NFL TV Schedule Week 3: Showcasing Most Anticipated Matchups

Jessica Marie@ItsMsJisnerCorrespondent IISeptember 17, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 13: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass the football during first half play against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 13, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It's still too early to know which teams are going to be at the top of the heap when the end of the season rolls around, but we're getting there.

With every week that goes by, some teams continue to surge and surprise, while others continue to falter, while still others have looked so up and down—even in just a couple of weeks—that the jury is still out.

Week 3 will bring us more certainty with regards to which teams are capable of magic this season. Here's a look at the top matchups to anticipate. For the entire Week 3 TV schedule, click here

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Monday, September 24
8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

For a few days there, the Packers were a concern. After the way Alex Smith and the 49ers embarrassed them at home in the season opener, it was unclear whether Green Bay was in for a letdown season or whether Week 1 was just an anomaly.

Judging by what Aaron Rodgers & Co. did to the Bears on Thursday, there's no longer any reason for concern. There's certainly nothing wrong with Green Bay's offense—led by Rodgers, who finished with 219 yards and a touchdown—but the maligned Packers defense showed up, too, holding the Bears to 168 total yards and forcing Jay Cutler into a whopping four interceptions.

Now, against the Seahawks, the Packers will have to show us which version of this team is the true 2012 version.

New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, September 23
8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Ravens circled this matchup as soon as the 2012 schedule was released. This is their opportunity to avenge that crushing loss in last year's AFC Championship game, when a missed field goal stood in between them and the chance to fight in overtime for a trip to the Super Bowl.

As two teams who have spent much of the last several years fighting for the right to be called the best in the AFC, this one bodes to be an exciting matchup—as well as one in which Joe Flacco can prove that he really is able to measure up to one of the league's elite quarterbacks.

This will also be the first big test for each of these defenses. Nobody really has questions about how good the Ravens' unit is, but the Patriots—who have relied on rookies to bolster a defense that was very weak in 2011—will have a lot to prove in this one.

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos
Sunday, September 23
4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

This matchup will be a battle between two of the league's most noteworthy quarterbacks. It will also be a battle between two quarterbacks who have a lot to prove as they come back from injuries.

Matt Schaub has been impressive thus far since returning from a foot injury, and obviously, Manning has been on the warpath since the Colts ditched him in the aftermath of his neck injury. This game could come down to which offense can come up with more fireworks, and it truly remains to be seen who is going to come up bigger. 

Will it be Manning, who looks as though he hasn't missed a beat since 2010? Or will it be Schaub, who seems to be on the brink of turning the Texans into an AFC powerhouse? 

Not to get way ahead of ourselves, but this could also give us a preview of two of the teams left standing in January.