Sunday Night Football Schedule 2012: Most Important Non-Divisional Games
The NBC crew has to be thrilled with the 2012 NFL schedule released on Tuesday night.
The network that only airs Sunday Night Football has been given a ton of must-watch games that will likely have major playoff implications.
With the NFL allowing NBC to flex different games into the primetime slot for the last month of the season, there is going to be a full seasons worth of outstanding games to look forward to every Sunday night.
Here are three games featuring teams that may not reside in the same division, but will still have high stakes when looking at the playoff picture.
Not only will Peyton Manning be making his first start in a uniform that doesn’t say Indianapolis on the front, he’ll be playing a Steelers team that had their season ended by the Broncos back in January.
You can bet the bitter taste of defeat has lingered with the Steelers and getting an opportunity to return to the scene of the crime in Week 1 should be incredibly compelling.
The main storyline heading into this one will be the vaunted Steelers defense getting the first crack to…crack Manning’s neck.
Both teams figure to be in the mix for a playoff spot and getting that pivotal tie-breaker right off the bat could be huge down the line.
Who wins in Week 9?
While this game may not jump off the page as must-see, I have a funny feelin’ these two are going to be in a dogfight for a wild-card spot.
Both teams have a tendency to wilt under the bright lights despite having tons of talent on both sides of the ball. The clock is ticking after failing to meet expectations in 2011 and expect the urgency level in this one to be sky-high.
This could be a “win and you’re in” type of game…or it could be completely flexed out.
Both teams have gobs of talent that make them Super Bowl contenders on paper. The AFC West and AFC East appear to be the weakest divisions in the AFC, meaning these two will be cleaning up against the likes of Kansas City and Miami.
I believe these two are going to finish sixth and seventh in the AFC, respectively. Considering the top six make it in, this game is going to be huge.
Can Phillip Rivers move the ball on the vaunted Jets pass defense? Can Mark Sanchez keep up with the prolific Chargers offense? Will Sanchez even be the QB by then or will it be Tim Tebow Time?
There is a ton of intrigue and mystery surrounding the very last game of the Sunday Night Football slate.
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