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NFL pushing to bring flex scheduling to Thursday Night Football games

The quality of play during Thursday Night Football games has become a punchline around the NFL community. Even Amazon’s Al Michaels, who was the lead broadcaster for TNF primetime action during the 2022-23 season, couldn’t help himself last season, describing one game as “dreadful,” as neither the Indianapolis Colts nor Denver Broncos scored a touchdown.

But it wasn’t just the Indianapolis vs. Denver matchup that drew the ire of fans. Out of their 15 matchups last season, only four featured a playoff team from each side, and two of them came in the first three games of the slate.

Instead, fans were stuck with Washington vs. Chicago in Week 6. Atlanta vs. Carolina in Week 10. This was in addition to just seven of the matchups resulting in a final score difference of one possession.

In other words, fans tuning into Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football schedule weren’t exactly treated to the best the NFL had to offer. Considering its primetime action, with just one game on TV at a time, instead of multiple fighting for attention on Sundays, the league likely wants to do everything possible to put the best product in front of its growing fanbase.

As Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reports, the NFL may be on the verge of solving its TNF problem. Team owners are once again expected to vote on allowing Thursday Night Football games to be flexed to different times, allowing a more optimal matchup for primetime later this week at their annual spring meeting, set to take place in Minnesota.

It’s not the first time the league’s owners have voted on the issue, a measure that previously came two votes shy of being approved. With three-quarters of the team owners needed for approval, 24 or more votes are needed to allow TNF games to be flexed in the near future.

Last time the vote was held, eight owners voted no, and two more abstained. Based on owner John Mara’s comments, it sounds like the New York Giants are one team we can expect to be against the rule change.

“At some point, can we please give some consideration to the people who are coming to our games? People make plans to go to these games weeks and months in advance. And 15 days ahead of time to say, ‘Sorry, folks, that game you were planning on taking your kids to Sunday at 1, now it’s on Thursday night?’ What are we thinking about?”

New York Giants team owner John Mara

Mara was in the minority during the previous vote. We’ll find out soon enough whether more owners have joined his side or if the desire to provide spectators at home with a better matchup in primetime wins out.

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