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.