Shutdown Corner - NFL

Most fans can dedicate Monday nights or Sunday nights entirely to watching football, so it's always a bummer when those games turn into brutal, never-ending exhibitions of miserable football between teams that don't matter. It's going to happen at least a few times this year. It always does.

Here, we try to predict which games will sap your will to live. We'll set the cut-off at Week 5 or later, as that's about the earliest point a team could become irrelevant. And any game that's played on Monday night automatically receives a 10% increase because Tony Kornheiser will be involved.

Week 14, Monday Night: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Suck Probability: 82%
The worst games are the ones where no good quarterbacks are involved, but this one might have the added bonus of not having any good running backs involved, either. Best case scenario at QB is Jeff Garcia vs. Jake Delhomme, but the chances of them both being healthy in Week 14 are extremely slim. After Steve Smith, Earnest Graham might be the most dynamic player in this game. Add in the Kornheiser factor, and this could be ugly.

Week 10, Monday Night: San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
Suck Probability: 78%
Week 10 seems like about the right time to start wondering which of the NFC West teams will be winning the division, and then being dismantled in the playoffs. The Cardinals and 49ers might both be bad, but they are young, and both have talent. Of course, we've said that the last couple of years for both teams.

Week 16, Monday Night: Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Suck Probability: 74%
The best case scenario for the Bears is that they lean on their defense to be a good team again, but even if that's the case, they're still going to be boring. I'm not writing off the Packers as a bad team, but there's at least a possibility that they'll fall apart without that one guy.

Week 13, Thursday Night: Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
Suck Probability: 58%
I don't see any reason that the Eagles wouldn't trudge along at their usual somewhere-around-.500 pace, while the Cardinals are about 6 games out of the division lead at this point.

Week 11, Monday Night: Cleveland Browns @ Buffalo Bills
Suck Probability: 56%
The Browns have five games on in primetime, and I'm not upset about that, but I don't see it as a lock that they're going to be as good as they were last year. Derek Anderson's play declined as the season went on, as if defenses had figured something out about him. I'm not predicting they'll be bad, but it's possible. And the Bills ... well, they're the Bills.

Week 12, Monday Night: Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
Suck Probability: 49%
New Orleans should be exciting, if nothing else, and this one is pushed above the 40% mark only by the Kornheiser factor.

Week 7, Sunday Night: Seattle Seahawks @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Suck Probability: 38%
It's early, and I like Seattle's chances to be pretty decent this year, provided they don't let Shaun Alexander touch the football. The Bucs should be a solid team, but even if they are, it's hard to envision them becoming some kind of magnetic television attraction. I've got the suck probability as pretty low on this one, but it's still there.

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