Packers flexed out of primetime again

Once-marquee matchup with Falcons demoted to noon

GREEN BAY, Wis. - For the second time this season, NBC's "Sunday Night Football" franchise is saying "no thank you" to the Green Bay Packers.

Actually, the decision surely has less to do with the Packers than their opponent -- the Atlanta Falcons, who have been, like the Packers, bitten hard by the injury bug.

Unlike the Packers, though, the Falcons have nose dived in the standings: They've lost five in a row and at 2-9 have the worst record in the NFC.

The Packers' visit to East Rutherford to play the New York Giants on November 17 was downgraded from primetime to late Sunday afternoon in favor of the Chiefs / Broncos game.

This time, the Packers are being bumped by the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, who will meet in primetime on December 8.

The Packers and Falcons will meet at Lambeau Field at noon that day.

New Orleans (9-2) holds a one-game lead over the Panthers (8-3), but Carolina extended its winning streak to seven on Sunday, rallying to beat the Miami Dolphins 20-16.

The Seattle Seahawks (10-1) had a bye in Week 12 and currently holds the edge for home-field advantage in the NFC.

New Orleans travels to Seattle for a pivotal conference game next Monday (Dec. 2), before returning home to prepare for the Panthers.

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