Seahawks back-to-back Thursday night games is now subject to change
Just when you thought the schedule was set, here comes money: 5/22/2023
The Seattle Seahawks were given their 2023 schedule two weeks ago and the most notable “quirk” was having back-to-back Thursday night games that begins a brutal stretch of four contests in 24 days: Thanksgiving against the 49ers, Thursday Night Football at the Cowboys, December 10th at the 49ers, and December 17th at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.
While I do not expect to see any changes to that schedule, the NFL has now made a change in that stretch possible thanks to a new rule that I want to share with every Seaside Joe subscriber: Some Thursday Night games are now subject to the flex schedule.
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The NFL passed a rule on Monday allowing the league to flex up to two Thursday Night games between Week 13 and Week 17. That leaves Seattle’s Week 13 game against the Dallas Cowboys as the first of five that could be flexed out of primetime if the NFL and Amazon Prime decide that something else on the schedule could bring in more viewers.
Amazon Prime, which streams the Thursday games, gets only two flexes during the Weeks of 13-17. The flexes must be done with 28 days advance notice, and teams cannot play two away TNF games in a season.
Owners also voted it effective only for the 2023 season unless flexible scheduling is not applied for Thursday Night Football during the 2023 regular season. In that case, flexible scheduling would remain in effect for the 2024 season.
If the NFL gets through eight weeks and decides that either of the Seahawks or Cowboys are not as good of a draw as another game (Dallas would seem foolproof because of their consistent ratings history, while Seattle has advantages of their own and that’s why I don’t expect a flex to happen), then the league could take the second of Seattle’s back-to-back Thursday night games off of the schedule.
That would give the Seahawks a normal rest period of 11 days after Thursday Night Football, but there is also an advantage to playing the Cowboys on November 30th: They have 10 days to prepare for their rematch against the 49ers. Meanwhile, San Francisco has their own brutal game in between playing Seattle, a December 3rd matchup against the Eagles.
It’s tough to say at this point what other games could be flexed in Week 13.
A team can’t play two road Thursday games, so that should eliminate 49ers at Eagles. That’s really the only high-profile contender as of May, it will depend on which teams step up between Week 1 and Week 9; two games that would qualify and have teams that don’t even have a Thursday game right now are Falcons at Jets and Dolphins at Commanders. Will either of those matchups have playoff implications?
I don’t see this news as ultimately having an impact on the Seahawks back-to-back Thursday schedule but given the unprecedented nature of the news and it’s relation to Seattle’s “quirk” it felt worth sharing.
For additional Seahawks news and bonus content, check out the latest addition to the defensive line (premium post) and whether Seattle is a Super Bowl contender this year.
Scheduling has always been a Pile of #*#* I do believe there are people somewhere that just seem to like to screw certain teams! That being said, I hope something flex's so Seattle can have something of a more normal ride in the games- Thank you for the Great info!
Jesus christ, the NFL owners really are bending over backwards for Bezos and his $11Billion dollar investment in Thursday Night Football. They must really want that guy to buy a franchise. All of these new TNF scheduling changes are probably directly tied to this:
"In 2021, Amazon became the first streamer to make an exclusive deal with the NFL, signing an 11-year pact for exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football at $1 billion per season. Amazon’s sports chief, Jay Marine, told staff in a September note that the launch game produced “the biggest three hours for U.S. Prime sign ups ever in the history of Amazon.” But while the streamer had told advertisers it expected to average 12.5 million viewers per game, at the end of the season Amazon said it had 11.3 million viewers, while Nielsen calculated 9.6 million average viewers. Amazon has said it compensated advertisers for the shortfall but offered no specifics."
(hat tip The Hollywood Reporter)
"Amazon has said it compensated advertisers for the shortfall..." I'm guessing all of these changes are there solely to placate Bezos on his massive investment, but paying $1B a year to air TNF, a notoriously problematic product, should be on Bezos' and his desperation to make Prime more profitable.