Not flexing Bengals-Chargers to Sunday Night Football was a mistake
With the Cincinnati Bengals sitting with a winning record, some thought they might end up with more than just the one primetime game they were awarded ahead of the season.
When the 2021 schedule was released, fans were bummed to see just one primetime game on the team’s schedule. That game was held in Week 4 when the Bengals hosted the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. When a team only gets a Thursday night game, it’s typically because the NFL doesn’t expect them to do much.
Well, the jokes on the league, as the Bengals are 6-4 and could still realistically win the AFC North. They’ve battered the Steelers and Ravens this year and really impressed people early on.
After two difficult losses, the Bengals rebounded this past week and blew out the Raiders. A week from Sunday, they host the Chargers in what’s slated for a 1:00 EST kickoff. With Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert quarterbacking those two teams who are both vying for a playoff spot, it made sense that the Week 13 AFC matchup be flexed into Sunday night that week.
While the previous Seahawks-49ers game was indeed flexed out, unfortunately, it won’t be the Bengals hosting a game under the lights. Field Yates reported on Tuesday afternoon that Chiefs-Broncos was chosen for the night game instead. Sigh.
No Sunday Night Football for the Bengals in Week 13
After the Bengals took down the Ravens, I wrote a post listing five games that could have realistically been flexed into primetime. Bengals-Chargers was one of those games with two others either taking place already (Bengals-Raiders) or coming up this weekend (Bengals-Steelers).
Bengals-Ravens part two could be a candidate to make it onto Sunday night, as could Bengals-Browns part two, assuming both teams are vying for a playoff spot at that point.
While the decision to put Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the night game isn’t a shocking one, most people would rather see Burrow vs Herbert over Mahomes vs Teddy Bridgewater. Burrow, as we know, went No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Bengals while Herbert went five picks later to the Chargers.
Herbert went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year last year while Burrow wound up missing six games due to injury. People, of course, questioned whether or not Cincinnati made the right choice and this year is proving that they have.
Seeing Burrow and Herbert go head-to-head under the lights would have been a lot of fun but the NFL chose not to put two likely mainstays in the league going against each other. If this game ends up being awesome and the Chiefs-Broncos game sucks, the NFL will, understandably, be kicking themselves for not showcasing it.