The winner always is NBC. The traditionally strong Sunday night package will be even stronger this year. The network now will have the option of beginning to flex in week 5, giving Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth an even better chance to call bigger games.
Best games: On paper, they all are pretty good, and some are excellent, starting with Green Bay at Seattle to kick off the season on Thursday night, Sept. 4.
Then NBC quickly jumps on the Peyton Manning train, with his former Indianapolis Colts team visiting Denver for the opening Sunday night game.
The following week, NBC will open San Francisco’s new Levi Stadium with Chicago at 49ers. Local knowledge: Beware of a blowout, because the Bears never play well in San Fran.
NBC definitely won’t be flexing in week 7 with San Francisco at Denver. And it has a huge Thanksgiving night game with San Francisco at Seattle.
And for good measure, NBC has the Bears-Packers game in Lambeau in week 10. The traditional rivalry game always does well in prime time.
And there’s much more. Here is link to their schedule.
Potential clunkers: Actually, this category should be renamed, potential flex candidates. The most likely to be flexed appears to be Seattle at Arizona in week 16. You never know what you’re going to get with the Cardinals.
Maybe Dallas at Giants in week 12 if both teams are in the dumps, which is possible. However, even both teams are winless, NBC still might show the game because the networks loves the Cowboys and all things New York.
With flex scheduling, though, NBC never will get a clunker on Sunday night.