The New England Patriots were originally scheduled to play three straight primetime games from Weeks 14 to 16. However, one of those contests has now been flexed out.
The Patriots’ Week 15 meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs will no longer be played on Monday night. Instead, the NFL announced that the game was moved from its 8:15 p.m. ET slot on Dec. 18 to Sunday afternoon.
Kickoff at Gillette Stadium is now set for 1 p.m. ET. on Dec. 17.
In place of Patriots-Chiefs, the league decided to flex the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Seattle Seahawks into Monday. Looking at all the teams involved it is not hard to see why that decision was made.
Whereas the Eagles and Seahawks are both currently on the plus side of win with 10-1 and 6-5 records, respectively, the Chiefs and Patriots are not that evenly matched. Kansas City does stand at a respectable 8-3 at the moment, but New England is a mere 2-9 — its worst record after 11 games in three decades.
While the matchup between the two storied franchises was viewed as a potential marquee battle when the schedule was first released in April, the Patriots’ disappointing performance this season has now forced the league’s hand. As a consequence, New England now has the questionable distinction as being partially responsible for the first ever Monday night flex in NFL history.
The new flex rules allowing for a move like that were introduced earlier this year. With only games in Weeks 12-17 subject to being moved, however, the league has so far decided against using the tool up until this point.
Before going up against the Chiefs, the Patriots will play two more games. They will host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. ET, followed by a Thursday night game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Dec. 7.