Monday Night Football Schedule 2012: Ranking Watchability of Remaining Games

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

Nov 4, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Listen, I know that once Monday night rolls around, there is one thing and one thing only that earns your attention: Monday Night Football.

Duhn-duhn-duhn-duhn. Duhn duhn, duhn duhn. Mike Tirico. Jon Gruden. Going to the bathroom and grabbing snacks at halftime so you don't have to watch "The Most Redundant Three Minutes in Sports." 

But life happens, and you can't be sure you'll be able to watch each and every Monday night game. So to help you determine the games you absolutely can't miss and those you can potentially sacrifice, I've ranked the remaining Monday night games in terms of watchability.

Life may happen, but you better make sure it does during the weeks higher on the list. You can't afford to miss the top-ranked games, trust me.

7. Week 15: New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

Yuck. This game has 9-7 written all over it. All we can hope for in this one is a few long Chris Johnson runs.

6. Week 10: Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Chiefs are the biggest disappointment in the NFL this season. The Steelers have been excellent in their current three-game winning streak.

Crazy things happen all of the time in the NFL, so I won't guarantee a Pittsburgh win. But if the Chiefs manage to pull off the upset, well, you can bet more than a few folks will be pretty surprised. 

5. Week 12: Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles

We might be able to dub this game the disappointment bowl. 

Both of these teams were supposed to compete for a potential playoff berth this year, but both have been monumental disappointments. Cam Newton and Michael Vick have taken a step back. Coaches could be fired after the season. Neither defense has stepped up. Close games that should have been won were lost.

Still, with Newton and the arsenal of playmakers on Philadelphia's offense, this game could be a lot of fun for the casual observer. Just don't expect either fanbase to be happy.

4. Week 16: Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions

One would imagine this game would have two major storylines: Can the Falcons lock up the top overall seed in the NFC, and can the Lions manage to sneak their way into the playoffs?

Detroit has some work to do with a 4-5 record, but with Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they can't ever be counted out. Meanwhile, a playoff berth and NFC South title are all but wrapped up in Atlanta, so all that's left to do is wrap up the top overall seed.

This one should be a lot of fun. 

3. Week 13: New York Giants at Washington Redskins

The Giants remain the favorites to win the NFC East, but at 6-4 they're hardly running away with the race. Meanwhile, the Redskins feature electrifying rookie Robert Griffin III and always play the Giants tough.

Expect fireworks in this one, as neither team is particularly good in the secondary. 

2. Week 11: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers

Two of the top teams in the NFC will do battle in this game, with playoff seeds and bye week implications on the line.

There's little doubt the 49ers will win the NFC West, but you can bet the Green Bay Packers will keep things close in the NFC North all season long.

Can Jay Cutler and company limit the turnovers and survive the physical San Fran defense? Can the opportunistic Chicago defense score another touchdown or two? Or will Frank Gore and company grind out another win?

1. Week 14: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

If styles make fights, what could be better than the Texans stout defense doing battle against the Patriots exciting offense?

Besides, this is a game that will feature major conference seeding implications. Can the Texans hold onto the top spot throughout the rest of the season? Or will they falter, allowing teams like the Patriots, Ravens and Broncos to slip into the bye weeks?

We'll have a good idea after this contest.

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