Top five Monday night games for 2012
April, 17, 2012
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
One man's opinion on the top five Monday night games for 2012:
1. Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions, Week 16. Call this one the Karma Bowl. The Falcons took offense when Ndamukong Suh allegedly celebrated Matt Ryan's ankle injury during an October game between the teams last season. Suh called the injury "karma" for the Falcons' allegedly dirty tactics. Good teams and bad blood should make for good theater.
2. Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons, Week 2. Peyton Manning's first post-Indy appearance on "Monday Night Football" takes him to Atlanta for only the third time in his career. The Falcons are a footnote in this matchup. Manning plays only one indoor game during the 2012 regular season. This is it.
3. Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles, Week 12. Neither team had a winning record last season, but who cares? This game presents a chance to see Cam Newton and Michael Vick on the same night in the same stadium for the first time -- assuming they're both healthy enough to play after running around, into and through defenses for two-plus months.
4. Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers, Week 11. Patrick Willis vs. Matt Forte. Brian Urlacher vs. Frank Gore. Expect a physical game and a big test for Jay Cutler on the road. The 49ers have arguably the NFL's best defense and they'll be eager to show it in prime time.
5. Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, Week 3. Two NFC West teams on the list? What is this, the NFC West blog? Yes, but this one's legit. Few venues can approach Seattle for atmosphere, especially in prime time. And this game marks Green Bay's lone appearance on Monday night. The Matt Flynn storyline adds interest.
1:00 PM ET Washington Atlanta 1:00 PM ET Chicago Cleveland 1:00 PM ET Houston Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET New England Miami 1:00 PM ET Philadelphia Minnesota 1:00 PM ET Seattle New York 1:00 PM ET San Francisco Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET Buffalo Jacksonville 4:05 PM ET Kansas City Oakland 4:05 PM ET New York Carolina 4:25 PM ET Green Bay Dallas 4:25 PM ET Arizona Tennessee 4:25 PM ET New Orleans St. Louis 8:30 PM ET Cincinnati Pittsburgh