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2016 NFL Schedule Release: Crummy games of the week

With the NFL schedule released last night we thought we would take an early, hugely subjective, look at the crummy games of the week during

With the NFL schedule released last night we thought we would take an early, hugely subjective, look at the crummy games of the week during the regular season. As teams over and underperform through the season this list will surely change – but, for now, let’s look at the games we are least excited to watch each week. Week 1 Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans Tennessee blew any chance they had of being interesting this season when they traded away the first pick in the draft. Already low on the list in terms of exciting teams to watch following the appointment of the uninspiring Mike Mularkey as HC, not seeing the first pick play removed any level of intrigue from their opening game. Week 2 Tennessee Titans @ Detroit Lions A battle of sub .500 2015 teams with little intrigue lowlights our week 2 schedule. The intriguing part of watching the Lions in 2016 is going to be how they replace Calvin Johnson but the retirement of the talismanic WR takes the shine off watching games as we can no longer see how often Matthew Stafford tries to force the ball to Megatron through triple-coverage. Week 3 Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins Adam Gase gets a proper welcome to the NFL to kick of his Head Coaching career with visits to the Seahawks and Patriots to start his career. By the time he gets to a ‘winnable’ game in week 3, the team could already seem beaten down. With the mess the Browns seem to be in currently, having lost half their team in free agency they are unlikely to be a huge draw early in the season. Week 4 Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens Tricky week to pick a lowlight for – lots of homecomings and divisional matchups on the schedule meaning lots of intrigue in matchups that otherwise would qualify. The lack of intrigue in this game, coupled with the traditional low performance of West Coast teams playing at 1pm in the Eastern time zone, mean it is unlikely to be a classic matchup Week 5 Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins There just isn’t much to get excited about in this game, Miami let some of their playmakers (Lamarr Miller and Olivier Vernon particularly) walk in free agency and Tennessee don’t really have any. Week 6 Cleveland Browns @ Tennessee Titans I promise I am not purposefully just finding the Tennessee game out of some deep seated hatred for the team, they genuinely have some crummy matchups early on. This game, however, takes the title, perhaps, as least exciting game of the season. Few would be surprised to see these teams picking at the top of the draft again in 2017. Week 7 Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles A lot of the intrigue walked out of Lincoln Financial field when Chip Kelly was served his notice and it didn’t walk back in with Doug Pedersen. He may turn out to be a great coach but Pedersen doesn’t move the needle in the way Kelly, the mad scientist figure, did. Removing malcontents such as DeMarco Murray from the roster has also left a void where there were previously column inches to be written. Week 8 Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears Yes, it’s a division matchup but where are the big names in this game – the players that make you want to watch? Aside from Adrian Peterson this game just feels devoid of star power. Both Head Coaches are safe pairs of hands, but neither promote the exciting brand of football today’s audience tunes in for. Week 9 New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers 2015’s worst defense faces off against 2015’s worst offense in a battle of sub .500 teams. Neither team has made much of a splash this offseason, with the Saints battling cap problems and the 49ers seemingly in flux. Don’t expect to see these clubs extending their seasons into January. Week 10 Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins Teddy Bridgewater versus Kirk Cousins just doesn’t seem to raise the heartrate as much as you would like as we move towards the business end of the season. Both teams look like they will hover around .500 at this point and, although this game could exemplify the diverging fortunes of the clubs from here, few, outside their respective fan bases, are likely to care. Week 11 Jacksonville Jaguars @ Detroit Lions This game comes with a caveat, a caveat based on the performance of the Jaguars to this point. If history is a judge though, this game will likely mean little in the grand scheme of things with both teams among the bottom half of the league. Jacksonville could surprise though. Week 12 New York Giants @ Cleveland Browns A lot of the intrigue surrounding the 2016 Giants, namely how their big ticket free agents will gel, will have gone by this point and we will be left with a team that somehow fails to inspire despite big names on the roster. Again, it is difficult to get excited about any game involving Cleveland, particularly past the midpoint of the season when any optimism in that area of Ohio has evaporated. Week 13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Diego Chargers San Diego did have a lot of injuries in 2015, but when you look at their roster, even at full strength it is difficult to see the gamebreakers. Antonio Gates is very much on the downside of his career, Eric Weddle is gone and Phillip Rivers can’t carry the whole team any more. Mike McCoy could be coaching for his job by this point which may add a modicum of interest to this game. Week 14 Atlanta Falcons @ LA Rams Recent form would suggest that, by this point in the season, hopes of a division crown will have gone for both teams, and records of around .500 will fail to inspire. By this point, the novelty of the Rams being in LA again will have worn off and the lack of playmakers in the passing game (yes, a lot depends on the growth of their rookie QB) will mean the team is far from must watch. Week 15 Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets Who will emerge as the 2nd team in the AFC East – it could be the victor of this game but whether that will be enough to propel either into the postseason is perhaps a stretch. The standoff between the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick is doing nothing to enhance their prospects and, if forced to go with Geno Smith in 2016, could spell an early end to any playoff hopes for Todd Bowles club. Week 16 San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns The only possible intrigue in this game, as it stands on paper right now, is that it could be the deciding game for the first pick of the draft. Any more than 5 wins for either team would represent overachievement from where they appear headed right now. Week 17 Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings Divisional matchups in week 17 is a great idea from the NFL but loses its lustre when neither team has anything to play for. That is likely the case in this game with both teams likely on the outside looking in come playoffs in January. Not that either club is a bad ball club, it just seems other teams have surpassed them.

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2016 NFL Schedule Release: Crummy games of the week

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