If you had thoughts of the Green Bay Packers playing on Sunday Night Football again before the season is out, one of your last chances to see it happen just got shot down today.
The week 16 game between the Packers and the Arizona Cardinals is a tantalizing matchup, and is certainly a better and more compelling contest than the Steelers-Ravens game currently on the SNF schedule for that week. However, the game is currently scheduled to be carried on FOX, and they also recognize that this game should be an appealing one for viewers nationwide.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians discussed the scheduling of the game in his press conference today:
Arians said from what he’s heard, FOX will protect Green Bay game on Dec. 27. Will stay at 2:25 and not be flexed. #AZCardinals— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) December 9, 2015
Again, this should not come as a surprise, as FOX can maximize viewership in the late afternoon window by holding on to this game.
What this does mean is that there is still a possibility that the Packers' home game against Minnesota could be an option to flex into the SNF slot in week 17, depending on the various playoff scenarios around the NFL. Though the NFC East could have a winner-take-all game the final week, it is possible that no division has a truly win-and-you're-in setup.
In that case, Packers-Vikings could have serious seeding implications in the NFC. It could come down to a tough decision between that contest and the Seattle-Arizona matchup, as that is likely the only other game that would feature teams that are both firmly in the playoff hunt.