The 5 Most Abysmal Prime Time Games of the 2016 NFL Season (So Far)

It's no secret that the NFL's ratings are down this season. The fact that almost every single nationally televised game has been horrendous is a big reason why.

The NFL has been a dumpster fire this season.

The bizarre crackdown on totally harmless celebrations. The mishandling of another domestic abuse case. The fact that pretty much every nationally televised game has been total and absolute garbage. It's no wonder ratings have taken a nosedive.

With that in mind, we decided to list the worst eyesores this season has produced so far. If you spent precious seconds of your finite life taking in these abysmal excuses for football, you undoubtedly hated yourself the next morning. One rule—to be eligible for this list, the game had to be on national TV. These five games literally made an entire nation sad.

1. Week 1, Monday Night Football

Jeff Fisher

Who: Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

Final Score: 49ers 28, Rams 0

Hey Folks! The Los Angeles Rams are back in the NFL! Isn't that exciting? Let's all gather round and watch this proud, historic franchise take the field once again.

Anyone who tuned in to this game was treated to a showdown between quarterbacks Case Keenum and Blaine Gabbert, who sound more like Vine stars than actual NFL starters. The 49ers took an early lead in this one and never looked backed, as the Rams' vaunted defense seemed to believe the game was a two-hand touch affair.

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Keenum threw for just 130 yards and was picked off twice. He finished with a 5.4 total QBR, the third-worst of any QB in any game so far this season. Todd Gurley ran the ball 17 times for a measly 47 yards. By far the most entertaining play of the night was when a fan ran onto the field, but you had probably fallen asleep on the couch by then:

Tweets that summed up how we all felt:

2. Week 3, Thursday Night Football

Stephen Anderson

Who: Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

Final Score: Patriots 27, Texans 0

America's thoughts before the game: "Hey, Tom Brady is out! Both teams are 2-0! The Texans defense is supposed to be good! We might see the Patriots actually lose a game at home!"

America's thoughts once the game started: "Why did God create Thursday Night Football? Is He mad at us?"

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With third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett making his first NFL start against the $70 million man Brock Osweiler, we should've known that both passing attacks would be painfully underwhelming. Brissett threw just 19 passes and barely surpassed the 100-yard mark. Osweiler threw the ball 41 times, mostly into the ground, and he finished with 196 yards and one interception. The Patriots took a 10-0 lead into the half. CBS then showed us a graphic that said New England was 76-0 at Gillette Stadium when leading at halftime. We all knew that the score would be 77-0 by the end of the game, but we stuck around because we're NFL masochists.

The Patriots proceeded to grind the Texans down and control possession while Osweiler continued not being a good quarterback. LeGarrette Blount was the player of the game, recording 105 yards and two touchdowns, but those stats were inflated by a 41-yard TD scamper in the fourth quarter. If you remove that play, Blount rushed 23 times for 64 rushing yards. That's an average of 2.78 yards per carry. That's the football equivalent of watching paint dry.

Tweets that summed up how we all felt:

3. Week 4, Thursday Night Football

Ryan Tannehill

Who: Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Final Score: Bengals 22, Dolphins 7

If you emerge victorious on Thursday Night Football, it should only count as half of a win. Why? Because these games have been a pathetic product for years. Even when the game looks like it might be decent on paper, the contest itself is usually more tedious than a retirement home game of Monopoly. But hey, maybe these shiny new Color Rush uniforms will distract you!

A.J. Green single-handedly dominated the Dolphins. He had 10 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown. But for anyone who doesn't have Green on his or her fantasy team, this game sucked. Ryan Tannehill threw for 189 yards, but 74 of them came on a single play in the first quarter. Mike Nugent kicked five field goals. The Bengals ran the ball 37 times and averaged 2.1 yards per carry. We all contemplated the endless, unrelenting march toward death that we call life.

Tweets that summed up how we all felt:

4. Week 6, Monday Night Football

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Who: New York Jets vs. Arizona Cardinals

Final Score: Cardinals 28, Jets 3

Remember when Monday Night Football used to mean something? Well, those days are now in the distant past. MNF has been largely a trash heap this season, and perhaps no game was more mind-numbingly mediocre than the Jets-Cardinals tilt in Week 6.

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Any game that features both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith throwing interceptions should have a Surgeon General's warning at the bottom of the screen. David Johnson ran for 111 yards, but 58 of them came on a single carry. When you take that out of the equation, he ran the ball 21 times for 53 yards. That was still way better than Matt Forte, who rushed the ball nine times for 19 yards. The teams also combined for four fumbles. But the worst part of this game, by far, were the flags. It seemed to be raining yellow all night long. A total of 23 penalties were called during the game. Even the announcers acknowledged how tough the game was to watch with all of the constant ref interference:

It's no wonder the game had the lowest ratings of any MNF contest since ESPN acquired the rights in 2006.

Tweets that summed up how we all felt:

5. Week 7, Sunday Night Football

Chandler Catanzaro

Who: Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

Final Score: Seahawks 6, Cardinals 6

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals. Russell Wilson vs. Carson Palmer. Legion of Boom vs. Pat Pete and the Honey Badger. Two teams that made it to their respective conference championships last season. What could possibly go wrong?

In a word: everything. Everything that people like about football didn't happen in this game. The NFL should send an Edible Arrangement to everyone who watched it, along with a handwritten note expressing their condolences for personally murdering what could've been an enjoyable Sunday night.

When you look at the box score, it's shocking that the teams combined for just 12 points. Carson Palmer threw for 342 yards and Russell Wilson threw for 225. Neither team had an interception. This was just a classic case of two teams treating the end zone like it was hot lava.

Jon Ryan punted the ball nine times! Regulation ended with the score 3-3! If this game had been played in a Wisconsin blizzard in December, the score might've made more sense. But the game was played inside a climate-controlled dome in Arizona! To be fair, the game arguably crossed into "so bad, it's good" territory after both teams missed chip shot field goals in OT that would've won it. But when the game officially ended in a tie, most of us felt like Bruce Arians:

Tweets that summed up how we all felt:

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | NEWS | SEATTLE SEAHAWKS | MIAMI DOLPHINS | ARIZONA CARDINALS | SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS | CINCINNATI BENGALS | NFL | NEW YORK JETS | LOS ANGELES RAMS