The Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos were originally supposed to square off at noon CST on Sunday, Dec. 5. The game is now being flexed to Sunday night, per Field Yates of ESPN.
The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers were slated to be the featured Sunday Night Football broadcast, but the Chiefs and Broncos will now be facing each other in an AFC West showdown with the world watching. Instead of Russell Wilson vs. Jimmy Garoppolo, football fans will be getting Patrick Mahomes vs. Teddy Bridgewater.
Heading into the season, the Chiefs had five primetime games on their schedule. In addition to facing the Broncos, their game against the Los Angeles Chargers marks what will be the second outing of that nature in the month of December. The NFL's flexible scheduling rules explain the process further:
"Flexible scheduling" will be used in Weeks 11-18. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-17, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time.
For Week 18, two Saturday games and the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 9. The schedule does not list Saturday games or a Sunday night game in Week 18, but games with playoff implications will be moved to those time slots. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives "surprise" teams a chance to play their way into primetime.
Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.
For the Chiefs, their big-time players get more big-time exposure as a result of this flexed game. For the Broncos, a team currently still in the mix for both the AFC West crown and a playoff spot in general, they have the opportunity to send the conference a statement on the day's best time slot if they can take care of business between now and then.