Week 12 of the 2017 NFL regular season is here, and you might be entering the weekend with your own preferences regarding which games to focus on, and which to place on the backburner.
Most of you have your favorite teams and fantasy players to track. But in case you’re completely neutral or need help breaking ties regarding what to watch, we’ve ranked all 16 games from most appealing to least enticing.
1. Saints at Rams (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): I’d fear the New Orleans blowout (and still do, to an extent), because Los Angeles is in rough shape after a “back to earth” experience in Minnesota. That said, being at home helps and the Saints are far from flawless. It’s clearly the game of the week, especially if it stays close.
2. Vikings at Lions (Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET, FOX): Minnesota can practically clinch the NFC North, but it won’t be easy against the red-hot Matthew Stafford on the road and on short rest. The Lions usually play well on Thanksgiving and this should be no exception, considering they can greatly increase their playoff chances with a fourth straight victory.
3. Chargers at Cowboys (Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Both teams are desperate, which could make for some entertaining sports television. Plus, Chargers games are almost always wild and it’s unlikely they’ll pull away on the road on short rest. Should be in store for a good finish.
4. Packers at Steelers (Sunday night, NBC): Not sure what Green Bay has left, so a blowout is possible here. But Pittsburgh has been inconsistent until recently, so we’ll keep faith. Regardless, this isn’t a game that should be recorded and watched later.
5. Bills at Chiefs (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): Two free-falling teams trying to save their respective seasons? You just know this’ll be dramatic. It’s the best of a bad batch of early Sunday kickoffs.
6. Texans at Ravens (Monday night, ESPN): This just makes me sad, considering how many good players are missing from the Texans. That said, at least it matters to both teams.
7. Seahawks at 49ers (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, FOX): Never know in the NFC West and considering the state of the Seahawks. We also give this extra points for the possibility of Jimmy Garoppolo playing.
8. Dolphins at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): Miami is technically alive and just a game out of a wild-card spot, so it’ll be kind of interesting to see if they put up a fight against a familiar foe. Still more of a “monitor” game, though.
9. Jaguars at Cardinals (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): The Jags have shown signs of slippage and the Cards are probably done. Monitor this while focusing on Rams-Saints.
10. Buccaneers at Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): Another game that looked stellar a couple months ago, but is now only worth tuning in to if it’s close in the second half.
11. Titans at Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): There really isn’t a lot to this. Tennessee might have trouble against an inferior team, but even if that happens it’s not really worth gawking at.
12. Bears at Eagles (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): This is safe to ignore unless Chicago is putting up a fight in the fourth quarter, which is certainly possible but unlikely.
13. Panthers at Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): Another one that’s safe to ignore unless the Jets are putting up a fight in the fourth quarter, which is certainly possible but unlikely.
14. Giants at Redskins (Thursday night, NBC): This looked so promising back in early September. Now, the Giants are toast and the Redskins barely have enough healthy players to be considered a football team. I won’t blame you for letting the tryptophan win.
15. Broncos at Raiders (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): This is the ultimate week for games that looked good on paper in August, but suck now. Paxton Lynch has no better chance at saving this game than he does the Broncos’ season.
16. Browns at Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): The rule for all Browns games going forward is to pretend they aren’t happening unless or until they’re close in the final minutes.