The NFL released the 2011 schedule on Tuesday and the Sunday Night games are absolutely stacked! Great games with some outstanding storylines.
The Monday Night Football slate ... eh, not so much.
There are some diamonds in the rough. The Colts-Buccaneers game could really be good (it certainly was the last time Indy visited Tampa). Giants-Saints will be quite a good one. The Bears-Eagles game may be the best matchup of them all. Chiefs-Patriots features a lot of former Patriot coaches and players heading back to New England. The Falcons-Saints game to close out the MNF season is pure gold.
But there is a lot of crap along the way. Only the Falcons-Saints and Bears-Eagles games feature two teams that were in last year's postseason. Here are the top five mistakes on the Monday Night schedule.
5-THE LIONS? REALLY? The Detroit Lions make their first MNF appearance in over a decade. They'll host Da Bears in an NFC North showdown. Um, what have the Lions done to deserve a MNF appearance? I know they have some great young talent in Stafford, Johnson and Suh but they don't deserve a game on Monday yet.
4-VIKINGS VS PACKERS DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE: Granted, the Vikings are still very talented and by the time the season rolls around, they could bring in a Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb to replace Brett Favre ... but this isn't the must-see game it has been over the last two seasons. Favre retired. Really. Seriously. He's done. I don't know if ESPN figured that Favre just may change his mind but this game is a huge letdown.
3-JUST ONE PACKERS AND STEELERS GAME: The Super Bowl participants make just one appearance each on Monday night. Green Bay, of course, hosts Minnesota. Pittsburgh travels to San Francisco. San Francisco?? Why are they on Monday night???
2-RAMS VS SEAHAWKS: This ended up being the final game of the 2010 season because the winner would make the playoffs. Seattle won and represented the NFC West with a 7-9 record. And why do we need this game again late in the season? It was horrible last year and will be horrible again this year. Speaking of that, why do the Rams ... one of the worst team over the past five years ... get two MNF games?
1-END OF SEASON: Okay, this takes out the Week 16 Falcons-Saints game. Before that, December's MNF is horrible. We get treated to Chargers-Jags, Rams-Seahawks and Steelers-49ers. Instead let's have Packers-Giants, Colts-Ravens and Jets-Eagles instead!