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Chris Chase

The five (potentially) worst prime time games on the '10 schedule

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The hardest part of making an NFL schedule is trying to decide seven months in advance which games will be compelling enough for prime time television. Though the late-season flex scheduling for Sunday Night Football has made things a little better, it's still tough to get a great slate. With that in mind, Shutdown Corner selects the five (potentially) worst prime-time games on the 2010 NFL schedule, which was released Tuesday night. With the exception of Thanksgiving, we've ignored the Thursday night games since those matchups aren't intended to be as marquee as the others.

5. Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets -- Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving night) -- NFL Network

It wasn't remotely interesting when these two teams played back-to-back in week 17 and the wild card playoff last year. Going in with low expectations might be the best move this time around too.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints -- Oct. 31 (Sunday night) -- NBC

The match-up itself is great, especially with sketchy ol' Ben Roethlisberger(notes) (likely) making his first prime time appearance of the season. But this marks the first time in a while that the NFL has willingly scheduled game opposite the World Series. Throw in the fact that it's Halloween and you have an highly-anticipated game that some fans won't be around to watch.

3. Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins -- Oct. 17 (Sunday night) -- NBC

For a team that went 4-12 last year, the Redskins sure did draw a lot of national television exposure. Granted, Donovan McNabb(notes) and Mike Shanahan give the 'Skins playoff aspirations, but consider two things: The team's offensive line is still terrible and it played in four nearly-unwatchable prime time games last season. This could be a good one. Or it could have stinker written all over it.

2. San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals -- Nov. 29 (Monday night) -- ESPN

There's one every year. Last year it was Miami. The year before, Cleveland. A few years before that, a Michael Vick(notes)-less Falcons squad. With great fanfare, may we present the 2010 winner of the "team that parlayed a decent previous season into way too many primetime appearances the following year" award to the San Francisco 49ers. Somehow this team got three prime time games, one of which has it heading to Arizona to face a Kurt Warner(notes)-less Cardinals team.

1. Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Oct. 18 (Monday night) -- ESPN

It's hard to imagine that in the 41-year history of Monday Night Football there have been many games scheduled between two teams that both failed to break .500 the previous season.