2011 NFL Schedule: How Good Are the Monday Night Football Games?
Football is back, and while Sundays are great, the Monday night showcase that ESPN puts on has American fans glued to the screen.
Every week on Monday Night Football, most fans sit down and watch a game that does not involve their favorite team.
This is an interesting thing. Due to the length of the NFL season, fans watch games like the MNF games purely for the love of the sport.
This is not seen with sports like baseball or basketball where there are enough games that a fan can just watch their own team and get their fill of the sport that way.
Here is a look at the Monday Night Football schedule.
Week 1: New England vs. Miami/ Oakland vs. Denver
Week one hits fans with a Monday night double header.
The first game is the New England Patriots against the Miami Dolphins, while the second is the Oakland Raiders taking on the Denver Broncos.
The first game is one that is an exciting prospect especially since Bill Belichick and his team never really disappoint. The offseason acquisitions of Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth by the Patriots will make it exciting to see what they bring to the field.
The Oakland/Denver game is an interesting one because of the nation's love-hate relationship with Denver’s soon-to-be starter Tim Tebow. People will either be glued to the screen hoping for him to get pummeled, while others will want to see him put up numbers and prove the doubters wrong.
Week 2: St. Louis vs. New York (N)
This game is an interesting one with St. Louis taking on New York Giants.
The Giants' defense versus young Sam Bradford will be an exciting prospect for this game. The pressure that the Giants are able to place on Bradford will dictate the matchup.
Bradford, if given time, will use his playmaking ability to turn the game in his team's favor. He will also be able to use the strength of the Rams' running game to keep the Giants on their toes.
Week 3: Washington vs. Dallas
The Washington Redskins versus the Dallas Cowboys will be a fun game to watch.
The team from America’s capital against America’s team is an enticing prospect for a Monday night game.
It is also a game to watch because both teams are making big moves this offseason. A lot of their players have been put up for trades or released due to the salary cap.
Dallas is also trying to turn around their bad fortunes from last season's campaign and they should be hitting their stride by week three.
Week 4: Indianapolis vs. Tampa Bay
Indianapolis Colts versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers; a game that features a team with experience and longevity of success another another team that is just finding out who they are.
This is a great match up for a Monday night game.
Whenever Peyton Manning can be showcased for everyone to see is a good thing for football fans.
The Buccaneers on the other hand, have a player in Josh Freeman that is becoming a star and will likely become a household name as the team grows in wins and starts making playoff runs.
Week 5: Chicago vs. Detroit
Chicago versus Detroit; will this be the year of consistency for both teams?
Detroit has been improving, while staying competitive late in games even in ones that they lose. This season their win total will likely get a bit higher.
Chicago is a team known for their dominant defense but they are a team that gets wins even if they aren't very convincing.
This is going to be the season where they put up and Jay Cutler will silence many of his critics.
Week 6: Miami vs. New York (A)
Miami Dolphins versus New York Jets; Rex Ryan and co. in the spotlight.
There is no team that feeds off of attention more then Rex Ryan and his Jets. A lot of the time Ryan brings the focus to them, but it works.
With most fans expected to watch this Monday night matchup, look for the Jets to come out strong and dominate the game.
Week 7: Baltimore vs. Jacksonville
Baltimore versus Jacksonville; the Ravens' defense will shine in this one.
The hard-hitting, persistent defense of the Ravens is going to cause havoc on the Jaguars who are not even close to the same level.
The Jaguars have the ability to surprise teams but there will be no surprises in this week seven matchup.
Week 8: San Diego vs. Kansas City
San Diego versus Kansas City; will the Chiefs be able to replicate their success of last season?
The Chargers had a good campaign and missed the playoffs last season, so they should be coming out with a fire this up coming season.
Kansas City has lost Charlie Weis, who has to be credited with helping the Chiefs do so well last season.
This game will be one of the most exciting games to watch because the match up is potentially very good if the Chiefs have the magic of last season.
Week 9: Chicago vs. Philadelphia
Chicago versus Philadelphia; Michael Vick versus the Bears' defense that is a good match up.
Vick is the most explosive, athletic quarterback in the game and no one needs to be told that. The Bears are a team that will be carrying a mission with them because it is likely a now or never mentality being taken into this season.
Look for fire from both sides of the field and an exciting, yet pretty even match up.
Week 10: Minnesota vs. Green Bay
Minnesota versus Green Bay; the first game the defending Super Bowl champs play on Monday night and it is against their biggest rival.
This is the first game in a very long time that Brett Favre will not be appearing in for either of these teams.
That just may add a little more to this game.
Minnesota has just gotten another veteran quarterback in Donovan McNabb, while the Packers have the majority of their Super Bowl winning roster back.
Week 11: Kansas City vs. New England
Kansas City versus New England; the Patriots have built themselves into an even stronger team then last year.
They are definitely one of the top favorites to make the Super Bowl this season.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will have the troops in order and will be dominating the league by this time, but the Chiefs could be out to surprise.
Week 12: New York (N) vs. New Orleans
New York Giants versus New Orleans Saints; Drew Brees and co. first appearance of the season on MNF and it will be against the hard-nosed Giants.
Drew Brees was a pivotal player in terms of ending the lockout and the nation seems to enjoy getting behind him and his team.
Expect a lot of Saints supporters to be watching and hoping they can take down Eli Manning’s Giants.
Week 13: San Diego vs. Jacksonville
San Diego versus Jacksonville; can the Jaguars compete with the Chargers?
Philip Rivers will exploit the Jaguars in this game and it will be a fun one if you are not rooting for Jacksonville.
Look for the Chargers to post big offensive numbers in this matchup.
Week 14: St. Louis vs. Seattle
St. Louis versus Seattle; Pete Carroll has brought in a good amount of talent from the free agency market.
With the additions of Sidney Rice and Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle has become a stronger squad.
Both teams will be pretty closely matched on paper but Seattle, in front of the home fans, will beat the Rams.
Week 15: Pittsburgh vs. San Francisco
Pittsburgh vs. San Francisco; Jim Harbaugh’s first Monday Night Football game as a head coach and it is against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Can anyone get a tougher matchup for their first primetime appearance?
Expect the Steelers to humble San Francisco and Jim Harbaugh, even though it would be nice to see the 49ers doing the unexpected and beating the Steelers.
Week 16: Atlanta vs. New Orleans
Atlanta vs. New Orleans; the young and talented Atlanta Falcons will be facing the New Orleans Saints.
Sean Peyton will have his hands full with Matt Ryan’s squad.
The Falcons will likely grind this game out for the final Monday Night Football game of the season.