Keep an Eye on the Vikings Schedule for Flexed Games

Every NFL Draft Pick
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell on the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2022 NFL season, very few people expected the Minnesota Vikings to run away with the NFC North and emerge as a top team in the league. Now, at 6-1 and a matchup with the middling Washinton Commanders looming, that’s exactly what this team has done. Because of that, we may have to keep an eye on the Vikings schedule for flexed games.

As we approach the latter half of the season, the Vikings have a number of games that could become marquee is the leagues continues to play out the way that it is. Over their final 10 games, Minnesota plays four teams that are currently 5-3 or better. They are as follows:

  • Week 10 @ Buffalo (6-1)
  • Week 11 vs. Dallas (5-2)
  • Week 13 vs. New York Jets (5-3)
  • Week 16 vs. New York Giants (6-2)

Currently, none of these games are scheduled to take place in primetime. The only late-afternoon game of these four is Week 11 against the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, that is a game that is already on the NFL’s radar as a potentially “flexed” game.

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Week 11 is the first week in which the “flexible scheduling” is implemented by the NFL, and the Cowboys and Vikings both look to be well on their way to playoff berths. Here are the full rules for the NFL flex:

Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-18. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-17, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time.

Currently, the Bengals and Steelers are slated to play on Sunday night, but with the Steelers looking more and more like they will finish under .500 for the first time since 2003, the Cowboys/Vikings matchup could be much more entertaining, as Chris Tomasson of The Pioneer Press pointed out on Twitter.

It’s somewhat interesting that the NFL chose not to flex Week 10’s game against the Buffalo Bills, despite leaving the wiggle room to flex two games early in the season. That game is scheduled for a 12 PM CST kickoff as both teams hope to be 7-1 heading in.

Another game to keep in mind would be the Christmas Eve matchup with the New York Giants in Week 16. Both teams look like playoff contenders right now, and that game is scheduled to be a noon kickoff on Saturday, December 24th. The scheduled night game on Christmas Eve currently has the Las Vegas Raiders taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With both those teams currently under .500, and the potential playoff preview of the Giants and Vikings, that seems like a logical game to flex. Either way, Vikings fans should make sure to keep an eye on the schedule as we head into the second half of the year. Things are bound to change at some point.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.