Watch Monday Night Football Live Stream Online. Through the first two weeks of the 2012 NFL season, we have seen three games held on Monday night. In the opening week, the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers picked up wins, while Matt Ryan led the Atlanta Falcons to a win in week two. Which players from these teams had the best fantasy performances in ESPN's Monday night games?
The third week of the NFL season will see the 1-1 Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to play the 1-1 Seahawks. The Packers avenged their opening week loss to the San Francisco 49ers by embarrassing Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks lost their opening game to the Arizona Cardinals and bounced back by defeating the Dallas Cowboys last week.
The Packers are led by Aaron Rodgers (522 passing yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions), Cedric Benson (99 yards rushing) and Jordy Nelson (11 receptions, 148 yards). The Seahawks are led by rookie Russell Wilson (304 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception), Marshawn Lynch (207 rushing yards, one touchdown) and Sidney Rice (seven receptions, 69 yards, one touchdown).
Some games just seem to count more, and carry greater weight; and if you win them, the “W” needs to be in a larger font, and printed in bold.
So, there are wins, and then there are the occasional victories – the ones that are more symbolic.
Monday night is the chance for one of those for the Seattle Sea-hawks.
It won’t come easily, and the betting line is clear that such an outcome would be considered an upset, but a win Monday against Green Bay could be a signature achievement for the Seahawks under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
Carroll and Schneider are two seasons and two games into their franchise renovation, and they’ve had some big victories, topping the Saints in the playoffs their first season, and defeating the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants on the road last season.
But a Monday Night Football victory over Green Bay – validating a runaway win at home over Dallas last week – would immediately label the Seahawks a team rising toward contention.
Whenever players and staff have been asked on the record this week about the match-up, they’ve downplayed it as another game for which they prepare in a typical manner. No more, no less.
Don’t believe it. Monday night games are a traditional showcase. As Carroll said, it’s historically been the opportunity the nation gets to watch football “on a school night.”
This young Seahawks team hasn’t had much prime-time exposure. And neither has the deserving CenturyLink crowd.
The NFL is facing pressure to reach a swift agreement in the dispute with its referees after the officiating by replacements in Monday night's televised game was widely criticised.
The league is playing with replacement referees after failing to reach a new deal on pay and pensions with the referees' association which was formally locked out in June.
The stand-in officials come from the lower divisions of college football, high school and semi-professional leagues and not surprisingly they have struggled with the complex rules and high-pace of action in the NFL.
While the week one refereeing was deemed just about acceptable by many observers, the second round of games involved plenty of confusion and brought criticism.
The worst of it came after the Monday night game between the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons in which several calls were overturned, there were lengthy delays and a chaotic scuffle as officials looked on.
Even the ESPN television commentators, not normally ones to 'talk down' a game, expressed frustration at the lengthy delays, during a first quarter that lasted around an hour, and confusion which ruined a potentially entertaining contest.
"Honestly. It's embarrassing. The command and control of this game is gone," Mike Tirico said on air while his partner, ex-NFL coach Jon Gruden, said the game, which finished after midnight, was "hard to watch".
The worst spell came at the end of the first quarter when Denver's Knowshon Moreno fumbled and after a scramble, a Broncos player emerged with the ball only to find the officials had prematurely given an Atlanta recovery.