NFL keeps Rams-Cardinals in afternoon window, puts NFC East in prime time

Cameron DaSilva
·1 min read

With the Week 17 schedule subject to change, the NFL had the opportunity to shift the slate of games around based on playoff positioning and how meaningful each contest is. There are still a bunch of playoff spots up for grabs in both conferences, so there were plenty of options for the Sunday Night Football spot.

However, with only one game being flexed, the league opted for the NFC East over the NFC West and others. The Eagles game against Washington has been flexed to prime time on Sunday night, while Rams-Cardinals remains in the 4:25 p.m. ET slot on CBS.

It’s understandable, too. If the NFL put Rams-Cardinals in the Sunday night spot, L.A. would’ve had a chance to rest its starters. If the Bears lost earlier in the day, the Rams would’ve clinched a playoff berth and had nothing to play for, thus making it likely that they’d keep their starters on the sidelines to get some rest and heal up.

With the way the schedule is constructed now, Packers-Bears and Rams-Cardinals are both at 4:25 p.m. ET, giving neither team a competitive advantage when it comes to resting players. The Rams will do everything they can to win that game instead of leaving it up to an NFC North showdown to get them into the postseason.