The NFL announced on Wednesday that it was changing the start times for four games across Weeks 13 and 14.
The Week 13 AFC showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers was flexed from a 1 p.m. ET start time on CBS to the Sunday Night Football slot on NBC. The Steelers (6–2–1) currently sit atop the AFC North and are the No. 2 seed in the latest NFL playoff picture. The Chargers (7–2) will be fighting for a wildcard spot if the Chiefs (9–1) stay in first place in the AFC West come December. The prime time game between the two could be critical as the playoff race tightens. The Dec. 2 flex means the game between the Seahawks and 49ers will move from 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC to 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.
The league also announced Dec. 9 schedule changes for the Rams-Bears and Steelers-Raiders matchups. Rather than playing at 1 p.m. ET on FOX, the Rams and Bears will face off at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Both the Rams (9–1) and Bears (6–3) currently sit atop their respective divisions and are primed to make a case for a playoff berth. The Steelers and Raiders, who were originally scheduled to play at night, will instead go head-to-head at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.
The changes come under the league's primetime flexible scheduling element, which was implemented in 2006 and was modified in 2014 to allow the NFL to reschedule games between Weeks 5 and 17.