Oakland Raiders, Broncos Week 5 game unlikely to be flexed


The Oakland Raiders players and coaching staff may have their sights set on Week 4 in Chicago against the Bears, but fans couldn’t be blamed for looking ever so slightly ahead to Week 5. A highly anticipated game between the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos and the Raiders set for October 11 at the Coliseum as the biggest game on the early-season schedule for a surging Oakland team.

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With two of the AFC’s biggest rivals going against each other with the Raiders having a good chance of being 3-1 and looking to make a statement should they beat the Bears there is a chance that the matchup could be the best game on the Week 5 schedule. Leading some to speculate that the NFL and NBC could decide to flex the game to Sunday Night Football, which would be the Raiders first true primetime game since 2013 after being relegated to Thursday Night Football after playing the Denver Broncos in a Monday Night Football loss in their last high profile game that was televised on either SNF/MNF.

However, the early reports are indicating that the NFL will likely not flex schedule the rivalry game next week. Opting to stick with the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers game that was slotted for the Sunday night spot before the season began. A game that could feature two teams with losing records come Week 5 as the Niners are currently in crisis mode after a blowout against the Arizona Cardinals while the Giants are sitting with a 1-2 record going into Week 4.

It is understandable that the NFL would stick with the big-market Giants taking on the Niners for the Week 5 SNF game, but it is hard to deny that the Raiders-Broncos game wouldn’t be the most compelling matchup for NBC especially if Oakland take care of business against the Bears in Chicago on Sunday.

An up and coming Raiders team packed with young stars against Peyton Manning sells itself, but AFC West rivalry games rarely get the respect of the NFC East clashes that regularly are featured on NBC each season. If the NFL wanted to showcase the best game during Week 5, the SNF crew would be at the Coliseum, but at least going into the weekend it appears that there is little interest in giving the Raiders a national audience for now.

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