Steelers Home Finale Against Bengals Could Be Flexed
The Steelers have an opportunity to win the AFC North division since 2010. They will need to win against Kansas City this Sunday, and then they will need to defeat the Bengals in Week 17 no matter the outcome of their game against the Broncos on Monday night. Should both teams win this Sunday, the AFC North division will be decided in Pittsburgh.
A game with such huge implications and the viewing power to go behind it, that game is part of the potential “Flex Game” list for Sunday Night. The NFL and NBC have reserved the rights to flex important games – aka games that will get the most viewership – to the Sunday Night Football slot on NBC. The word out of Cincinnati via the Cincinnati Inquirer is that it stands a good chance of happening.
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Paul Dehner of the Inquirer believes that there are other potential flex games – Green Bay taking on the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, or San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs. There’s little doubt that Lions v Packers and Bengals v Steelers hold the most potential for nationwide viewership. No one would really be interested in the “Loser Bowl” down in Carolina, and while the Chargers are popular, a battle for the final playoff spot is not as great as what would be essential title games for those four other teams.
I can tell you this – I would be completely fine with the Steelers being flexed to Sunday night. The Steelers have a very good home record in primetime. Heinz Field will be full to the brim and going crazy. Remember years ago the Ravens petitioned the league to stop scheduling prime time games in Pittsburgh when they played there.
It would be so sweet for the Steelers to yank the division away from the defending AFCN champions on primetime television rather than a 1pm afternoon game. Wouldn’t you agree? I’m drooling just thinking about it.