Chances NFL will flex Philadelphia to NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’

The Eagles (9-1) are headed back to NBC’s Sunday Night Football this week to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers under the lights at Lincoln Financial Field, where they’ll be wearing their alternate black helmets for the first time this season.

But the Birds could be back on the NFL’s primetime TV package in just a couple of weeks.

The Eagles’ Week 14 matchup against the New York Giants (7-3) on Dec. 11 is currently scheduled for Fox’s regional 1 pm window, but is an obvious flexible scheduling target, considering the media markets and how tight the NFC East is at the moment.

The game is unprotected by Fox, meaning the NFL is free to move it to NBC at 8:20 pm

NBC currently has a lopsided matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs (8-2) and the Denver Broncos (3-7) scheduled to play on Dec. 11 on Sunday Night Football. While the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes are ratings gold (there’s a reason the NFL has them playing on national TV in 11 out of their first 13 games), the Broncos are having a disappointing season, and no one wants to watch a blowout.

Eagles-Giants could also be shifted to Fox’s national 4:25 pm window, but they already have a good game scheduled: Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) versus Jimmy Garoppolo and the surprising San Francisco 49ers (6-4 ), who blew out the Arizona Cardinals last night.

The NFL doesn’t comment on potential scheduling moves, but if the league decided to flex Eagles-Giants, the latest they could announce the move would be Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Another potential flex option for the league is the Eagles’ Week 13 matchup against the Tennessee Titans (7-3) on Dec. 4. The Titans are in first place in the AFC South. The challenge is the Dallas Cowboys (7-3) are currently slated to play on Sunday Night Football that night, and despite facing the Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1), the NFL isn’t likely to move Dallas out of a primetime slot.

Any Week 13 flexes would have to be announced today.

So far, the league has only flexed one game this season, moving Bengals-Steelers off Sunday Night Football in Week 11 in favor of Chiefs-Chargers.

A quick reminder how the NFL’s flexible scheduling rules work this season:

  • Flexible scheduling is in effect from Weeks 11 to 18, and only Sunday afternoon games can be moved into Sunday night.

  • CBS and Fox can protect a handful of games from getting flexed.

  • The NFL must announce any flexible schedule changes no later than 12 days prior to the game (Week 18 changes can be announced six days in advance).

  • No team may appear more than six times across the NFL’s three primetime packages on NBC, ESPN, and Amazon’s Prime Video (the Eagles will have played in primetime five times after next week’s game).

Here’s the Eagles’ remaining TV schedule:

  • Week 12, Nov. 27: Packers at Eagles, 8:20 p.m., NBC

  • Week 13, Dec. 4: Titans at Eagles, 1 p.m., Fox

  • Week 14, Dec. 11: Eagles at Giants, 1 p.m., Fox

  • Week 15, Dec. 18: Eagles at Bears, 1 p.m., Fox

  • Week 16, Dec. 24: Eagles at Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., Fox

  • Week 17, Jan. 1: Saints at Eagles, 1 p.m., Fox

  • Week 18, Jan. 7 or 8: Giants at Eagles, TBD, TBD

There’s been a lot of chatter about the officiating in the NFL this season, especially in Philadelphia, where tight end Dallas Goedert was injured on a missed face masking penalty (among others).

During the San Francisco 49ers’ blowout win against the Arizona Cardinals last night on Monday Night Footballthere were surprisingly few penalties called early — just four accepted penalties during the game’s first 41 minutes.

Then Troy Aikman had to jinx it.

“It’s been a really cleanly played game,” Aikman said before being shushed by his broadcast partner, Joe Buck.

“Sorry, sorry. What am I thinking?” Aikman added.

Following Aikman’s comments, referees called two penalties back-to-back in the final seconds of the third quarter — illegal formation on the Cardinals, and a false start on Cardinals offensive lineman Josh Jones. Another penalty (roughing the passer) was called on the first play of the fourth quarter, and another (holding) just a minute later, which was declined.

  • Fox drew criticism during its first two days of coverage of the World Cup by not addressing the many issues with host country Qatar, something they already said they planned to avoid. They also didn’t make many friends by advertising the start time of US-Wales on Monday as 1 pm Eastern, when the game actually started an hour later at 2 pm “While others do this, too, it is particularly bad when the event is around the world in Qatar with a time difference that makes start times unusual for fans,” wrote the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.

  • ESPN analysts and former Commanders quarterback Robert Griffin III seemed pretty uncomfortable as Steve Young and Booger McFarland argued about New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson on Monday Night Countdown.

  • Despite Disney’s surprising decision to oust CEO Bob Chapek and bring back Bob Iger, not much is expected to change for ESPN, according to Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand. “Iger picked [Jimmy] Pitaro to run ESPN back in 2018 and has already asked Pitaro to help put a new creative-led corporate structure in place,” Ourand wrote in his newsletter. “Pitaro has run the group with a lot of autonomy since taking over for John Skipper in the spring of 2018. I don’t see that changing.”

  • Speaking of ESPN, the network has resigned a deal to keep the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest through 2029. The annual gorgefest has aired on ESPN since 2004.

  • Twenty semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 will be announced Tuesday at 1:05 pm on the NFL Network. Among the former Eagles players up for consideration are quarterbacks Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb, running back Brian Westbrook, and cornerback Troy Vincent.

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