Home Denver News The NFL’s 5 least watchable primetime games in 2019

The NFL’s 5 least watchable primetime games in 2019


There are plenty of games on tap for 2019. These aren’t those.

The 2019 NFL regular season schedule is here, and it’s filled with exciting matchups. This fall will feature rematches of last year’s AFC and NFC title games, pit Aaron Rodgers up against Patrick Mahomes in a game that could have massive MVP consequences, and give the world a possible Heisman vs. Heisman showdown between Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in December.

It will also provide a showdown between a team that finished with four wins in 2018 and one that finished with three to us.

This year’s slate of Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night NFL games is largely strong. The vast majority showcase the league’storylines and s top teams. But they can’t all be winners, and some nights are going to be a lot easier to detox than others from football. Here are the five essential primetime games of the upcoming schedule.

[Conspicuous in their absence on this list is the Buffalo Bills. Not because they’re entertaining and/or fun (they’re not), but because the NFL couldn’t be bothered to give them one day game in 2019. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ]

Broncos at Raiders, Monday Night Football, Week 1

Opening week requires a West Coast game to anchor the end of a Monday Night Football doubleheader. This year, that turning wheel landed two AFC West rivals who won 10 games combined last fall. The night of Sept. 9 will give the world a glimpse at the new-look Raiders, who followed up 2018’s bottoming-out by incorporating Antonio Brown, Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams, Lamarcus Joyner, and up to three 2019 first-round draft selections.

It will also provide us the first look at John Elway’s revived Broncos who, uh, added 34-year-old Joe Flacco at quarterback. They also doled out $51 million for Ja’Wuan James to shore up their offensive line. This could have been much more impressive had they not watched their best blocker, center Matt Paradis, sign with the Panthers one day earlier.

These two teams met on Monday night in Week 16 last year and put together a game that was effectively over. Week 1’s repeat must follow a SaintsTexans between a set of 2018 division champs with barnburner potential. The fantastic news is anyone deciding to go to bed early will have the ability to catch up on all the important pieces of this one in an eight-second GIF Tuesday morning.

Titans at Jaguars, Thursday Night Football, Week 3

Behold, the AFC South’s stone fight that is least watchable. Jacksonville hasn’t scored touchdowns in a single game against Tennessee in nearly two decades. This past year, Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler piloted the Jags to 15 total points in two matches against their divisional rival.

This year they’ll hope Nick Foles can return to greatness outside of Philadelphia against the Titans. If recent convention holds, Marcus Mariota will only be largely injured by Week 3.

This could be a great night for Derrick Henry, however. He gashed the Jaguars (and shocked dream teams throughout the world) using a 238-yard, four-touchdown performance the last time these teams met. We’ll see what he can do against a Jacksonville defense this year that isn & rsquo; t held together by passive-aggressive and apathy tweets.

Patriots at Jets, Monday Night Football, Week 7

Sam Darnold has faced the New England defense once in his budding NFL career, losing by only five touchdowns in a 38-3 trouncing. His third go-round against Bill Belichick’s defense — these teams meet on a regular Sunday in Week 3 — will come under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, but without Jason Witten to distract us from just how many open receivers Darnold shrugs off to fire the ball into a double-covered post path.

The Jets made strides to get better, ponying up big money for Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley — both of whom have impressive track records of defeat against New England (0-6 combined). This was much more eventful than the Pats’ offseason, which saw standouts like Trey Flowers, Rob Gronkowski, Trent Brown, Malcom Brown, and Cordarrelle Patterson all depart via free agency or retirement only to be replaced by Michael Bennett and Mike Pennel (good!) , Demaryius Thomas (… OK), Bruce Ellington, Matt LaCosse, Maurice Harris, and Cedrick Lang (oh.) .

The upside for New York is it gets the Patriots early in the season, before Tom Brady and his new recipients have jelled and when the powerhouse franchise typically looks its most vulnerable. The downside is disjointed, undercooked New England losses are torturous to see — see last year’s loss to the Lions in Week 3 or 2014’s Week 4 loss to the Chiefs or 2016’s Jacoby Brissett-led shutout defeat in Buffalo. The only lasting value will be whatever sad, pouty, or nose-picking faces Brady makes on the seat as the clock ticks down to an 11-point reduction and columnists across the country prepare to ask the world if the Patriots are really really really dead, for real this time?

49ers at Cardinals, Thursday Night Football, Week 9

On one hand, you can combine these teams’ 2018 win totals and they still wouldn’t have successes to produce a .500 season. In 2019, they should be better on the flip side. San Francisco will ostensibly have Jimmy Garoppolo back on two legs, and Arizona will either have an electric rookie quarterback learning the ropes (Kyler Murray) or a developing second-year QB one year removed from being a top-10 pick (Josh Rosen, who’s conspicuously absent from Arizona’s schedule release video, hmmmmm).

Coming soon to a 65,000-seat theater near you! : https://t.co/SUoxwxldMU pic.twitter.com/YIkht787bl

— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 18, 2019

There’s possible for this game to be watchable! But there’s more possible for it to not be, as 2018 showed off in all its glory. The Cardinals’ top wideouts are a 35-year-old Larry Fitzgerald plus some mix of Christian Kirk, Kevin White, and Trent Sherfield. Their tight end depth chart is just a list of old Dick Tracy villain names. If the club does indeed burn the No. 1 overall pick to let Murray run for his life behind one of the league’s effective lines, that just means it won’t get the young defensive playmaker Arizona very much needs.

The Niners, on the other hand, are relying on a quarterback that has never started more than five games in a year. Their defense, which gave up more points than all but four other teams last fall despite enjoying the Cardinals twice, added veteran talent in Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander. If Richard Sherman’s experience in the Bay Area is any indication, their hamstrings will catch fire somewhere around Week 5.

This game could be a & ldquo or a shootout;so bad it’rdquo & s great; competition. It will not be &ldquo it’s great. ”

Jets at Ravens, Thursday Night Football, Week 15

The Jets have three primetime games in 2019 — a re-enactment of this 2018 game that flooded the streets of Cleveland with free beer, an AFC East showdown against the Patriots, and this battle between intriguing but flawed second-year passers late in the regular season.

Sam Darnold will get the opportunity to prove himself against one of the league’s elite guards, just we’re not sure how great the Ravens will be after losing contributors like C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, and Terrell Suggs this offseason. Lamar Jackson will get the opportunity to prove 2018 was no fluke, but he’ll need to update his passing game and, more importantly, remain healthy after averaging 17 carries per game as a starter in his rookie season.

There’s a reasonable opportunity the Jets are just a speed bump on Baltimore’s road back by Week 15. There’s also an opportunity Robert Griffin III begins this primetime affair after Jackson hits the turf awkwardly after his 23rd carry against the Patriots in Week 9. Either way, it seems like there won’t be many passing yards to come by when Baltimore and New York square off in December.

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