Instead, the game will take place at 1:00 p.m. ET. Existing game tickets will be valid for the new start time. There were rumors that this game would be flexed out of primetime, and now, it’s official.
This comes as no surprise with the Bengals 4-7-1 and out of the playoff picture, while the Steelers are 7-5. With NFL ratings down, the league was looking to find a flashier game for its primetime spot. The Sunday night Week 15 game will now be Tampa Bay vs Dallas, two teams currently in line for a playoff spot. In fact, the Cowboys (11-1) are the only NFL team to already have clinched the playoffs.
This is probably good news for the Bengals who haven’t done all that well in primetime under Marvin Lewis. In recent years, the Bengals lost to the Steelers in the playoffs on primetime last season and also lost to the Steelers in primetime in a 2014 regular season matchup.
The Steelers-Bengals game will be a critical one for the Steelers to win if they want to win the division. For the Bengals, it’s more of a game they’ll be playing for pride. And you can surely believe the Bengals will want to beat their division rival in Week 15. The Bengals lost to the Steelers in Week 2 in Pittsburgh.
Of note, the Bengals vs Texans Christmas eve game scheduled for 8:25 p.m. ET is not eligible for a kickoff time change.
We’re not sad at all to see this game flexed out of primetime and into the 1:00 p.m. slot on CBS. Are you?