Now that we're in the second half of the NFL season, the schedule can start getting a little weird. Matchups that were previously set for primetime TV slots are subject to getting shifted around if the matchups are no longer desirable, i.e. if both teams are in last place or have nothing to play for.
The New England Patriots certainly fall into that category. They're 2-8 now after their latest loss in Germany and have the worst record in the AFC. Beyond that, they also play an exceptionally ugly brand of football with an offense that ranks 31st in the NFL in scoring (14.1 PPG).
Given that, Patriots fans are likely wondering if any of their team's three remaining primetime games will be flexed out, including a Thursday Night Football clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14.
Unfortunately for the league, it's now officially too late to swap out the game.
Any flexing decisions must be made at least four weeks ahead of time, and the deadline to move the Dec. 7 matchup has already passed.
This is bad news for New England fans and NFL fans alike. For Patriots fans, their team will be exposed on national TV and will likely invite even more ridicule. For neutral fans, they're unlikely to get a good game, as the Steelers also feature one of the worst offenses in the league (26th in scoring).
Kenny Pickett vs. Mac Jones (or whoever is playing quarterback for New England by then) isn't a matchup worth tuning into. This late-season AFC matchup will likely feature a lot of punts, field goals and stalled drives, which is hardly the recipe for an exciting football game.
Unfortunately for the NFL, they're stuck with this game now. They should've changed it when they had the chance.
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