Thursday Night Football Schedule 2012: Highlighting Season's Best Midweek Games

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IISeptember 27, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos delivers a pass against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Texans defeated the Broncos 31-25.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With games on Thursday Night nearly every week this season, NFL fans do not have to go more than a few days without getting to watch football.

The last two Super Bowl champions have won on the only two Thursday Night games thus far, with the Green Bay Packers defeating the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants taking down the Carolina Panthers.

The date and start time for every Thursday night game can be found via

Here are the most exciting midweek matchups to look forward to in 2012.


October 18: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers 

Atrocious officiating aside, the Seahawks defense is extremely impressive. With a physical secondary and dynamic pass rushers, this team has the potential to be one of the top units in the NFL. 

With Marshawn Lynch on the other side of the ball, Seattle can run effectively and keep teams out of the end zone, giving it a chance in any game. 

San Francisco, however, has the best defense in the league, despite a lackluster performance this past week. The 49ers also run the ball well, and are a more talented team from top to bottom than Seattle. 

But this will be an NFC West battle, and the Seahawks will put up a significantly better fight than was expected from them before the season.


November 1: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers 

Division rivalries are always entertaining, as are teams with playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.

Jamaal Charles proved to Kansas City fans that he is still a home-run hitter out of the backfield, while Philip Rivers is still a prolific passer in San Diego. Both teams are capable of exploding for eye-popping offensive performances.

Neither of these teams appear to be a contender at this point in the season, but both are entirely capable of sneaking into the playoffs.

Every game in the AFC West will be extremely important this season.


December 6: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

In Week 14, it is doubtful that the AFC West title race will have been decided. Each team has shown that it can compete, but also that it is capable of being completely ineffectual in any game. 

Last year, three teams in this division finished 8-8, with only the Chiefs finishing 7-9. These teams all look like franchises that will go .500 again at this point, and it is likely that a playoff spot will hang in the balance when the Broncos head to the Bay Area. 

This is a bitter rivalry, and the game will be played at one of the most intimidating stadiums in the league. Peyton Manning will certainly have his work cut out for him against a stout Raiders defense. 

In a wide-open AFC West, this late-season matchup will be a must-watch game.


December 13: Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles

These are two more teams whose playoff prospects hung in the balance until late last season. At 9-7, the Bengals sneaked into the postseason, while the Eagles missed the cut at 8-8.

Both franchises have the talent necessary to get to the playoffs this year, but also play in extremely difficult divisions. The Bengals will play two games each against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, while the Eagles have their yearly meetings with the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. 

This Thursday night game features two more teams that will be battling to get into the postseason until the final week. 

A win in this game could be the difference between success and disappointment in 2012 for both the Bengals and the Eagles in this Week 15 matchup.