NFL Watchability Index, Week 1: Which games are worth your valuable viewing time?

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Football is finally back, and we're here to take you through every game of the first week to determine which ones are worth watching.

After a long summer spent doing torturous activities like interacting with our loved ones, it's time for our annual tradition of plopping down in front of the television, consuming more alcohol than our bodies can hold, and saying words our children are too young to hear.

We have more television options than ever now for football viewing. Sunday Ticket is still around and the NFL Red Zone channel has turned every Sunday into a seven-hour orgy of nonstop highlights. But which games are actually worth watching? That's what I'm here for. Welcome to the 2013 debut edition of the NFL Watchability Index.

Over the next 17 weeks, I will rank every game on a scale of one through five to determine which ones to watch and which ones to avoid. Let's start with Week 1:

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

The first TNF game of the year will probably be the only good TNF game of the year, so catch it while you can. Peyton Manning, Joe "Money Bags" Flacco, playoff rematch? Yeah, it should be fun.

There's an amusing subtext to this game -- the defending Super Bowl champs traditionally host the first game of the year at home, but due to a scheduling conflict with the Orioles, the Ravens will be on the road. That hasn't stopped the NFL from putting up Ravens banners all over the city and pretending like they're still the home team. Things are going to get awkward in Mile High when they hand out the rings in the pregame ceremony.

Watchability rank: 5

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

The Patriots lost almost all of their offensive playmakers in the offseason and yet Tom Brady will probably make a star out of a UDFA rookie. That's what Brady does, and we should all be used to it by now. E.J. Manuel will throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns and the Bills will probably still lose. That's what the Bills do and we should all just get used to it by now.

Watchability rank: 2

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

The Panthers' revamped front seven will get their first real test after a solid preseason. This game could go either way -- the Seahawks don't typically play well in 1 p.m. East Coast games, and have a lot of injuries along the defensive line. The Panthers are rolling with DeAngelo Williams in the backfield after losing Jonathan Stewart to the PUP.

Watchability rank: 3

Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears

Geno Atkins might be the best player in the NFL most fans haven't heard of. People don't want to see defensive tackles on the cover of GQ. I think the Bengals are underrated despite two straight playoff appearances and appearing on Hard Knocks this year. The big question this season is whether or not Andy Dalton can take that next step from "capable" to "game changer."

Meanwhile, Marc Trestman will debut his zany Canadian offense this week, including radical notions like "use Matt Forte in the passing game more." Anyway, there's a lot to like in this matchup. I highly recommend it if it's available in your region.

Watchability rank: 4

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

The Dolphins spent big in the offseason. One of those free agent investments, Dustin Keller, is done for the year after his knee exploded. They also have a question mark at left tackle with Jonathan Martin struggling to replace Jake Long. That's a matchup problem against a talented Browns front seven. It will be interesting to see how Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson and Jordan Cameron look in Norv Turner's offense.

Watchability rank: 2

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

We should see our first long look at Sharrif Floyd after Kevin Williams injured his knee in preseason. The Vikings have a new playmaker in Cordarrelle Patterson, but the problem is that Christian Ponder is still under center.

Jim Schwartz is coaching for his job after the Lions face-planted last year. They have way more talent than their 4-12 record, but will they put it all together? Reggie Bush will help Matthew Stafford by giving the Lions a threat to run as well as another receiving option.

Watchability rank: 2

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck vs. Terrelle Pryor would've been an awesome Rose Bowl in 2011, but the NCAA denied us that potential matchup. Better late than never, right? Speaking of college, Ohio State's 2011 offensive line may be an upgrade over whoever the Raiders are trotting out this year. Better put those legs to use, Pryor!

Watchability rank: 1

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars

Here's a trivia question: Out of these two teams, which one went 2-14 last year, got a new head coach and general manager, and drafted a right tackle with their first-round pick? Trick question, it's both. The rebuild is on in Jacksonville. The Chiefs will compete in the AFC with Alex Smith at the helm and a surprisingly decent defense. This game will say a lot about which direction these two teams are headed with their new regimes, but I can't recommend it unless you're a fan of either team.

Watchability rank: 1

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Falcons vs. Saints might be the most underrated rivalry in the NFL, partly because of the regional ties and partly because their fans are still hungover from watching LSU or Georgia. Sean Payton makes his big comeback, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan are still around, both have potent supporting casts, and neither team can play defense. What's not to like here?

Watchability rank: 5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets

It looks like Geno Smith will be starting this game. That's a real shame because it denies us a glorious opportunity to see Mark Sanchez throw a pick six to Darrelle Revis in front of a pissed off MetLife crowd. If the Jets are going to Jet it up this year, they may as well go all the way. Get that shoulder healthy, Mark, America needs you.

Watchability rank: 2

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers drafted Le'Veon Bell out of Michigan State to rejuvenate their running game. Bell was injured in preseason and could be out until October. Last year, the Steelers drafted guard David DeCastro hoping to keep Big Ben upright, but he was also injured in preseason and missed the entire year. I'm sensing a theme here.

The Titans have a new offensive line and talented players at receiver. None of it will matter if Jake Locker doesn't improve. Locker has struggled with accuracy since his days at the University of Washington. Will the switch finally come on in his third year? I'm not betting on it.

Watchability rank: 2

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

Another playoff rematch. The Packers had a whole offseason to figure out how to stop Colin Kaepernick after he put up video game stats against them last January. On the other hand, Kaepernick also had a whole offseason with the first team after starting 2012 on the bench. The Packers rookie Eddie Lacy debuts. He has the potential to be their first legitimate feature back since Ahman Green. This has "Game Of The Week" written all over it and should have plenty of fireworks.

Watchability rank: 5

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

The Cardinals had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year. First-round pick Jonathan Cooper, a guard, was supposed to help fix that problem, and then he broke his leg. Combine that with the strong-armed but immobile Carson Palmer against last year's NFL co-sack leaders, and this game could get ugly fast. The Rams look improved on offense, and could challenge the 49ers and Seahawks in the NFC West.

Watchability rank: 1

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

NBC devoting its first SNF game to two overhyped NFC East teams? Well, I never... The Cowboys always seem to bring their special blend of Cowboys on primetime. You never know which Eli Manning will show up week to week. Could be a good game, could be a trainwreck, I'll be tuning in either way.

Watchability rank: 3

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

Getting a documentary in your second NFL season is like writing an autobiography at age 23. To be fair to Robert Griffin III, though, he's actually good at football, so his current level of exposure isn't quite like Tebowmania. At any rate, RGIII vs. Michael Vick should be a blast.

Watchability rank: 5

Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers

ESPN is continuing its yearly habit of showing the good MNF game in the early slot and switching over to a West Coast snoozefest, usually with Chris Berman or Mike and Mike on the call. I'm not looking forward to this one.

Watchability rank: 2

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