Thursday Night Football Schedule 2012: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info

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Thursday Night Football Schedule 2012: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info
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Now that the 2012 NFL schedule has been released, it's time to start picking apart the matchups we can't wait to see this coming season.

There are several eye-catching games on the Thursday Night Football slate this season, beginning in Week 2 with the Chicago Bears heading to Lambeau Field to battle the Green Bay Packers.

Here's a look at the Thursday night schedule, complete with the Thanksgiving games.

 

Schedule

Week 2 9/13: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 3 9/20: New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 4 9/27: Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 5 10/4: Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 6 10/11: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 7 10/18: Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 8 10/25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 9 11/1: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 10 11/8: Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 11 11/15: Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 12 11/22: Houston Texans vs. Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 12 11/22: Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:15 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 12 11/22: New England Patriots vs. New York Jets, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

Week 13 11/29: New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 14 12/6: Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 15 12/13: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 16 12/22: Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

 

Nick Laham/Getty Images

Analysis

What better way to start off the Thursday schedule than with the historic rivalry of Bears vs. Packers? 

Other notable matchups include Seahawks vs. 49ers, Chiefs vs. Chargers, Texans vs. Lions, Redskins vs. Cowboys, Patriots vs. Jets, Saints vs. Falcons, Broncos vs. Raiders, Bengals vs. Eagles and Falcons vs. Lions.

The Thanksgiving games in particular should be fantastic. Remember, the Redskins defense improved in 2011, and they will likely draft Baylor star quarterback Robert Griffin III. Then, you have two rising teams in the Texans and Lions and then finish off with another great rivalry in Patriots vs. Jets.

The schedule closes off with some exciting games, complete with the high-octane matchup of Saints vs. Falcons and Peyton Manning's Broncos going to the Black Hole.

There are some duds, however. The Ravens should dismantle the Browns, and few care about Cardinals vs. Rams, Buccaneers vs. Vikings and Colts vs. Jaguars. 

 

Most Pivotal Matchups

Bears vs. Packers: The Bears stumbled to an 8-8 record in 2011, but don't forget, they made it to the NFC Championship Game the season before. This is always a fun rivalry to watch.

Redskins vs. Cowboys: The NFC East was wide open last season, and given the Giants' fearsome schedule in 2012, it should be this season, as well. The Redskins' defense improved last season and who knows what Griffin could do for them.

Patriots vs. Jets: Even if you could care less about the Patriots and Jets, you always have to watch this matchup. It's one of the great rivalries in football today, and it's always loud. Rex Ryan running his mouth + Bill Belichick looking ornery in a hoodie = entertaining. And that's not even talking about the products on the field.

Who will win Saints vs. Falcons?

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Saints vs. Falcons: If you love offense, tune into this NFC South battle. The Saints and Falcons have been the top two teams in the division for the past three years. After a close 26-23 Saints victory in Week 10 last season, the Saints erupted for 45 points in a big game in Week 16.

Broncos vs. Raiders: The Broncos and Raiders both finished 8-8 last season, but now, there's an added dimension with Peyton Manning being in Denver. Just imagining Manning going into the Black Hole makes me smile.

Falcons vs. Lions: The Falcons beat the Lions, 23-16, in Week 7 last season. This should be another close matchup, as both teams enter Week 16 potentially needing a win to clinch a playoff berth.

 

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