2012 NFL Schedule: Thursday Night Matchups We Can't Wait to See
Terrible news for all wives and girlfriends: For the first time in NFL history, we'll be seeing Thursday night games all year round.
This means that now three days out of your seven-day week will be crammed with NFL action—and that's not counting college football.
Starting Week 2 of the 2012 season, NFL Network will be hosting football all season long, and this is great news for football fans who believe that just designating Sunday and Monday for football games isn't enough.
The Thursday-night slate features some duds, such as the Buccaneers versus the Vikings on Oct. 25, but it also features some games that many are sure to watch and could become instant classics. Per the league schedule released by NFL.com, here are some of the best Thursday-night matchups for 2012:
These two teams need no introduction. They're bitter rivals, and there's no doubt that this Thursday-night matchup will not lack any drama.
Jay Cutler returns to the Bears after missing a good chunk of the 2011 season due to injury. He'll be hoping for some protection from his offensive line, which is something he has failed to receive in recent years. He has the potential to beat the Packers, considering that the Green Bay pass defense was atrocious last season.
On the other sideline, Aaron Rodgers will be trying to replicate his legendary 2011 season, and there's no better opponent to do it against than one of your biggest rivals.
Let's face it. The San Francisco 49ers had a cakewalk through the NFC West last season. They didn't have much competition, and their team was a defensive powerhouse that just wouldn't allow points.
This year, things may be a little different.
The Seattle Seahawks have a quarterback who has high potential in Matt Flynn. They also have a beast of a running back in Marshawn Lynch. Combine that with a home stadium where they rarely lose, and all of a sudden, the Seahawks can compete in the NFC West.
They'll have to beat their division rival first, though, and what better way to do it than on national television on a Thursday night?
This will be Seattle's first major litmus test within its division. A win here, and the Seahawks will have the confidence throughout the rest of the year to shock the world and win the division.
Forget the opponent here.
No one cares about the Jaguars—not even the people of Jacksonville.
The headliner in this matchup is Andrew Luck, whom the Colts might take with their first overall draft selection come April 26.
It'll be interesting to see how Luck fares on national television, and it doesn't hurt that he'll be going up against an extremely inferior opponent. He may as well have his coming out party on this night.
These two teams will be battling for the NFC South title once again, and this Thanksgiving matchup will be one extremely exciting game.
Generally speaking, the Thanksgiving games are not too enticing to watch. However, the last two seasons have been different.
Peyton Manning is going to have to get used to all the trash talk he's about to receive in Oakland. Raiders fans are going to give him hell, but there's no doubt that Manning will be prepared for it all.
This game may actually have heavy playoff implications, considering the Raiders almost won the division last year. With Manning as their quarterback, the Broncos are now the surefire favorites in the AFC West, but there's no doubt that the Raiders will make a push in their first full season with Carson Palmer.
This early-December game may give us a clearer playoff picture heading toward the conclusion of the regular season.
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