Vikings at Bears (3:25 p.m., Ch. 2): The 2-1 Bears have beaten a pair of winless teams. The 2-1 Vikings have beaten up on a couple of softies, too. Both “1s” came courtesy of the unbeaten Packers, who seem to have designs on owning the NFC North. Who stays more prominently in the division race? It’ll be our guys if they bottle up NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook, hound mistake-prone QB Kirk Cousins and — this is where the plan gets dicey — have a decent day in the Mitch Trubisky department.
Bengals at Steelers (7:15 p.m., ESPN): Look, we’re all out of meaningless baseball games to watch. Strap in for must-win time for two 0-3 teams that are on the verge of exploding with controversy and discord. Marvin Lewis isn’t around to catch heat anymore, but new Cincy coach Zac Taylor seems born for the abuse. And get your tweeting fingers ready to point out how Steelers QB Mason Rudolph is no Ben Roethlisberger.
NL Wild Card Game: (TBS): It’s Washington and Milwaukee, baby. Unless, by a crazy turn of events, it’s Washington and St. Louis, baby. We don’t yet know where, or even when, the game will be played. All we really know is that the whole thing is a harsh reminder that the Cubs — remember the Cubs? — weren’t cool enough to get into this postseason dance.
AL Wild Card Game (ESPN): Again, too soon at press time to be certain of the whos, wheres and whens. But — just asking — does it really serve the Grand Old Game well when the postseason stage is Tropicana Field or the Oakland Coliseum? Talk about a couple of dumps. Maybe this year’s game should be held somewhere nicer, like the parking lot of a Winn-Dixie or the rec yard at Alcatraz.
Capitals at Blues (7 p.m., NBCSN): The last two Stanley Cup winners square off in the season opener for both teams, and a championship banner shall rise to the rafters in St. Louis. It’ll be the only place in town where folks aren’t obsessing over the Cardinals.
Rams at Seahawks (7:20 p.m., Fox-32, NFL Network): Can Seattle QB Russell Wilson avoid the wrath of Rams lineman Aaron Donald? When it comes down to it, can anyone in the NFC West touch the Rams? And most important: Will Seahawks coach Pete Carroll get conked in the nose by another errantly thrown football during pregame warmups?
Blackhawks vs. Flyers (1 p.m., NHLN, NBCSCH): Things just got real — it’s the regular-season opener, live from the O2 Arena in Prague. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier are still the men to watch up the middle for Philly. Is the Hawks’ somewhat revamped defense ready to roll? Can the Hawks get to young goalie Carter Hart nice and early? Will Patrick Kane be booed by the Czech audience if he doesn’t, you know, check? So many questions.
Illinois at Minnesota (2:30 p.m., BTN): The Illini are 2-2, but it feels like their season is slipping away fast. It’s almost like a win-or-go-home scenario against the Gophers. Come to think of it, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll go home even if they do win. That’s where all their clothes are.