The New England Patriots used to be a strong candidate to be flexed into primetime NFL games late in the season. But with a 2-9 record at the bottom of the AFC standings entering Week 13, the Patriots are no longer a must-see team.
The league announced Thursday that the Week 15 matchup between the Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs has been flexed out of "Monday Night Football." The game will now take place Sunday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. The Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks game has been flexed to the Monday night slot.
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This is the first season in which games can be flexed in and out of "Monday Night Football" on ESPN. The Patriots and Chiefs are now the first teams to be moved out, although in fairness to Kansas City, this is all about New England.
The Patriots are the second-lowest scoring team in the league at 13.5 points per game. They scored only one touchdown in an ugly 10-7 loss to the New York Giants in Week 12.
New England's offense has scored more than 20 points in just one of its first 11 games. That's not the ideal team for a standalone game on national TV, even when a star of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' caliber is also part of the matchup.
New England Patriots
The Patriots still have two more night games on their schedule. They will play at the Pittsburgh Steelers on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 14, and they'll also travel to Denver to play the Broncos on Christmas Eve in Week 16. Those games cannot be flexed.