After witnessing the NFL's Week 15 installment of Monday Night Football—an instant dud between the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans—Roger Goodell should give serious consideration into expanding the league's rules regarding flex scheduling.
As it stands, NBC's Sunday night broadcast can shift games around starting in Week 11 to showcase a more appealing matchup; so the practice, while not completely polished, is in place and is showing nominal success.
Instead of the San Diego Chargers-Jets matchup next Sunday night, a very consequential game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks will be featured in prime time.
While swapping too many games would cause logistical headaches around the league, there is no explanation for subjecting fans to a meaningless contest this late in the season—although the Jets still had faint playoff aspirations entering Sunday night.
It is imperative that the NFL puts it schedule out so early—all professional sports leagues do so—but the league must do a better job of highlighting the more attractive games later in the season—which can still be done with fairness to all organizations at it relates to a national audience.
Circumstances will certainly change and expectations will be thwarted as the season progresses—just ask the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, or the Philadelphia Eagles. However, that is when the expansion of flex scheduling makes perfect sense.
Neither the Jets nor the Titans showed anything in 2011 to indicate Monday night's game should have been seen by anyone outside of New York or Tennessee. Looking at Week 15's slate, there actually might not have been a more dreadful matchup, period.
If Monday night's game could have been bumped, fans could have witnessed the Denver Broncos slide into the AFC's second seed by beating the Baltimore Ravens, or watched the Green Bay Packers clinch the NFC North with their victory over the Chicago Bears.
The NFL is the premier sports league in this country, and Monday Night Football is its foremost platform. It just seems right to have significant games capping the week's schedule—even if that means owning up to doing a poor job of creating the schedule in the first place.
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