Last night, the 2020-21 NFL schedule was released, and fans have even more reason to anxiously await the return of professional football on Thursday, September 12. The presence of fans at any of the 256 games remains unknown and unlikely, but the NFL will stop at nothing to ensure that the scheduled games are played. While there are several matchups we’re all looking forward to, the 2020-21 season will feature dozens of games that will draw little interest from fans. Here’s the worst game of every week from the 2020-21 NFL schedule, week by week. Divisional games were excluded as the top choice for each week.
Week 1: Steelers at Giants, Monday, 7:15 PM EST
The fact that this game is a primetime matchup is an absolute travesty. Sure, there are two Monday Night Football games to open the season, but there were many other deserving matchups for the early slot on ESPN. Tom Brady vs Drew Brees would’ve been a much better pick, as well as a matchup of two young promising teams in the Cardinals and 49ers.
Dishonorable Mention: Chargers at Bengals, Sunday, 4:05 PM EST
Week 2: Giants at Bears, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
This game will likely be a low-scoring affair, and since it’s early in the season, it will also likely feature Mitchell Trubisky. Nothing against Trubisky, but he isn’t exactly the epitome of the word “fun” and causes headaches all around the 312. Daniel Jones hasn’t been much better, but he still produces more than Trubisky. Week 2 doesn’t have too many boring games, but this one should be the worst.
DM: Jaguars at Titans, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 3: Dolphins at Jaguars, Thursday, 8:20 PM EST
This game consists of two teams that combined for just 11 wins in 2019, with two young unproven quarterbacks surrounded by mediocre supporting casts. Both teams are rebuilding and will likely be tanking in 2020. Even though the game is early in the season, neither team will likely have anything to play for, so expect both teams to enter with 0-2 records.
DM: Panthers at Chargers, Sunday, 4:05 PM EST
Week 4: Jaguars at Bengals, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Similar to the worst game from Week 3, both small-market teams have inexperienced quarterbacks behind weak offensive lines. The Jaguars are still rebuilding, and for that reason they appear frequently on this list. Joe Burrow and the Bengals will be looking to prove themselves, and this game should be a low-scoring affair, if not a blowout in favor of the Bengals.
DM: Giants at Rams, Sunday, 4:05 PM EST
Week 5: Rams at Redskins, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Less than two years after being crowned kings of the NFC, it appears as if the Rams are destined for yet another era of mediocrity. They lost several key pieces this offseason and failed to replace them adequately. The 2020 season will reveal whether or not a total rebuild is necessary. As for their opponent, the Redskins are in the midst of a rebuild, and will have one of the worst offenses in the league in 2020.
DM: Panthers at Falcons, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 6: Lions at Jaguars, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Jaguars and Lions have a lot in common as franchises. Both are cat teams, and both are regarded as two of the least successful franchises in the entire NFL. Week 6 marks the Jaguars’ third appearance on this list in 4 weeks, and rightfully so. Both teams are rebuilding and this game will likely turn out to be insignificant in the grand scheme of the 2020 season. This game pops out as the lead candidate for stinkfest of the year.
DM: Bengals at Colts, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 7: Chargers at Dolphins, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Two rebuilding teams with young quarterbacks who don’t know how to read NFL defenses should make for a lackluster game in Week 7. The narrative of Pick #5 and Pick #6 dueling off is interesting, but there are much better games to watch in Week 7, which features 8 divisional games, but at least the Jaguars have their bye.
DM: Lions at Falcons, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 8: Jaguars at Chargers, Sunday, 4:05 PM EST
Noticing a pattern here? Rebuilding teams with young quarterbacks aren’t exactly must-see TV. Even if fans are permitted for this game, the Chargers will likely struggle to fill SoFi Stadium, as two of the league’s smallest fanbases square off. If anything, the Chargers should dominate, as they did in Jacksonville in 2019, but this game will be one of the most boring of the entire 2020 season.
DM: Raiders at Browns, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 9: Dolphins at Cardinals, Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
Week 9 features lots of intriguing games, such as Packers at 49ers and Saints at Buccaneers, so the showdown between Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray is simply the worst of many good matchups. The game should be a blowout in favor of the Cardinals, but this is one of the few matchups between young quarterbacks that might actually be worth watching.
DM: Giants at Redskins, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 10: Jaguars at Packers, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Jaguars practically own this list, and they are set for a complete dismantling in the cold Wisconsin weather in Week 10. The only people who will enjoy watching this game are Packers fans and opposing AFC South fans who take pleasure in watching their inferior rival get absolutely slaughtered. This matchup screams blowout, which means Jordan Love might get a chance to play in the fourth quarter.
DM: Jets at Dolphins, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 11: Bengals at Redskins, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The two worst teams from 2019 square off in another early candidate for worst game of the year. Neither team improved significantly during the offseason and the Redskins’ defense will feast on the weak Bengals’ offensive line. Chase Young should easily rack up multiple sacks, and the Redskins offense will continue with its usual struggles of failing to move the ball into opposing territory.
DM: Lions at Panthers, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 12: Giants at Bengals, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Another lead candidate for most boring game of the year, this Week 12 matchup plays right into the trend of bad teams led by young quarterbacks with weak offensive lines. The Bengals are in the early stages of rebuilding, and the Giants are missing plenty of key pieces to make them a playoff team. Both teams project to have top 10 draft picks, and this game should be a low-scoring dud.
DM: Browns at Jaguars, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 13: Bengals at Dolphins, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 13 features a rematch of 2019’s “Tank Bowl”, which had great implications on the 2020 draft order. This matchup will feature the top two quarterbacks from the draft but shouldn’t be anything spectacular. Both teams are rebuilding, and it won’t come as a surprise if neither is in playoff contention when this game rolls around.
DM: Redskins at Steelers, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Week 14: Patriots at Rams, Thursday, 8:20 PM EST
2020 will be a defining year for both the Patriots and the Rams. It will determine whether each team will hang around for a few more years in playoff contention or if they will have to rebuild after success in recent years. I predict that both teams will finish below .500, and the rematch of Super Bowl LIII will feature at least one team out of playoff contention.
DM: Falcons at Chargers, Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
Week 15: Jets at Rams, Sunday, TBD
Two teams that will likely have nothing to play for when Week 15 rolls around. Sam Darnold has great potential and will only be 23 for the 2020 season, but he has one of the weakest supporting casts in the NFL and takes orders from Adam Gase, arguably the worst head coach in the league. The game should be a low-scoring affair, but the outcome of this cross-conference matchup will have more of an outcome on the draft order than the playoff picture.
DM: Lions at Titans, Sunday, TBD
Week 16: Panthers at Redskins, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Two teams that will likely finish at the bottom of their respective divisions does not make for quality NFL content. Again, this matchup will have a great impact on the 2021 draft order, an event both teams will be looking forward to more than the upcoming season. This showdown is yet another lead candidate for worst game of 2020.
DM: Dolphins at Raiders, Sunday TBD
Week 17: Jaguars at Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Week 17 features entirely divisional games and nearly every game has a legitimate chance to feature at least one team in playoff contention. However, there is one exception, and it comes as no surprise that the Jaguars are featured in the final week for the worst games of the season. Neither team will likely be in playoff contention, and the Jaguars should clinch a top 3 draft pick, regardless of how this game turns out.
DM: Jets at Patriots, Sunday, 1:00 PM EST