Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Look At The Monday Night Football Schedule: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Will this year's Monday Night Football games be an
improvement compared to last year's games?

The NFL released their 2012 schedule this year and instead of dissecting each team's schedule, I will look at the Monday night football games only (a Sunday night post will come later). I am not sure how everyone else feels but last year's MNF schedule was a disappointment. I am not sure if someone at ESPN selects the games they want to air or if the NFL chooses for them but last year's games were awful. The second half of the Monday Night Football games are flexed, which means they are given the ability to choose which games are played on Mondays. Until Week 7, will the Monday Night Football games be any better this year? Let's take a look:

The Good:
Cincinnati at Baltimore (Week 1)

  • This game pits two AFC North teams against each other. Youth versus experience. It will be year two for Dalton. Time to see if last year was a fluke or if the Bengals will be contenders for the foreseeable future. It also starts the season for a team that had the AFC championship game in hand until they missed a chip shot field goal. 

Denver at Atlanta (Week 2)

  • Manning versus Ryan. The Peyton hype will still be fresh and Atlanta will be looking to make a statement early in the season. With the suspensions in New Orleans, most people will be looking to Atlanta to win the NFC South. If they are going to win the division, they will have to be consistent from week one. 

Denver at San Diego (Week 6)

  • Two AFC west teams face each other in week 6. These match ups seem to always come down to the quarterbacks. This will be Manning's first visit to San Diego as a Bronco. After the Chargers disappointing 2011 season, they will hoping to take the division in 2012. 

Detroit at Chicago (Week 7)

  • The NFC North and Wild Card should be a close race in 2012. The Lions are getting better and the Bears added Brandon Marshall this off-season. This could be a game that has meaning not only in the North but in the Wild Card as well.

The Bad:
San Diego at Oakland (Week 1)

  • Nothing about this game screams must watch to me. Some will argue the Raiders could be a surprise team in 2012 but I think they will be mediocre again. Palmer is not the quarterback they were expecting. They are not going to be able to build anymore in the draft (as they traded most of their picks). The Chargers should take this game. 

Green Bay at Seattle (Week 3)

  • Another game that I could see being very lopsided. Seattle is getting better but they are not quite there yet. I may be more interested in this game if it was at Green Bay since it would be a home coming for Matt Flynn. I think Seattle will get better, just not in 2012. I do not see Green Bay struggling with the Hawks at all.

Chicago at Dallas (Week 4)

  • This game should be a better game, but for some reason I think it will be one-sided. Dallas continues to disappoint. I wonder if the fans will start to turn on Romo soon (not that I think they necessarily should). Dallas seems to continue to get awarded Monday Night football games and I always wonder why? I will have an upcoming article on how Sunday Night/Monday night football games SHOULD be handled.

The Ugly:
Houston at New York Jets (Week 5)

  • I think the Jets will be a bad team in 2012. The locker room turmoil from last year will carry over to this year. The Jets also play Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Miami and San Francisco prior to this game. I can see them losing four of the five games. By week 5, Sanchez will either be replaced by Tebow or be feeling the pressure from the fans and media. This game will be a blowout. Houston's defense is a top 5 squad and their offense is impressive as well. 
Possible Monday Night Football match ups following week 7:
Week 8: New Orleans at Denver 
Week 9: Buffalo at Houston (Mario Williams back in Houston)
Week 10: Atlanta at New Orleans or Buffalo at New England 
Week 11: Green Bay at Detroit 
Week 12: San Francisco at New Orleans
Week 13: Cincinnati at San Diego
Week 14: Houston at New England (Currently set to be the MNF game that week, shouldn't change)
Week 15: New York Giants at Atlanta
Week 16: Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Week 17: Baltimore at Cincinnati

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