Predicting Which Games Could Be Flexed for Remainder of NFL's Regular Season

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 2:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 2, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The Packers defeated the Vikings 23-14.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks in Week 16—a game that was originally an afternoon game but  was flexed to Sunday Night Football due to the importance of the contest. 

So which games will warrant the same treatment for Week 17?

Given the intense race for the final seeds in both conferences, there are a few games that stand above the rest. These three contests will have significant bearing on which teams get into the playoffs and/or playoff seeding.


Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned NFC North battle in the month of December? 

The Vikings have snuck back into the playoff race with a couple of tough victories against the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams, and with an upset victory against the Houston Texans in Week 16 they'd have an excellent chance to get in.

The Packers may well find themselves playing for the No. 2 seed in the NFC should the San Francisco 49ers fall to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16, and you can be sure this game will mean a lot to them. 

Furthermore, Adrian Peterson is chasing history, needing just 294 more rushing yards in the final two games to surpass Eric Dickerson for the NFL's single-season rushing record. 



Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton and the Bengals haven't beaten Joe Flacco and the Ravens the past couple of seasons, but we could see a changing of the guard in Week 17. 

If the Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16 and the Ravens lose to the New York Giants, we're looking at a game that could vault the Bengals up into first place in the AFC North.

Throw in the added appeal of some big-time players and a couple of hard-hitting defenses and you have the makings of an exciting game.

That's a game I'd love to see in prime time, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. 


Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

If both of these teams win in Week 16, this matchup will determine the NFC East champion and the No. 4 seed in the NFC.

The loser might not even make it into the playoffs, depending on how a couple other teams finish. As it stands right now, only one NFC East team—the divisional leader—would make it into the tournament. 

This contest has the added appeal of Robert Griffin III vs. Tony Romo, and the Cowboys are always a top draw from a national standpoint. Plus, the game is in Washington, and the atmosphere will be as electric as any game we've seen this season.

The ratings would be sky high if these two teams were to be featured on Sunday Night Football in Week 17.

If I had to bet on which of these three games will be picked as a flex in Week 17, I'd pick this one. There isn't a hotter commodity in the NFL than RG3, and if he and the 'Skins have a chance to get into the playoffs as the NFC East divisional champion, NBC won't hesitate to pull the trigger.


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