Steelers get primetime game flexed for being a bad football team
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been a big disappointment this year. Here’s why their primetime game vs the Bengals in Week 11 has been flexed.
We all know that the NFL is a business. So when the league had a chance for a money grab by flexing the Pittsburgh Steelers out of primetime action in Week 11, they didn’t hesitate. Next week, Mike Tomlin’s team is set to face the Cincinnati Bengals, but this game will no longer take place on Sunday Night Football on NBC. Instead, the nation will be getting the Chiefs vs Chargers game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirms.
Essentially, the league swapped one AFC divisional matchup for another. This doesn’t happen unless they think they believe the game that was originally slotted for the afternoon is going to draw more viewers. Instead of playing under the lights at Acrisure Stadium on November 20th, the Steelers will host the Bengals at 4:25 p.m. on CBS.
It’s hard to blame the league for making a switch like this, but this shouldn’t have caught you completely off guard. Though the Chiefs will be road favorites over a disappointing Chargers team in Week 11 in primetime, the NFL clearly believes that Patrick Mahomes vs Justin Herbert is going to draw more viewers.
Will the Steelers prove the league was wrong with this decision?
I can see the Chiefs-Chargers game being a close matchup, but I can also see Kansas City blowing out the opposition. Oddly enough, the spread is exactly the same at this point in time for the Steelers vs Bengals, according to Fanduel Sportsbook.
The biggest difference is the offense. When Pittsburgh is 31st in scoring at just 15.0 points per game, this doesn’t make for great television. There isn’t any reason to believe this will change a lot following their bye week. Even putting up more than 20 points seems unreasonable at this point, as their offense hasn’t managed more than this at any point since last year.
Though the first matchup between these two AFC North rivals went into overtime (and ultimately concluded with a Steelers win), it required five defensive takeaways by Pittsburgh and the game itself was remarkably sloppy. Meanwhile, the Bengals are averaging 30 points per game over their last 4 contests and are coming off a blowout road win over the Carolina Panthers (a team that is in the same boat as Pittsburgh this year).
Being a Steelers fan, I would have loved for the league to leave the schedule as it was. I always enjoy watching Pittsburgh play in primetime and I feel like the intensity is almost cranked up a notch. However, from a business standpoint, I totally understand why the NFL chose to flex this game in favor of the Chiefs vs Chargers next week.