By beating the Indianapolis Colts (14-1) yesterday, the New York Jets (8-7) have flexed their muscles enough to earn a spot on Sunday Night Football next week. The scenario is simple. If the Jets beat the Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) they are in the playoffs. If they lose, they stay home.
Unfortunately for CBS Sports, they lose what would likely have been a marquee game for them heading into the playoffs.
Here is the press release issued by NBC Sports last night.
BENGALS-JETS FLEX TO SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ON JANUARY 3
Jets earn Wild Card berth with win over Bengals
NEW YORK - Dec. 27, 2009 - The National Football League today announced that the Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets was selected to move to “Sunday Night Football” on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 3, as part of the NFL’s flexible scheduling.
The Jets (8-7), coming off a 29-15 victory over the previously unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, have won four of their last five games and control their playoff fate as they host the Cincinnati Bengals (10-5), champions of the AFC North.
The Jets are vying for an AFC Wild Card playoff berth and will automatically claim one with a win. The Bengals are vying with the New England Patriots for the No. 3 seed in the AFC.
Coverage begins with "Football Night in America," Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: The NFL will utilize flexible scheduling in Weeks 11-17. In those weeks, the schedule will list the games tentatively scheduled for Sunday night on NBC Sports. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game will be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move will be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the move may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.