The NFL unveiled the 2013 schedule on Thursday night, and there are plenty of juicy headlines. Here is our list of the 10 most intriguing games of 2013, with the Monday Night Football schedule posted below:
Top 10 matchups of the 2013 season:
10. AFC Divisional rematch: Ravens @ Broncos - Week 1 (Thursday)
It’s the 2013 season opener and it’s a rematch of the epic AFC divisional playoff game that went to double OT. Not only that, but it will be the first time we see Wes Welker and Peyton Manning working their magic together. It will also be the first Baltimore Ravens team without Ray Lewis since 1995.
9. Bills “host” Falcons in Toronto: Atlanta @ Buffalo – Week 13
Buffalo got smacked by Seattle in their 2012 visit to Toronto and it won’t be much easier in 2013, as they take on one of the league’s most high powered offenses from Atlanta. However, this could be a chance for Bills fans north of the border to see the new franchise QB, who will presumably be found in next week’s draft.
8. London Calling: Steelers vs Vikings – Week 4
The Brits have had their fair share of mediocre games in recent years, but they’re in for a treat in 2013. The Pittsburgh Steelers have arguably been the most dominant defense in the league over the last decade, while Adrian Peterson has been the best running back in the league since he arrived in 2007. Cue some massive collisions in the hole.
7. NFC Championship rematch: Falcons @ 49ers – Week 16 (Monday)
The 49ers trailed 17-0 in the 2012 NFC Championship. They rallied to take the lead and then San Francisco’s defense came up with a huge stand to hold Atlanta out of the end zone in the final minute. The NFC is full of contenders and these two teams head the list. Atlanta is hoping that free agent signings Stephen Jackson and Osi Umenyiora push them over the top in 2013.
6. Andy Reid returns: Chiefs @ Eagles – Week 3 (Thursday)
Andy Reid was the longest tenured coach in the NFL before being released by the Eagles this offseason. He took Philadelphia to one Super Bowl and four NFC Championship games, but Reid and Donovan McNabb could never capture the grand prize. Now with the Kansas City Chiefs and Alex Smith as his QB, Andy will want to make a statement to his former employers.
5. Thanksgiving Treat: Steelers @ Ravens – Week 13 (Thursday)
The Cowboys and Lions get a home game every Thanksgiving, while the third host rotates year to year. This season, we have a classic rivalry for our third game as every Steelers-Ravens game seems to result in concussions, broken noses, and endless trash talk.
4. Manning vs Manning: Broncos @ Giants – Week 2
Two brothers. Fighting for the love of their parents. One will be showered with praise and glory. The other will be shunned and ridiculed. Well, maybe not, but it’s always entertaining to watch Archie Manning and his wife awkwardly support both sons. Both the Giants and Broncos feature very high powered offenses in 2013, so expect plenty of fireworks.
3. Welker & Peyton visit Brady: Broncos @ Patriots – Week 12
Anytime Peyton Manning and Tom Brady get together, you need to circle that date on your calender. Every meeting is an instant classic, and there won’t be too many of these matchups left to savor. This year, there is the added intrigue of Wes Welker returning to New England after turbulent negotiations with the Patriots left him packing his bags for Denver. With Baltimore’s personnel losses this offseason, many are looking at one of these two teams to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
2. Peyton returns to Indy: Broncos @ Colts – Week 7
He spent 13 seasons under center in Indianapolis, and on October 20th Peyton Manning will face the Colts for the first time as an opponent. There’s little doubt that Manning will receive a massive ovation from the Colts faithful, but once the game kicks off it will be all business, as Peyton tries to out-duel his successor, Andrew Luck.
1. RG3′s superhuman return and Chip Kelly’s debut: Eagles @ Redskins – Week 1 (Monday)
The legendary Dr. James Andrews said that Robert Griffin III’s recovery from a torn ACL was “superhuman”, adding that the QB was “way ahead of schedule”. That was music to the ears of Redskins fans, who have been dreaming of seeing their beloved Baylor product in uniform for week 1. This game will also mark the NFL head coaching debut of Chip Kelly for Philadelphia. There’s been plenty of debate as to whether or not Kelly’s offense can succeed in the pro ranks, and this will be thefirst true test.
Monday Night Football Schedule:
September 9th (early game): Eagles @ Redskins
September 9th (late game): Texans @ Chargers
September 16th: Steelers @ Bengals
September 23rd: Raiders @ Broncos
September 30th: Dolphins @ Saints
October 7th: Jets @ Falcons
October 14th: Colts @ Chargers
October 21st: Vikings @ Giants
October 28th: Seahawks @ Rams
November 4th: Bears @ Packers
November 11th: Dolphins @ Buccaneers
November 18th: Patriots @ Panthers
November 25th: 49ers @ Redskins
December 2nd: Saints @ Seahawks
December 9th: Cowboys @ Bears
December 16th: Ravens @ Lions
December 23rd: Falcons @ 49ers