April 23, 2012
The NFL schedule release has become a national event with more hype growing for it every year. The schedule always features some big time games and this year was no exception. Here are ten matchups you won’t want to miss.
Indianapolis at Washington (August 25): August? That’s right, this is a preseason game. But it could be a pretty significant one. If everything plays out as expected in the NFL Draft, this would be a matchup of the top two quarterbacks – Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. It’s early, so the two might not end up starting. But assuming they’ve signed, there’s a good chance they’ll both be playing.
Dallas at New York Giants (September 5): Face it, this could be a matchup of the league’s two worst teams and nobody would care. This Wednesday night game will kick off the season and it not only features the defending champions, but is a rivalry game between two big market franchises. In other words: ratings through the roof.
San Francisco at Green Bay (September 9): This was the game many expected to see for the NFC Championship this past year. Instead, the Giants upset the Packers and went on to defeat the 49ers. These are two favorites to challenge the Giants this year for the NFC crown and should be one of the conference’s best games of the season.
Indianapolis at Chicago (September 9): We’ll get our first look at Andrew Luck in the preseason, but this could be his first regular season game. It’s the Colts’ first game of the year and there’s a chance he begins the season as the starter. If he does, it might not be all that pretty facing the Bears on the road. But it could be the first look at a Hall of Fame career if Luck’s as good as advertised.
Denver at New England (October 7): With Peyton Manning now in Denver, the Broncos are a trendy team to watch. When Manning was in Indianapolis, the Colts-Patriots game was always a key one. He’ll square off against future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, making this a game not to miss.
New York Giants at San Francisco (October 14): The 49ers appeared to have the NFC Championship wrapped up last year until some key special teams gaffes. The game last season was a close one throughout and this one should be no different.
Carolina at Washington (November 4): When these two teams line up in November, it will be a game featuring two of the league’s dynamic young quarterbacks. Cam Newton set the league ablaze with his play in 2011 and Robert Griffin III will be looking to make a similar impact for the Redskins.
Houston at Detroit (November 22): The scoreboard operator will be plenty busy in this Thanksgiving Day game as two of the top passing offenses in the league square off. But quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Matt Schaub won’t be the only ones to watch. At the other end of their passes will be perhaps the two best wideouts in the league – Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson.
Oakland at Cincinnati (November 25): This one’s kind of under the radar, but Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer will be making his return to Cincinnati since forcing his way out a year ago. Needless to say, Bengals fans probably won’t be all that forgiving.
New York Jets at Jacksonville (December 9): Speaking of returns, backup quarterback Tim Tebow returns to his home state of Florida to face the Jaguars. The kicker is that he could very well be starting by this point in the season if Mark Sanchez struggles. If Tebow starts this game in Jacksonville, the internet just might explode.