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Bengals flexed out of prime time in week 15

The Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1) will not be playing their third nationally-televised game of the season.

The Bengals-Steelers (7-5) matchup on December 18th at Paul Brown Stadium was flexed to a 1:00 p.m start time. It was replaced by a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) and Dallas Cowboys (11-1) at Jerry World.

It was a change many saw coming. The Buccaneers have won four straight and sit tied with Atlanta for the top spot in the NFC South. Meanwhile, Dallas — led by rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot — are the hottest team in football and became the first club to clinch a postseason spot after the New York Giants lost in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

At 4-7-1, the Bengals are barely alive in the AFC North race. Despite a win over the Eagles yesterday and a winnable game against the Browns on tap for this Sunday, their matchup with rival Pittsburgh will be a regular 1 p.m start.

After a 10-point win over the Giants, the Steelers are tied atop the North with the Baltimore Ravens, a team that will visit Cincinnati on New Year’s Day for a one o’clock affair.

Last year, the Bengals-49ers matchup at Levi Stadium was flexed out of prime time because of San Fran’s poor record. This year, it’s Cincinnati’s down season that spoils a nationally-televised contest.

Last year's Bengals-49ers game was flexed out of prime time. Cincinnati won, 24-14. photo by nflfeeds.com

Last year’s Bengals-49ers game was flexed out of prime time. Cincinnati won, 24-14. photo by nflfeeds.com

The Steelers edged the Bengals, 24-16, in the two team’s earlier matchup this season at Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh is 13-2 at PBS since 2003, including a pair of playoff victories.

Despite the flex, the Bengals are still guaranteed one more prime time game this season. Their Christmas Eve matchup against the Houston Texans (6-6) is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. at NRG Stadium. That game is not eligible for a kickoff time change.

@scdermer4

Photo: Cincinnati.com

Shelby Dermer

Shelby Dermer

Editor in Chief at Riverfront Grumble
Shelby is a junior studying Journalism at Ohio University. A graduate of Waynesville High School in 2013, Shelby did football and baseball play-by-play for Waynesville and had his own sports column in the WHS Spartacus Newspaper while also playing basketball for the Spartans. Now at Ohio, Shelby covers Ohio University Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball, and softball for Speakeasy Magazine where he is the sports' editor. He is an enormous fan of the NFL and MLB and writes Cincinnati Bengals/Reds articles as editor-in-chief of RiverfrontGrumble.com. Find Shelby on SportsGrumble.com, as well, where he also serves as editor-in-chief. Shelby is a frequent commentator on wellroundedpodcast.com discussing sports-related news. Follow Shelby on Twitter @scdermer4
Shelby Dermer

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