The NFL announced a schedule change on Thursday moving the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Las Vegas Raiders out of the primetime spot on Sunday evening. So did the Steelers and Titans slide into the spot? Nope. Instead, it was the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals who will play under the lights in Arizona in front of a national TV audience.
Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders game now shifted to this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.
Seahawks at Cardinals game now moved to this Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. ET.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2020
First of all, fans need to realize why the change was made. It was not about putting a better game in the primetime slot. When games get “flexed,” there is usually a 12-day notice given to teams. The reason there was a late change this time was to make sure a game happened on NBC for Sunday Night Football.
With the Las Vegas Raiders dealing with personnel issues in regards to COVID-19, it is not guaranteed they will be available to play on Sunday. If the NFL needs to move this game to either Monday or Tuesday since the entire offensive line is still awaiting negative test results, putting a different game on Sunday night needed to be an option on the table.
But how does this all relate to the Steelers, and why wasn’t it them?
When the NFL goes to move games, networks get a say in whether or not they gain or lose a particular matchup. Even during the period of flex scheduling when teams are supposed to be notified at least 12 days prior to their game being flexed, both CBS and FOX are permitted to protect a game from being taken from their network.
When it comes to the Steelers and Titans playing at 1 PM on Sunday, there was no chance CBS was letting that one go. I’m sure if a call was even made about it, CBS clutched to that game like Jack holding onto the headboard in the north Atlantic at the end of Titanic (and yes, there was room for him on the board, but not enough buoyancy to hold them both for those who want to argue).
“I’ll never let go!” screamed the CBS executive.
How big of a game is this going to be for CBS on Sunday? All you have to do is look at the distribution map published at BTSC on Sunday morning. Almost the entire nation is one color as they are getting the game between the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers and undefeated Tennessee Titans.
Had CBS givien up this game on Sunday, I’m sure it would have cost multiple people their jobs. This game is huge for their network and huge for the NFL. Therefore, it needs to be played when God intended NFL football to be played…at 1 PM on Sunday afternoons.
Stay tuned to BTSC for all the continued build up for the Steelers biggest matchup of the 2020 season thus far against the Tennessee Titans which is STILL at 1 PM this Sunday.