As the NFL regular season winds down, and playoff implications loom, the league decided to move two marquee matchups into primetime for Weeks 13 and 14.
Now, the Chargers and the Steelers will playing in the 8:20 p.m. ET slot on Dec. 2, bumping the 49ers-Seahawks contest to earlier in the day, and the following week will feature the Rams-Bears as the primetime contest on Dec. 9, which pushes the Steelers and the Raiders back to an earlier kickoff time.
Pittsburgh has gotten used to the national spotlight, and schedule changes, as the Steelers have been scheduled for five primetime games at the beginning of the season. But, that number recently changed when they were flexed out of this Sunday’s evening game in favor of the Bears.
However, Chicago is just getting used to the later start as the Bears’ games have been moved for the second time in as many weeks. They will host the Vikings in Week 11 on Sunday night.
While there are still a few weeks to go before these flexed games will be played, the matchups already look fit for primetime.
The 7-2 Chargers are currently in second place in the AFC West and are getting ready for matchups against the struggling Broncos and lowly Cardinals. The Steelers sit atop the AFC North with a 6-2-1 record, and have a two-game road trip — facing the three-win Jaguars on Sunday and the Broncos in Week 12 — before hosting Los Angeles.
The Rams, who have only lost one game this season, will have a tougher time adding to their win column as they will face the Chiefs on Monday. But, they travel to Detroit to play the 3-6 Lions the following week. The Rams have the opportunity to clinch the NFC West with a win against quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Kansas City squad, but with the only winning record in their division, their place at the top of the standings appears to be secure.
The Bears have overcome a devastating season-opening loss to the Packers to reach 6-3 and first place in the NFC North. All eyes will be on Chicago when it hosts Minnesota for its first of two flexed games. But, then the Bears will move on to play the Lions and Giants before hosting the Rams.