LOS ANGELES, April 19, 2013 — The first celebration of the 2013 National Football League season is now upon us. While actual games that count will not be played until September, there is no NFL offseason. The NFL Draft is next week, and now we have the official release of the 2013 NFL schedule. This release is dedicated to the dearly departed NFL announcing legend Pat Summerall.
True leatherheads understand that the release of the schedule allows us to make our plans for the next eight months. If a woman wants to celebrate New Year’s Eve with her family, but her boyfriend has plans to go see the Giants play the Raiders, he can show her the schedule to explain why she has to go without him (Hypothetically speaking, they should not have dated to begin with if she fails to grasp this).
Commit it to memory so you do not get trapped visiting art galleries and museums during the biggest matchups. Here are the biggest games of the 2013 NFL season. Get out the magic markers.
Thursday, September 5: Ravens at Broncos. This rematch of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game should have been in Baltimore, but there were complications. Baltimore won in Denver after a miracle Hail Mary and then won it all in Ray Lewis’s swan song. Peyton Manning and the Broncos will be burning for revenge.
Sunday, September 8: Packers at 49ers. San Francisco defeated the Packers twice last year. They won in Green Bay to start the season and bounced Green Bay out of the playoffs last year at home en route to the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick will make this exciting.
Sunday, September 15: 49ers at Seahawks. Coaches Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll do not like each other. These teams are mirror images with exciting quarterbacks in Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson to complement nasty, physical defenses. This could be the NFC Title Game.
Redskins at Packers: RGIII and Aaron Rodgers both saw playoff heartache last year, and they both fully expect to go deep in the playoffs next year. Both coaches Mike Shanahan and Mike McCarthy have Super Bowl rings and want more.
Sunday, September 22: Texans at Ravens. We will see if Houston is for real or if last year was there best shot. Ed Reed left the World Champions and is now part of Wade Phillips’s defense. Baltimore has eliminated Houston the last two years from the playoffs.
Thursday, September 26: 49ers at Rams. The Rams are expected to improve, and they played the 49ers tough twice last year in a pair of overtime games. The Rams won one and tied the other one.
October 6: Saints at Bears. Drew Brees and Jay Cutler can throw the football, but can either team play defense? The Bears went 10-6, fired their defensive minded coach, and jettisoned defensive standout Brian Urlacher. It could be a serious step back for Chicago this year.
October 13: Redskins at Cowboys. RGIII takes on Tony Romo in a Sunday night division battle.
Sunday, October 20: Broncos at Colts. Peyton Manning again returns to take on the team that cut him. Andrew Luck is talented, but this is all about Manning’s revenge.
Sunday, October 27: Packers at Vikings. Aaron Rodgers against league MVP Adrian Peterson, who came up 9 yards short of the single season rushing record. Minnesota has to win games like this to have a shot at winning the Black and Blue NFC North Division.
Sunday, November 3: Falcons at Panthers. Carolina and Cam Newton regressed last year but improved lately. This begins a critical three-game stretch against elite teams. After battling Matt Ryan and the Falcons, Carolina is at San Francisco and then hosts the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
Sunday, November 10: Seahawks at Falcons. Last year Atlanta knocked Seattle out of the playoffs in one of the most thrilling finishes in NFL history. Atlanta and Tony Gonzalez finally got the monkey off their backs. Seattle comes back to the scene of their overcoming a twenty point deficit only to lose on the final play.
Sunday, November 17: 49ers at Saints. San Francisco has the defense and the Pistol, while New Orleans has the offense and the home crowd. Bourbon Street will be rocking as the Saints try to bury the memory of last year and the 49ers.
Packers at Giants: This Sunday night game has the early feel of a playoff game. Both of these teams won Super Bowls recently but have slipped slightly. Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning will make for a great prime time duel.
Thursday, November 21: Saints at Falcons. The Saints do not count last year. Now they have Sean Payton back and a major chip on their shoulder. They act like they own the Falcons, and Atlanta wants to show that they are the new kings of the NFC South.
Sunday, November 24: Broncos at Patriots. This is the Monday night game we wait for every year, Tom Brady against Peyton Manning. As with most years, this is expected to be a preview of the AFC Title Game. Wes Welker left New England for Denver, adding fuel to the fire.
Thursday, November 28: Steelers at Ravens: This game is always a head knocker. While both teams are less than what they were at their peak, this is a pure blood feud. It is the Thanksgiving night game, so get your dinner finished early.
Sunday, December 1: Patriots at Texans. New England always has a chip on its shoulder, and Houston has not proven it deserves to be mentioned in the same elite company. New England blasted the Texans last year with ease.
Sunday, December 8: Falcons at Packers. Atlanta finally won a playoff game last year, but they go into this season knowing they will never get respect unless they win games like this one.
December 15: Texans at Colts. Houston and Indianapolis were both knocked out of the playoffs last year. Now we see which team takes the next step to go from good to great.
Sunday, December 22: Patriots at Ravens. The Ravens rocked the Patriots in the AFC Title Game last year, and now Tom Brady and the Patriots will be burning for revenge. Joe Flacco wants to prove he can win with Ray Lewis retired and Ed Reed gone.
Monday, December 23: Falcons at 49ers. The last Monday Night Football game of the year is the rematch of the NFC Title Game, when Atlanta collapsed at home after blowing a 17-0 lead. The Falcons will never silence the doubters until they win games like this.
Sunday, December 29: Redskins at Giants. This could determine the NFC East division title, which was not settled until Week 17 last year. RGIII and Eli Manning will duel for the next five years at least, and the league is thrilled about this.
Ram at Seahawks. The Rams are a much improved team that could give Seattle some trouble. Seattle wants to prove it is an elite team.
Broncos at Raiders. The only suspense here will be if the Raiders go 0-16. Oakland General Manager Reggie Mckenzie has taken a keg of dynamite to the Silver and Black. Rebuilding takes time, and if Denver has locked up home field, the Denver backups could still win this game.
The NFL Draft is one week away. The Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian who is obsessed with the National Football League. There is no offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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