Sunday Night Football Schedule 2012: Viewing Info for Most Intriguing Matchups

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 04:  (L-R) Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants congratulates Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after the Packers won 38-35 at MetLife Stadium on December 4, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Week 8 brings what might be the best Sunday Night Football game of the entire season, with Drew Brees and Peyton Manning going head-to-head in what promises to be a shootout between two of the best gunslingers the NFL has ever seen.

But that doesn't mean there's no reason to tune into NBC on Sunday nights after this week, because there is plenty of quality football with wide-ranging implications left to be played.

To be perfectly honest, there isn't a game left on the Sunday Night Football schedule that isn't worth watching. But there are a few games that stand out above the rest as can't-miss football.


Week 10: Chicago Bears at Houston Texans, Sunday, Nov. 11

Da Bears travel to Reliant Stadium in Houston to take on the Texans in what could be a preview of Super Bowl XLVII.

Both teams are strong on both sides of the ball, though the Bears have the edge on defense while the Texans have the edge offensively.

When you look at it, these two teams are very evenly matched.

You've got two talented quarterbacks who haven't lived up to expectations in Chicago's Jay Cutler and Houston's Matt Schaub, two of the best running backs in the game with Matt Forte and Arian Foster and two dynamic defensive players in Brian Urlacher and J.J. Watt.

This one figures to be a close, smash-mouth kind of game. That's just how we like it.



Week 12: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants, Sunday, Nov. 25

It was the Giants who walked into Lambeau Field and ended the Packers 2011 season in the divisional round of the playoffs, so Green Bay will be looking for some semblance of payback when they walk into MetLife Stadium the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Both teams are adept at rushing the passer, both teams have high-powered passing attacks led by dynamic quarterbacks—in Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning—and both have questionable secondaries.

All those things will lead to an exciting, high-scoring affair, one that could see both quarterbacks finish the day with well over 300 yards through the air.



Week 13: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 2

Both teams are already in must-win mode heading into Week 8 action, with neither team off to the start to the season they hoped.

Philadelphia has more work to do than Dallas in order to get back into the wild-card conversation, but by this point both teams will have a good idea of where their playoff hopes stand. The team that loses here could find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture altogether.

Both head coaches could be coaching for their jobs at this point in the season as well, so there's even more intrigue than you usually get in a NFC East battle between two teams that don't like each other.



Week 15: San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 16

This could be another Super Bowl XLVII preview, with two of the top teams in the NFL sure to be battling for playoff position in their respective conferences by this point in time.

You've got legendary Patriots QB Tom Brady going up against what many still believe to be the best defense in football. On the other hand, you've got the 49ers' potent running game going up against a New England defense vastly improved against the run from a year ago.

Throw in two of the more high-profile head coaches in the game with Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco and Bill Belichick in New England...what else could you need?



Remaining Sunday Night Football Schedule (via NBC)

Week 8: New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 28

Week 9: Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 4

Week 10: Houston Texans at Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 11

Week 11:  Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 18*

Week 12: Green Bay Packers at New York Giants, Sunday, Nov. 25*

Week 13: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 2*

Week 14: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Dec. 9*

Week 15: San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 16*

Week 16: San Diego Chargers at New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 23*

Week 17: TBA at TBA, Sunday, Dec. 30*


*Indicates flex schedule; game could be replaced.

All games air on NBC with kickoff at 8:30 p.m. ET.