Week 15 (December 18):
- Tentative game: Baltimore @ San Diego
- Prospects: At one point this game was the only one of NBC’s tentatives involving two teams above .500. Might the Chargers’ mid-season swoon be putting this one in flex jeopardy? There aren’t many alternatives, but…
- Protected games: Jets-Eagles (CBS) and Redskins-Giants (FOX).
- Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Lions (7-5)-Raiders (7-5), Patriots (9-3)-Broncos (7-5).
- Impact of Monday Night Football: The Chargers will be desperately defending the tentative tonight.
- Analysis: Given the tentative game bias I think this game is still fairly safe if the Chargers are 5-7, but if they lose again to fall to 4-8? Why would NBC and the NFL keep a lopsided 9-3 v. 4-8 clash with two games each involving two teams at at least 7-5? As I said last week, with the Broncos winning again there’s no reason not to go with the Tom Brady-Tim Tebow clash, and the Lions and Raiders losing only helps in that regard. If you’d told me two months ago that Ravens-Chargers being flexed out for Patriots-Broncos was a very real possibility, I’d have said you were crazy.
- Final prediction: Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers (if the Chargers win); New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos (if the Chargers lose).