’ grade games. Two Aaron Rodgers games. Baltimore–Cincinnati, another good one. League did us a solid.
“I was raring to go the minute I saw the whole slate. Already thinking of storylines for each game, of which there is no shortage.”
Thursday Night Football will kick off Week 2, with the Eagles facing off against the Vikings. Other interesting games include include Bengals-Ravens, Cowboys–Seahawks, and Patriots–Steelers.
Of course, you never truly know how the games will turn out when they’re played. But, on paper, Michaels has a reason to be much more optimistic about this year’s slate of games.