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NFL Draft

Ranking The Matchups On Monday Night Football In 2020

  • The Draft Network
  • May 8, 2020
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Ranking things comes naturally when you're a draftnik. It’s not just ranking prospects either; we rank everything.

So, when the NFL released its 2020 schedule Thursday and we got a chance to digest all of the matchups, the temptation to rank something was too much to ignore. We'll start with Monday Night Football. The primetime showcase in this year's season will feature a doubleheader in Week 1 and then one contest per week through Week 16. There are some surprises this year and some matchups I'm greatly looking forward to.

How do the games stack up? Here's my "big board" of 2020 Monday Night Football games.

17. Week 9: Patriots at Jets

The rest of the “Ghostbusters” sequels have not been good, why should this one be any different? The Patriots, on a down year and without any special star power, head to New York to face off against a Jets roster that is marginally improved versus last season is a hard pass. The divisional rivalry aside, I don't see much appeal here.

16. Week 15: Steelers at Bengals

The Steelers are 33-9 against the Bengals since 2000, including 10 consecutive wins. The law of averages states Cincinnati is due, but the law of averages has been missing in action in this "rivalry" for two decades.

15. Week 8: Giants at Buccaneers

Tom Brady versus the Giants will have some appeal, but the Buccaneers in a home game against an unimpressive pass rush and even more limited linebackers sets them up for success in this showdown.

14. Week 1: Steelers at Giants

The Steelers hope to bounce back from a slow year offensively and shouldn’t have issues getting the ground and pass game working against the Giants. This will be a big test for Daniel Jones versus an elite defense, but little we saw last year would seem to indicate his ball security will drastically improve, which could make this a rough watch.

13. Week 16: Bills at Patriots

If you thought the recent history between the Bengals and Steelers was bad, cover your eyes. The Patriots are 35-5 since 2000 against the Bills. The silver lining for this game is Buffalo should be considered the best team in contention to knock New England off its long stretch of AFC East division titles; a Week 16 loss could be the final nail in the Patriots' coffin.

12. Week 11: Rams at Buccaneers

This game will have no shortage of star power, that much is for certain. But who is going to block this Tampa Bay defensive front? The Rams refused to address their offensive line at all this offseason and the Buccaneers bring a duo of heavy hitters on the interior who will be a nightmare for Jared Goff.

11. Week 13: Bills at 49ers

Contrasting offensive styles will be fun to see play out against the common denominator for both of these defenses — fast, physical defenses. But with the quarterback matchup of Josh Allen and Jimmy Garoppolo, this matchup is missing the star power under center to make this matchup soar.

10. Week 10: Vikings at Bears

NFC North division rivalries are typically fun. The Bears have won four consecutive contests to bring the all-time record in head-to-head matchups to 60-56-2 in favor of the Vikings. When you get Kirk Cousins and Mitch Trubisky on the same field, you've got a pretty good chance of seeing something (for better or for worse) you've never seen before.

9. Week 7: Bears at Rams

I hope you like defense, friends. These teams have played each other in each of the last two seasons and those two games produced a combined 45 points. I repeat: two NFL teams played 120 minutes of football and scored 45 combined points. In this economy!

8. Week 2: Saints at Raiders

The Raiders debuting their brand new space ship, erm, I mean stadium will have my interest for sure. If Las Vegas get what it wants in its rebuild under coach Jon Gruden, it'll be able to run up points at a pace that could theoretically give New Orleans a run.

7. Week 14: Ravens at Browns

The 2018 season featured two games separated by a field goal or less. The 2019 season featured two touchdown butt kickings. The teams have split each of the last two seasons regardless. 

6. Week 5: Chargers at Saints

The Saints offense features the ultimate chess piece in Taysom Hill. The Chargers defense has one of the ultimate defensive chess pieces in Derwin James. With the offensive weaponry available in this game, many fantasy football contests will be hanging in the balance too. I'm hopeful we'll see Justin Herbert at the helm for a massive primetime test.

5. Week 4: Falcons at Packers

Matt Ryan versus Aaron Rodgers. Jaire Alexander versus Julio Jones. Davante Adams versus 2020 first-round pick A.J. Terrell. Za'Darius Smith versus Jake Matthews. There are ample high-end one-on-ones to get excited about. The Falcons have the talent to bounce back after a few rough seasons and finished the 2019 season strong; this should be a heavy-hitting fight.

4. Week 1: Titans at Broncos

This is the Jurrell Casey revenge game. I'm excited to see how these two experiments materialize. The Broncos skill players around Drew Lock is one of the more fascinating, exciting young cores in the league. The Titans are ready to run it back and tried to replace every outgoing talent via their draft selections. Which one will give? This is a sneaky fun game to open the year in Week 1.

3. Week 6: Cardinals at Cowboys

The Cowboys' speed on defense is delightful. So, too, is the potential of Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year. Could this serve as Murray’s primetime coming out party? The addition of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona and the departure of cornerback Byron Jones in Dallas will make for some good dram too. The icing on the cake? Murray's former college teammate, CeeDee Lamb, will be trying to help the Cowboys outpace Murray's Cardinals. There's an upstart Cardinals team walking into Jerry World with ample star power, a great start to a great game.

2. Week 12: Seahawks at Eagles

This will be the third time in two seasons these two teams play, and Seattle won both contests in Philadelphia by a final score of 17-9. As a matter of fact, the Seahawks have dominated the Eagles as of late; they've won the last six head-to-head contests. The Eagles' last win against the Seahawks came in 2008. There is offensive firepower, team speed and two good quarterbacks to watch: all the makings of a good Monday Night showcase.

1. Week 3: Chiefs at Ravens

Patrick Mahomes. Lamar Jackson. Need I say more? These two have squared off in each of the last two seasons and Mahomes' Chiefs won both in one-score affairs. Two wins by a combined eight points and plenty of athleticism and firepower to go around. These two teams have delivered fireworks in the first two showdowns, there's no reason to doubt why they wouldn't provide more in Round 3.

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