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Patriots Week 16 game vs. Miami 'flexed'

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Patriots Flexed Again
Miami Game Moved to 4:15 p.m.

For the third time this season, a New England Patriots game has been shifted because everyone wants to see them.

The league has moved New England's Week 16 matchup versus Miami from it's 1 p.m. slot to 4:15 p.m. when the game can be seen in more homes nationally. Also, the league moved Minnesota vs. Washington to 8:15 p.m., replacing Tampa Bay vs. San Francisco.

Earlier this year, the league moved the Patriots' game at Buffalo to 8:15 p.m., leading to New England playing three straight prime time games. Of course, yesterday's game was moved from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., giving New England an unprecedented six straight games starting at 4:15 or later.

That leaves this Sunday's game against the New Jersey Jets as the last 1 p.m. game New England will play this year. The Patriots will have played just one 1 p.m. game in the last 2-plus months of the season.

The flex of the Miami game shortens New England's final week of the season. The Patriots' Week 17 matchup is against the New Jersey Giants on Saturday night following the Dolphins game.

While it seems the league is just as concerned about messing with New England's schedule as their best option to "mess with" the team and Bill Belichick, it's likely that New England will not have any 1 p.m. playoff games, so this does in some ways work in favor of the Patriots.

Still, the multiple schedule changes are an imposition on ticket-toting fans, who have to plan for late arrivals home (if not also for baby-sitting or other "incidentals") and having to work the day following games.