Each Thursday, we'll rank the games from least to most watchable. The following Tuesday, we'll re-rank the games based on what actually went down. At season's end, we'll tally up the pre- and post-game rankings from throughout the year to determine the league's most and least watchable squads -- and the 30 teams in between. All times Eastern.
ONLY IF YOUR OTHER OPTION IS YARDWORK
14. Jacksonville at Detroit, 1:00 p.m., CBS
We'll just let others tell us about Daunte Culpepper's return to football. We're trusting that way.
13. Carolina at Oakland, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Eighth-ranked defense vs. 29th-ranked offense equals a recipe for disaster.
12. Kansas City at San Diego, 4:15 p.m., CBS
Two teams from the AFC Worst? Wake us up when the Chargers get back to .500.
IT AIN'T GONNA BE EPIC, BUT HEY, IT'S FOOTBALL
11. Seattle at Miami, 1:00 p.m., FOX
In case you haven't been paying attention, the Dolphins' Joey Porter is having a ridiculous season and the locquacious linebacker must be salivating at the thought of padding his league-leading sack total against poor Seneca Wallace.
10. St. Louis at N.Y. Jets, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Almost put this in the Yardwork category, but then remembered the Jets lost to the Raiders and seem to make every game interesting. We'd hate to be Jets fans.
9. San Francisco at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. (Monday), ESPN
Not exactly the greatest MNF matchup ever, but it should be fun to watch the Cardinals high-powered offense light up the Niners, and we're anxious to see rookie running back Tim Hightower in action. Besides, what else are you gonna watch on Monday night -- Dancing With The Stars?
8. Baltimore at Houston, 1:00 p.m., CBS
"Sweet! I get to start!" --Sage Rosenfels, hearing Matt Schaub would be out for a month
[Three seconds later]
"Oh #%&!" --Rosenfels, realizing this week's opponent and reaching for a new pair of pants
7. Denver at Cleveland, 8:15 p.m. (Thursday), NFL Network
In a smart-ass move, we almost ranked this game dead last since its watchability is severely hindered by its exclusive broadcast on the NFL Network. Alas, with Brady Quinn debuting and the Broncos desperately trying to regain their footing, this is a matchup worth seeking out the inconvienent channel.
6. Green Bay at Minnesota, 1:00 p.m., FOX
With these two teams trailing the Bears by one game in the NFC North, this matchup could have serious playoff implications down the road -- especially for the Vikings, who will be looking for a little payback for the Packers' Week 1 win.
5. New Orleans at Atlanta, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Remember how hungry the Colts looked last week against the Pats? That's how the Saints will be approaching this game, as a loss here would severely hurt their playoff hopes in a surprisingly deep division.
4. Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, 4:15 p.m., CBS
The Steelers defense is playing out of this world, which is not the news Peyton Manning and company wanted to hear -- especially in light of their sputtering run game. Pittsburgh's focus, meanwhile, will be at QB, where we expect a surprisingly efficient Byron Leftwich to get the nod over a still-gimpy Ben Roethlisberger.
SUPERGLUE YOURSELF TO THE COUCH
3. Buffalo at New England, 1:00 p.m., CBS
Lose this, and the Bills will be 0-3 in the AFC East and would be difficult to take seriously as a contender. The Pats, meanwhile, begin a three-game run (vs. Bills, vs. Jets, at Dolphins) that will define their season. Matt Cassel, the stage is yours.
2. N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
Tough gig for the Super Bowl champs, as the Linc will be rocking with fans still high on the Phillies' World Series win. And now that Donovan McNabb has a healthy stable of weapons, the Giants defense will have its hands full. Should be a fantastic game.
1. Tennessee at Chicago, 1:00 p.m., CBS
We can think of nothing better than Rex Grossman making his first start of the season against the ravenous Titans defense. Throw in the fact the Titans are due for a turnover-fest (they haven't committed one in three games) and we expect a wild, back-and-forth affair. As a bonus (with apologies to Matt Ryan), rookie of the year frontrunners Chris Johnson and Matt Forte will share the same field.