The NFL cleverly makes audibles on which games it will slot into prime time, recently moving the Bears – Rams game into a headline spot.
It’s easy to see what goes into a decision like this when the two ‘replacement’ teams are from major cities.
But while Chicago versus Los Angeles sounds good on paper, the reality is that one team in this match-up is a heavyweight (the Rams), while the other is finding its feet as a contender. Top of the division, yes, but not top of the conference. That’s just the facts.
This could be problematic for NBC, the TV station airing the contest, given that the Rams have the potential to post a high tally, while the Bears’ Mitch Trubisky-led attack will try to keep pace.
Chances are the first quarter will be full of storylines, particularly with the focus on two young quarterbacks. However, the remaining three quarters might lose some of that early narrative flow and, as such, see this particular ‘flex’ flop.
It begs the question, what’s the science behind a flex pick like this anyway? Is there any science?
Rivalries surely must take precedence. Maybe stadiums, too. Then there’s the historical context. But then again, the below options seemingly have more bite.
Bucs – Saints: Scrappy pirates battle slick Super Bowl contenders.
Fins – Pats: Fighting fish against the perennial pro football standard.
Texans – Colts: Upwardly trending Texans buck against cup worthy Colts.
Not that these teams are better than the Bears, per se, but these respective contests just might be worthier than a red hot LA against these particular Bears.
It’s hard to say, so you have to feel for schedulers who can never know if they’re getting Jim McMahon or Vince McMahon.