When the NFL unveiled its 2018 regular season schedule back in April, there was one small twist: The schedule for Saturday games hadn’t quite been finalized. Instead of setting things in stone for its annual slate of Saturday games, the NFL left that part of the schedule open so that teams could be flexed, and that flexing finally happened on Wednesday.
Although there won’t be any Saturday games played until Weeks 15 and 16, we now know the teams that will be playing on Saturday this year. The games will kick off in Week 15 with the following schedule on Dec. 15:
- Texans at Jets, 4:30 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
- Browns at Broncos, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
When the NFL schedule came out, all four of those teams were scheduled to play on Saturday in Week 15, but the league didn’t announce the kickoff times for those two games until Wednesday. The new schedule means that America will now get to see the Browns play in primetime for the second time this season.
As for Week 16, this is where the actual flexing happened. The NFL had to pick two games to be played on Saturday in Week 16 (Dec. 22) and here’s what they decided on:
- Redskins at Titans, 4:30 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
- Ravens at Chargers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
When the NFL schedule came out, the league listed four possible games that could be played on Saturday in Week 16. Besides the two games listed above, the NFL also could have moved either Giants at Colts or Jaguars at Dolphins to Saturday. However, both of those games will now be played on Sunday, Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. ET.
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The biggest loser here is probably the Ravens. Not only do they have to fly across the country on a short week, but they’ll also be playing a Chargers team that will be playing on Thursday in Week 15, which means the Chargers will be getting three extra days of rest going into their game with the Ravens.
Saturday NFL games in late December have basically become an annual tradition. This season will mark the 47th time in the past 48 year that there’s been at least one Saturday game on the regular season schedule.
Besides the Saturday games, the NFL also made two other small tweaks to the 2018 schedule. A Week 10 game between the Dolphins and Packers has been moved from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. ET and will be televised by CBS. In that same week, a game between the Cardinals and Chiefs, which was originally scheduled to air on Fox at 1 p.m. ET has been cross-flexed and will now air on CBS.
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