KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL bumped out the Kansas City Chiefs’ Sunday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos for week 14, announcing the schedule flex last week.
Some have wondered why the league took the Chiefs out of primetime, who are led by one of the leading candidates for the most valuable player, Patrick Mahomes.
Since becoming a starter in 2017, Kansas City has played in 26 primetime matchups, Mahomes has a 19-7 record in those games.
The reason he and the Chiefs won’t get a chance to improve that mark to 20-7 is simple: The Broncos have fallen short of lofty preseason ambitions, posting a 3-9 record with the league’s worst offense. Denver’s offense has sputtered despite installing a new coaching staff and making big trade for nine-time Pro Bowl QB Russell Wilson.
The Chiefs have also already had five primetime games this season.
The Chiefs-Broncos game now kicks off at 3:05 p.m., and the new Sunday Night Football game will feature the Miami Dolphins at the Los Angeles Chargers.
How the NFL handles flex scheduling
In 2006, the NFL created a “flexible scheduling” procedure for Sunday Night Football. The option allows the NFL to showcase a more competitive game as the season separates contenders from pretenders. “Flexible scheduling” for Sunday night may be used twice between Weeks 5-10, and during Weeks 11-18.
Any games listed for the Sunday night window are tentative and subject to change. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to a Sunday afternoon.
Sunday afternoon games may also be moved between 1 p.m. and 3:05 p.m., or 3:25 p.m. central time.
Late Sunday afternoon games can still be move up to an early slot if necessary.
If a game is scheduled for a Sunday, the league could move the game from a 12:00 p.m. CT kickoff to an 7:15 p.m. start, but the change would be made and announced no later than the prior Tuesday, 12 days prior.
The NFL cannot flex out originally scheduled Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.
When the NFL schedules comes out during the spring, you may see “TBD” for Week 18 games. That’s because the league wants to wait and see who the best matchups are for the week with playoffs in mind. The change has to be made within six days.