The full NFL schedule has been released and if you were hoping for 17 amazing games on Monday Night Football — I have some bad news. This year’s slate is full of some truly great matchups with a lot on the line, then some nonsensical games that make little sense, featuring teams we’ve already seen before.
We don’t need to see the Saints twice on national TV, or the Colts for that matter. It’s not that these are bad — it just doesn’t offer much variety. Let’s rank the full slate of MNF games this season from best, to the absolute least watchable.
No. 1: Bills at Bengals — Week 17
We close the season with a banger. Two of the best teams in the AFC meeting in a week that will likely have huge playoff implications. Whether it’s someone trying to sneak in, or secure home field advantage, a lot will be on the line.
No. 2: Broncos at Chargers — Week 6
I have faith this is going to be great. A couple of years ago there was no reason this should be compelling, but with the AFC West being so brutally competitive, paired with the QB duel of Russell Wilson vs. Justin Herbert and we have all the ingredients for a great game.
No. 3: 49ers at Cardinals — Week 11
A lot of this depends on whether Trey Lance is everything San Francisco hopes he can be, but this will be good regardless. Any time you get Kyler Murray going up against the 49ers defense it’s a treat, and the possibility of an offensive shootout adds a layer to see. By Week 11 we’ll know who these two teams are, and that makes it fun.
No. 4: Bengals at Browns — Week 8
This entirely depends on Deshaun Watson’s status. It’ll either be one of the best games this season, or an unwatchable mess. We’ll need to wait to see whether the NFL suspends Watson, but for now I’m operating under the assumption he’s playing.
No. 5: Raiders at Chiefs — Week 5
Las Vegas is desperately trying to move into the elite of the AFC West and cement themselves. That makes this an early test for both teams capabilities, and we’ll get to see if the mammoth work the Raiders did in free agency and via trade will pay off.
No. 6: Rams at 49ers — Week 4
This could very well be the MNF game of the year, but I’m being a little reserved because it does hinge so much on Trey Lance. If he’s not ready to shoulder the load this year it would be a really ugly game — which is why I rank it below 49ers vs. Cardinals, which can be competitive even without Lance playing well.
No. 7: Rams at Packers — Week 15
This late in the season there will be plenty of drama in the NFC playoff picture, and it feels like more will be on the line for the Packers. Sure, they have a far easier division — but Green Bay took a big step back offensively with the loss of Davante Adams, and that could lead to this game being a fight for their playoff lives.
No. 8: Chargers at Colts — Week 16
This is a really intriguing game with more playoff potential. It’s expected the Colts should be able to in the AFC South, but the west is a fight and by Week 16 the Chargers could be battling to find their way in.
No. 9: Titans at Bills — Week 2
This is the turning point for me where the games start to get bad. There’s nothing wrong with this game, but nothing much exciting either. I don’t have faith in Ryan Tannehill any more, but watching Derrick Henry against the Buffalo defense is worth the price of admission.
No. 10: Broncos at Seahawks — Week 1
Makes the Top 10 only because of the drama of Russell Wilson returning to Seattle. Otherwise I don’t think this is a good game.
No. 11: Patriots at Cardinals — Week 14
This game inspires absolutely no feelings. Nothing good, nothing bad — it just exists.
No. 12: Saints at Buccaneers — Week 13
The Buccaneers should win, but the NFC South is wacky. That’s the nicest thing that can be said about this one.
No. 13: Steelers at Colts — Week 12
This is a football game you could watch.
No. 14: Ravens at Saints — Week 9
This is also a football game you could watch.
No. 15: Commanders at Eagles — Week 10
Nobody should subject themselves to this outside of these two fanbases. Carson Wentz returning to Philly inspires some drama I suppose, but nobody really cares about Carson Wentz.
No. 16: Cowboys at Giants: Week 3
The Giants had a great draft, but this game is offensive to be put on national TV.
No. 17: Bears at Patriots — Week 7
I cannot fathom who thought this would be a good game. It’s going to suck and should be watched by nobody.