The Kansas City Chiefs are already set to play five games in prime time in 2022but there is a possibility the team could play in more prime-time games due to the NFL’s flexible scheduling policy.
Last season, the NFL flexed the Chiefs vs. Broncos Week 13 game from the afternoon slate to “Sunday Night Football.” It gave the team six games in prime time for the 2022 NFL season. A move like that could happen again at a few different points during the course of the 2022 NFL season.
The NFL’s flexible scheduling policy applies to Weeks 5 through 15 and Week 17 this season. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be flexed into “Sunday Night Football.” That’s significant for Kansas City because they play in a ton of late afternoon games in 2022.
It’s also important to note that networks are allowed to protect one game from flexible scheduling. CBS is rumored to have done so with the team’s Week 6 game against the Bills, meaning that Kansas City would have just four eligible games to be moved under the league’s flexible scheduling policy.
Here’s a quick look at each of those games and our thoughts on the likelihood of the game getting moved:
This will mark the first rematch of Super Bowl LIV, so there is certainly the storyline that the NFL needs to get viewers to tune in on Sunday night. Week 7 also has one of the weaker matches slated for prime time with the Steelers facing the Dolphins. I think this is a strong possibility, but perhaps only if Trey Lance is the starting quarterback and gets off to a hot start with San Francisco.
The Chiefs already play the Chargers in a prime-time game during Week 2. On top of that, they’re set to play each of their AFC West opponents in a prime-time game. The Bengals are set to play the Steelers on “Sunday Night Football” this week, so it feels like they’ve already managed a divisional matchup with some drama. I’d be surprised if this is the game that gets flexed for Kansas City.
The last time these two teams met, they combined for the third-highest scoring game in NFL history. I’m not sure the NFL will want to move the originally-slated game — the Eagles vs. Packers. However, if they did end up moving it for a matchup between the reigning Super Bowl champions and Kansas City, I can hardly say that I would be surprised. It also might break up the monotony of the Chiefs playing three consecutive afternoon games.
Two of the best teams in the AFC, this would be a good choice for the NFL from a storyline perspective. Cincinnati beat Kansas City twice last season, including sending them home in the AFC championship game. The Colts and Cowboys are the two teams originally slated for Sunday night, and I could see the league and networks agreeing to bump those two teams for a more significant matchup with big implications within the AFC conference.