The Monday Night Football schedule for 2023 has certainly had its ups and downs. There have been a pair of doubleheaders, a few thrilling finishes, and some untimely injuries that have had a major impact on the season so far.
The new broadcasting contracts the NFL signed with its media partners have also been to the benefit of ESPN, which has seen its schedule increase in quality when compared to previous years. The Week 7 matchup is a good example of that increased quality, although the game looked much better on paper when the schedule was released than it does now.
Who is playing on Monday Night Football in Week 7?
Week 7 is set to conclude at U.S. Bank Stadium as the 5-1 San Francisco 49ers hit the road to take on the 2-4 Minnesota Vikings in a matchup of 2022 division champions in the NFC. The 49ers are fresh off of their first loss of the season, dropping a stunning 19-17 game to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when rookie kicker Jake Moody missed the go-ahead 41-yard field goal in the final seconds.
Things have been much worse for the Vikings, who staved off complete disaster by beating the Chicago Bears 19-14 in a game where Bears' starter Justin Fields left the game early with a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins was efficient in the win, completing 21-of-31 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown on the day.
The contest has also seen a significant decrease in star power as a result of injuries. Minnesota's Justin Jefferson is already out after being placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury while San Francisco's two best offensive players, running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, left the 49ers' loss in Week 6 with oblique and shoulder injuries respectively.