2012 NFL Schedule: 5 Most Anticipated NFC Matchups

Ryan Bothmann@tripleCfanSenior Analyst IIApril 18, 2012

2012 NFL Schedule: 5 Most Anticipated NFC Matchups

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    On Tuesday, the NFL released the dates and times for the 2012 regular season.

    While there are going to be many great games in both conferences this season, there are a few that stand out above the rest. They are labeled as must-see television.

    Here are the five most anticipated NFC matchups for the 2012 NFL regular season.

    You can also view my most anticipated AFC matchups for the 2012 NFL regular season by clicking on the link provided.

5) Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins

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    Date: Sunday, November 4, 1 p.m. ET

    OK, to be honest, this is probably not one of the five most anticipated NFC games in 2012. I just did not want New York Giants and Green Bay Packers games to comprise the entire list.

    By the time November comes around though, this game will generate plenty of talk.

    With the Washington Redskins likely selecting Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, this game would pit two of the game's most athletic quarterbacks against one another.

    Last year's Rookie of the Year Cam Newton versus potential 2012 Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III—it will be an explosive, offensive-oriented game with a few stellar plays from some stellar athletes.

    Mark your calendars to see two amazing athletes in action.

4) San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

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    Date: Sunday, September 9, 4:15 p.m. ET

    The matchup many NFL fans were hoping to see last year never quite panned out since the Giants upset the Packers in the NFC Divisional Round. No worries though, because on the first weekend of the NFL season our dreams will come true.

    The Green Bay Packers' unstoppable offense vs. the San Francisco 49ers' hard-hitting defense.

    The two contrasting styles of play will make for a very interesting matchup to start the season. It will also be interesting to see which team is hungrier to establish themselves as the early favorite to dethrone the New York Giants as NFC champions.

    This could very well be an NFC Championship Game preview.

3) Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants

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    Date: Wednesday, September 5, 8:30 p.m. ET

    The first NFL game of the new season is always one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. Now throw in the fact that it is between two hated rivals, one who happens to be the defending Super Bowl champions, and you have a game that is sure to be one of the best of the season.

    Eli Manning and the Giants will raise their Super Bowl banner before this game, and then they will begin their quest to defend that title. On the other side, the Cowboys will come out seeking revenge against their bitter rivals.

    Make sure you do not miss this game; it's sure to be a classic on opening night.

2) Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants

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    Date: Sunday, November 25, 8:20 p.m. ET

    Although they do not meet until late in the season, the Packers will most definitely be ready to get revenge against the New York Giants after New York quickly dismissed the Super Bowl-bound Packers last postseason.

    In the playoffs, the Giants took control of the game and ended up defeating the Packers by 17. However, look for something more along the lines of the game that took place in the regular season, where Green Bay won by only three.

    This will definitely be a classic matchup in the NFC this season, and certainly will be a game that you do not want to miss.

1) New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers

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    Date: Sunday, October 14, 4:15 p.m. ET

    If, for some strange reason, you only watch one NFC game all season, then this is the game to watch.

    It's the rematch of the 2012 NFC Championship Game. Just like when these two teams met a few months ago, it will be a tight and closely contested matchup that will be extremely physical.

    The 49ers will be extremely revved up in front of their home fans. They'll be ready to show Eli Manning and the Giants that this time they are the better football team.

    This one will be a classic.