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
16. St. Louis at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m., FOX
This has the potential to be a fantasy goldmine, but if we rank a game's watchability on fantasy factors alone, Dr. Z would never speak to us again.
15. Detroit at Carolina, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Where can we sign up for the Panthers' schedule? Last week was Oakland and this week is Detroit. In other news, NYC-area favorite Magnolia is interested in sponsoring the team.
14. New Orleans at Kansas City, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Drew Brees vs. Tyler Thigpen doesn't seem like a fair fight. Prove us wrong, Double-T.
13. Oakland at Miami, 1:00 p.m., CBS
The Dolphins are finishing up the Magnolia-sponsored part of their schedule, following last week's game against Seattle.
IT AIN'T GONNA BE EPIC, BUT HEY, IT'S FOOTBALL
12. Philadelphia at Cincinnati, 1:00 p.m., FOX
The Eagles need an easy win before taking on Baltimore, Arizona and the Giants in the next three weeks. The Bengals may play with enough friskiness, though, to make this game worth a glance.
11. Cleveland at Buffalo, 8:30 p.m. (Monday), ESPN
One team playing with its eye on 2009 and another playing to somehow salvage 2008. Not exactly the matchup MNF was pining for.
10. Houston at Indianapolis, 1:00 p.m., CBS
If you gave up on the Colts earlier in the season, this game will be a good one for you to catch. Peyton Manning is rounding into form and the Texans weak run defense (allowing 130 yards per game) could be just what the underachieving Joseph Addai needs.
9. Arizona at Seattle, 4:05 p.m., FOX
A higher-than-probably-deserved ranking, but maybe Matt Hasselbeck's return will be the spark the Seahawks need to upset the Cardinals, who are coming off a short week.
8. Chicago at Green Bay, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Big game for the Packers, who can't fall to 4-6 and realistically expect to make the playoffs. A gimpy Kyle Orton or a healthy Rex Grossman could make things easier for the Pack.
7. Tennessee at Jacksonville, 4:15 p.m., CBS
Peter King picks the upset. We're not so sure, but one thing we do know is the Titans are nearing the part of the season where every game involving an unbeaten team is worth watching just for the chance you might seem them get knocked off.
6. San Diego at Pittsburgh, 4:15 p.m., CBS
L.T. has been struggling and the Steelers defense isn't exactly what he needs to get going. But Big Ben isn't faring much better of late and the Chargers defense may have the opportunity to capitalize in what should be a pretty tight game.
5. Minnesota at Tampa Bay, 1:00 p.m., FOX
For some reason, we just can't get excited about the Bucs. But obviously we're impressed with Adrian Peterson and the matchup between him and the Bucs run defense (99 yards allowed per game) will be a good one. This game could be crucial in a potential wild-card tiebreaker later in the season.
4. Denver at Atlanta, 1:00 p.m., CBS
The future of the NFL will be on display at the Georgia Dome. Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal. Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Roddy White. The Falcons defense gives them the edge, but the Broncos 'D' can't continue to play this poorly ... can it?
SUPERGLUE YOURSELF TO THE COUCH
3. N.Y. Jets at New England, 8:15 p.m. (Thursday), NFL Network
Or in this case, superglue yourself to the bar stool if you're one of the million Americans without easy access to NFL Network (not that we're bitter). A seriously quality matchup, made even better by the likelihood of a driving rainstorm in Foxboro tonight.
2. Baltimore at N.Y. Giants, 1:00 p.m., CBS
Or in our case, superglue ourselves to the press box chair, as we'll be in attendance for what promises to be a bruising, teeth-rattling affair. Big Brandon Jacobs against the Ravens brutal front seven. Joe Flacco facing the Giants steely pass rush. Whatever the under is, take it.
1. Dallas at Washington, 8:15 p.m., NBC
The Cowboys return to the top spot, thanks to Tony Romo and everyone's curiousity as to how he'll play in his return from a broken pinkie. Throw in the archrival Redskins, likely playing without Clinton Portis, and NBC has itself the can't-miss game of the week.