While it was hard to expect any game to follow up the excitement of a Super Bowl rematch, ESPN's Monday Night Football was handed an absolute dud in Week 12. The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings played a very sloppy game that saw Chicago win 12-10, becoming the first team this season to win a game without scoring a touchdown.
That level of offensive ineptitude is hard to watch and it does raise some questions as to why the NFL opted not to flex this game out for a more palatable option like the Jacksonville-Houston battle for first place in the AFC South. The good news, however, is that one of those teams is set to take the stage on Monday night in Week 13.
Who is playing on Monday Night Football in Week 13?
The Monday Night stage shifts to Duval County in Week 13 as the 8-3 Jacksonville Jaguars play host to the 5-6 Cincinnati Bengals in a matchup loaded with playoff implications. This is the first primetime game of the season for Jacksonville and their first appearance on Monday Night Football since 2011.
The Jaguars come into this game riding high after a critical 24-21 victory over the Texans on Sunday to avenge an earlier loss to Houston while building a two-game lead in the division. With every division leader in the AFC carrying at least three losses, Jacksonville is very much alive for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Things are more desperate for Cincinnati, which lost 16-10 to Pittsburgh on Sunday in their first game without starting quarterback Joe Burrow, who is out for the season with a torn ligament in his right wrist. Jake Browning was solid in his first start for Cincinnati but with a brutal schedule down the stretch this game is pretty much a must-win if the Bengals want to salvage their season with a playoff appearance.