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Vikings/Chargers flexed out of Week 15 Sunday Night Football slot

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In favor of an all-AFC matchup

Denver Broncos v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

UPDATE: The NFL just made it official during the Sunday Night Football broadcast. Bills/Steelers will be the Sunday Night Football matchup in Week 15. The Vikings/Chargers game will now kick off at 3:05 PM Central on CBS.

Original post follows.


During the Minnesota Vikings’ bye week, we speculated about the possibility of the team’s Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Chargers being flexed out of its current Sunday Night Football slot in favor of a more “attractive” matchup. Now it sounds like it’s coming closer to actually happening.

Former NFL quarterback Charlie Batch, who lives in Pittsburgh and works in some capacity with the Steelers, is fueling speculation that the matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Week 15 has a strong possibility of being flexed to the prime time matchup on NBC.

As things stand right now, the Steelers and the Bills occupy the two Wild Card spots in the AFC, and the possibility of a matchup between two potential playoff teams would likely hold more appeal to NBC than a matchup between the Vikings and the Chargers. As of right now, the Chargers sit at 4-7 and are tied with the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter. Their playoff aspirations are pretty much gone at this point.

If this were to happen, it would move the Vikings/Chargers game into the late Sunday afternoon window, with a kickoff at either 3:05 or 3:25 PM Central time. There are four games in that late window already for Week 15, and I’m not entirely sure if there’s a limit to how many games can kick off at that late start time. There is a game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas that the league could, potentially, move to the noon Central time window if they thought it was too crowded. The other three late window games are in Oakland, Arizona, and San Francisco and couldn’t be moved up.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this, to be sure. But, it sounds like if you were planning on attending the Vikings/Chargers game in Week 15, you’ll have to shift your plans a little bit.