How bad are the 2023 Patriots? Bad enough that the NFL was willing to move Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and potentially Taylor Swift out of primetime.

The league on Thursday flexed New England’s Week 15 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium from Monday night to Sunday afternoon.

It’s the first game ever to be flexed out of “Monday Night Football.” The Patriots and Chiefs now will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 17 on FOX, with the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks shifting into the Monday night window.

This also is the first year the league has allowed flexing of Monday and Thursday games, with that practice previously limited to Sunday night. The Patriots had one game last season (a December loss to the Las Vegas Raiders) moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon.

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In most seasons, a clash between Mahomes and Bill Belichick would be a marquee event, as evidenced by its original time slot. The possible presence of a pop superstar like Swift, who is dating Mahomes’ top target, Kelce, would only heighten that spectacle.

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But the Patriots surely will be heavy underdogs in their first matchup with Kansas City since 2020. They sit at 2-9 following last week’s loss to the similarly terrible New York Giants, while the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs are 8-3 and own the second-best record in the AFC.

The NFL’s decision to move the game breaks up what would have been a string of three consecutive primetime contests for New England. The Patriots are scheduled to visit the Pittsburgh Steelers next week on “Thursday Night Football” and travel to Denver to face the Broncos on Christmas Eve night.

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The Patriots will host the 4-7 Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Featured image via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images