Ed Note: The following New York Giants "Twitter War" comes courtesy Bloguin's national NFL hub This Given Sunday and our own Brad Gagnon.
Last night, on NBC, Peyton Manning made his emotional return to Indianapolis in the most heavily hyped game of the NFL season. Tonight, on ESPN, the 0-6 Giants host the 1-4 Vikings in a game only relevant in the world of fantasy football.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, tonight's matchup is, on paper, the worst in the history of Monday Night Football at this point in a season. In fact, it's been a tough year for MNF in general. While NBC seems to have a top-end game every week, ESPN has been stuck with shoddy matchups like Broncos-Raiders and Jets-Falcons. Mild-mannered MNF play-by-play man Mike Tirico even showed some frustration when discussing that Denver-Oakland matchup recently, according to the Sherman Report:
“On Monday night, you deserve to see teams that are good, and the Raiders have not been good for a decade,” Tirico said. “I don’t think that best serves the customer, the NFL fan. You get Peyton Manning. That’s great. You want to see him against a quality opponent in one of his five or six primetime games as opposed to a team like the Raiders, coming off a bad season in a perpetual rebuild….I don’t think the Raiders are a team that America needs to see in primetime on national TV."
With that in mind, we bring you the 10 worst matchups* in Monday Night Football history...
10. Saints (5-7) vs. Falcons (3-9), 2007: Combined winning percentage of .333.
9. Chiefs (4-8) vs. Titans (4-8), 2004: Combined winning percentage of .333.
8. 49ers (3-7) vs. Cardinals (3-7), 2010: Combined winning percentage of .300.
7. Packers (3-10) vs. Ravens (4-9), 2005: Combined winning percentage of .269.
6. 49ers (4-11) vs. Falcons (4-11), 1999: Combined winning percentage of .267.
5. Bears (1-5) vs. Lions (2-4), 2001: Combined winning percentage of .250.
4. Colts (1-6) vs. Patriots (2-5), 1972: Combined winning percentage of .214.
3. Jets (3-9) at Chargers (1-11), 1975: Combined winning percentage of .167.
2. Vikings (1-4) at Giants (0-6), 2013: Combined winning percentage of .091.
1. Redskins (0-4) at Cowboys (0-4), 2001: Combined winning percentage of .000.
* Minimum of four weeks into the season.
I remember that worst MNF game b/w Washington & Cowboys because of the following day when the ratings were released. That game still had HIGHER ratings, than a Game 5 ALDS b/w the Yankees/Athletics on FOX. That's when I knew that baseball had problems garnering national attention. Link to story about those ratings: http://espn.go.com/gen/news/2001/1016/1264787.html
Mike Tirico needs to realize that Monday Night Football is on cable and is no better than the games on NFL Network. If he thinks this is Monday Night Football of the 70's & 80's, he is wrong. The premier games are on Sunday Night on NBC.
It should still be an interesting one. Josh Freeman's first game as a Viking. Should be interesting to see what kind of offense they'll implement with him behind center. Also, usually mobile QB's help their RB's so we might see a nice day from Adrian Peterson and after not seeing much from Jennings in a while that should also be fun. And on the other hand, it should be interesting to see how Eli does. If he performs well (not throwing three INT's) then their will be talk about him playing well when his brother plays badly. So all in all, it's not the bad of a game to watch despite the win totals between the team. Implosions and the unknown can be just as fun, just saying.