The NFL is always looking for an opportunity to make more money.
That is just the nature of the business.
Primetime games are a great way to build exposure, and television revenue, so the NFL and ESPN are teaming up for a few more before the 2021 season comes to an end.
Usually, the season ends with every game played on Sunday and one getting flexed into the Sunday night slot.
This year, two games will be played on the Saturday of Week 18.
Mark your calendars, #NFL fans
🏈 Jan. 8 | The debut of #MNF Doubleheader Saturday
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) December 14, 2021
As stated, both of these games will have playoff implications.
NFL Adding To The Primetime Schedule
The question now becomes which games will get flexed to this spot.
The NFL finishes its season with divisional showdowns and the schedule is usually set up so teams on the brink of the playoffs have to play hard, without yet knowing their fate.
ESPN confirmed that they will have a Saturday doubleheader in Week 18. NFL will flex two games with playoff implications.
ESPN will have their regular broadcast team for one game. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit & Laura Rutledge get the other.
Game 1 at 4:30 ET, Game 2 at 8:15 ET
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 14, 2021
Now the league has to get creative to ensure the Saturday games don’t lead to teams on Sunday changing how they approach the game.
As of right now it is impossible to predict which games will be moved.
That is because nearly the entire league is still alive in the two playoff races.
The only teams that may have no shot to play on this Saturday are the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, and that is because they play the final Monday night game of the year.
Asking either team to have an even shorter week to end the season would not fly well within the NFL.
However, either team could get flexed into the Sunday night slot, which represents a bit more rest following the Monday night showdown.
This change may not go over well with all NFL teams, but it is great news for the fans.NEXT: Watch The Wild New Trailer For Netflix's Movie About Sean Payton