For the second week in a row, Sunday Night Football is flexing out one of its games in hopes of getting fans to tune into a more compelling matchup.
According to Patriots insider Scott Zolak via Alex Barth, the Week 15 Patriots-Raiders game is expected to be flexed out of Sunday Night Football. The game would be played in the 4 p.m. ET window instead. Zolak reported it will be 4:05 p.m. ET.
The Patriots and Raiders are both technically in playoff contention, but there are other games that feature teams that have been much better this season.
Top candidates to replace the Patriots-Raiders game would be Bills-Dolphins, Giants-Commanders and Titans-Chargers. Smart money would probably be on Bills-Dolphins though.
Prior to the season, the storyline around Patriots-Raiders would have been the reunion between Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
But even with the Raiders riding a three-game winning streak, their playoff odds are short and their margin for error is razor-thin. At 5-7 on the season they might be out of playoff contention entirely if they lose to the Los Angeles Rams this Thursday.
This late in the year, Sunday Night Football only wants the best matchups or at least the ones with the highest stakes.
Which game do you foresee getting slotted into Sunday Night Football in place of Patriots-Raiders?
UPDATE: It will not be Bills-Dolphins as according to NFL insider Tom Pelissero, that game will be played on Saturday, December 17: