NFL Watchability Index, Week 4: Which games are worth your time this week?

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

There are plenty of good games this week, but which ones should you make time for? Welcome to the Week 4 edition of the Watchability Index.

We can now start to separate the wheat from the chaff. At this point, we have a good idea of which teams are worth watching and which ones to avoid. Spoiler alert: The NFC East is awful this year. Good thing we have all those prime time games to look forward to!

This is also the first bye week. The Packers and Panthers are the only teams taking a break, so we have 15 games to sift through. As usual, I'll be rating every game on a scale of one through five, five being the best. Without further ado, here's the Watchability Index for Week 4.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams

The TNF games are near unwatchable, but it's hard to ignore the intrigue of this one. Both teams had rough starts to the season, and the loser of this game will be 1-3 and in a deep hole in the NFC West. The 49ers in particular look vulnerable, losing Aldon Smith indefinitely as he checks into rehab. Divisional foes desperate to right the ship and keep pace with the Seahawks on a short week? Sounds like a good time. Don't sleep on this game.

Watchability rank: 4

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

The Ravens have two straight wins. They may also be without Ray Rice for another week. On the other hand, E.J. Manuel looked every bit the rookie in a winnable game against the Jets. Baltimore might win this one in one of those 17-10 snoozefests.

Watchability rank: 2

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Last week, the Browns traded away Trent Richardson, leading many to believe they're tanking for a franchise quarterback in the 2014 draft. Brian Hoyer responded by throwing for 321 yards and three touchdowns in an inspiring victory. If Hoyer goes all Kurt Warner and leads them to the playoffs, that may indeed be the most Browns thing we have ever seen.

Watchability rank: 3

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

It's been three weeks and I still feel uncomfortable about Marc Trestman. That may be because he looks and talks exactly like the villain from Robocop. It's downright uncanny. I'm half expecting him to tell the opposing coach "b@#$%&s leave" after every victory.

Watchability rank: 3

Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans

After dispatching the Jaguars in a glorified preseason game, the Seahawks take their show on the road in the dreaded 10:00 a.m. PT game. The good news is they face a Texans squad that just got shellacked by the Ravens. Houston needed late comebacks to get its two wins and doesn't nearly look as strong as its record suggests. This game will say a lot about where it stands in the AFC pecking order.

Watchability rank: 4

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

There was a little debate in the preseason over whether the Raiders or Jaguars were the worst team in football. After three games, Terrelle Pryor has looked better than expected, while the Jaguars are a sad trombone at quarterback. They're going back to Blaine Gabbert this week hoping he will show something, anything, in 2013. I wouldn't bet on it.

Watchability rank: 1

New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs

Not to excuse Eli Manning's horrific play, but he's in a hopeless situation right now. The Giants have no running game, a sieve of an offensive line and one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Now they get to face one of the best defenses in football and an offense that has done a fine job hiding Alex Smith's flaws so far. Manning may very well add to his league-leading eight interceptions this week.

Watchability rank: 2

Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings

Two 0-3 teams face off in a battle of the least incompetent. We're sorry, London. You did nothing to deserve this. There are way better 1:00 p.m. games on the slate; don't waste your time with this one.

Watchability rank: 1

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Josh Freeman era wheezes to an end as Mike Glennon replaces him at quarterback. This move came two days after the Bucs said Freeman gives them the best chance to win. Beware the vote of confidence. The Bucs' defense may be their only saving grace this season as Greg Schiano's seat continues to grow warm.

Watchability rank: 2

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

Sleeper game of the week? These two teams have looked better than expected, and a win would put one of them at 3-1. I'm interested to see if Geno Smith and Jake Locker can carry their strong Week 3 performances forward.

Watchability rank: 3

Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos

Did you see what the Broncos did to Oakland's defense? Now imagine that, but with a high-scoring Eagles offense that will require Denver to keep up. Peyton Manning could set even more records this week.

Watchability rank: 3

Washington Redskins at Oakland Raiders

Terrelle Pryor, against all odds, is looking like a real difference-maker for the Raiders. He just has a terrible defense to deal with. I'm sure Robert Griffin III can sympathize. This has all the makings of a shootout, and might end up being the most entertaining late game on the schedule.

Watchability rank: 3

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers

The NFC East is such a tire fire that the Cowboys could take it by just doing the least dumb things. Problem is, they're the Cowboys, and doing dumb things is kind of their MO at this point. I wouldn't be surprised to see a letdown game against a surprisingly salty Chargers team after dominating the Rams last week. Speaking of the Chargers, has anyone confirmed the existence of Manti Te'o?

Watchability rank: 3

New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons

Despite early season struggles, these are two pretty good teams with playoff aspirations facing off in primetime. Yet, I don't think this will be the most talked-about television events on Sunday evening. NBC may want to consider pausing the game at 9 p.m. and displaying a graphic on the screen telling viewers where to find AMC on their local dial. If they can still draw huge ratings for a one-hour weather delay, they can deal with people tuning out for 75 minutes and coming back to the game after seeing Walter White's ultimate fate.

Watchability rank: 4

Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints

The Dolphins look like the real deal after a 3-0 start, but losing Cameron Wake will be a big blow. Wake has a knee sprain and could miss a week or two. On the bright side, Ryan Tannehill has taken big steps forward in his second year and looks like the franchise quarterback fans have been waiting for since Dan Marino retired. ESPN has a rare dream matchup with undefeated teams on MNF, and I recommend this one without hesitation.

Watchability rank: 5

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