S A guide to the best and worst of the NFL slate (and to which fans are stuck with the most of worst). Maps via 506sports.com.
Today's afternoon games look a lot stronger than last week's shit sandwich. The Browns and Bills have already played; the Jets are on Monday; and some of the worst teams in the league (Vikings, Steelers, Buccaneers, Redskins) get their bye. Here are your Week 5 NFL viewing maps:
Jacksonville at St. Louis: The Rams are one of the worst teams in football right now, losing their last three games by an average score of 32-14. They're still double-digit favorites over the Jaguars.
Baltimore at Miami: The 2-2 Ravens have had one good game this year, and only 16 of those 30 points against the Texans were actually scored by Baltimore's crappy offense. It's a good thing for the Ravens that the Giants are around to soak up most of the "How did this team get so bad?" talk.
Kansas City at Tennessee: Two teams vying for this year's "Most Improved" title, which is as degrading in professional sports as it is in amateur sports.
New England at Cincinnati: This is the Bengals' second "prove it" game of the season, as they lost their post-Packers-upset "proved it" status by immediately losing to the Browns. Expect five or six more "prove it" games this season for the Bengals, who will lose in the first round of the playoffs regardless.
Denver at Dallas: The A's-Tigers playoff game bumps Chargers-Raiders to the NFL Network, so the entire country (save most of Arizona) gets Broncos-Cowboys. Peyton Manning is permanent must-see TV, and the Cowboys are the 27th-ranked passing defense in the league.
Carolina at Arizona: The Panthers' 12-7 loss to the Seahawks and their 38-0 win over the Giants were both, in their own special ways, completely unwatchable. The Cardinals have had a similar run in the last two weeks, losing to the Saints 31-7 and then beating the Buccaneers 13-10.
Philadelphia at NY Giants: The Eagles' offense has struggled in the last two weeks (36 points in two games), but now Chip Kelly gets to take a shot at one of the worst defenses in the league. The Giants' offense has been struggling all season, but now Eli Manning gets to take a shot at the very worst defense in the league. This could be fun NFL junk food, or it could be unwatchable crap.
Detroit at Green Bay: Including Week 17 last year, the Lions are running a five-game streak of awesome, high-scoring games decided in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. This year they're scoring 30.5 points per game, while the Packers are scoring 32.
Seattle at Indianapolis: RGIII and Colin Kaepernick are off to terrible starts, leaving Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck to vie for the title of Best Very Young QB in the league (Cam Newton excluded). The pair has combined for 10 passing touchdowns on the season BUT six of those were against the Jaguars, so let's not get too excited.
New Orleans at Chicago: The Saints have conveniently arranged to be out of town when Tropical Storm Karen makes landfall.
Who's Getting Screwed?
- New England at Cincinnati: Pretty good game!
- Nothing: The rest of the country gets Broncos-Cowboys. This is because the Cardinals are playing a sold-out home game at the same time, and the NFL is afraid that season ticket holders in local markets might skip actual games to watch better games on TV. If there are any Cardinals season-ticket holders in Kingman, three hours from Phoenix, I think they're probably pretty committed.
- Carolina at Arizona: The aforementioned "local" game, which will not be very good.