The New England Patriots’ Week 15 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders will not take place on Sunday Night Football, as originally scheduled. Instead, the NFL announced on Monday that the game would be moved from primetime to an earlier kickoff slot.
Per the revised schedule published by the league, kickoff at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium has now been set for 4:05 p.m. ET. The New York Giants’ visit to the Washington Football Team will now wrap up that Sunday in the the 8:20 p.m. ET slot.
The Patriots and Raiders getting moved out of primetime did not come as a surprise. While New England is still in the playoff hunt at 6-6, Las Vegas has struggled under first-year head coach Josh McDaniels; the team is only 5-7 and the current 10th seed in the AFC playoff picture. For comparison, the Patriots are seed No. 8.
The original idea behind scheduling the two teams’ meeting for Sunday night was a good one. Both were expected to be contenders this season, with several ties between them thanks to McDaniels leaving New England this offseason.
The 46-year-old, of course, was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for the previous 10 seasons before taking the Raiders gig in January. He brought with him several of his former co-workers, including new Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler. In addition to the organization’s coaching and front office ties to New England it also employs 11 ex-Patriots on its active roster or practice squad.