Thursday Night Football Schedule 2012: Predicting Top Remaining Matchups

Mike HoagCorrespondent IINovember 15, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 11:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints quiets down the crowd during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the Falcons 31-27(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

This week’s Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills NFL Thursday Night Football matchup may not captivate you, but there’s still some great football to come on the program this season.

Besides, the expansion of the Thursday night games this season has already treated us to some excellent football.

The Packers crushed Jay Cutler and the Bears physically and emotionally back in September, the Tennessee Titans upset the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a defensive heavyweight fight between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers resulted in a narrow Niners victory. All of it was great Thursday night television.

Like Monday Night Football, you’ll never make everyone happy with scheduling prime-time games. Teams don’t always live up to preseason expectations and flex-scheduling games on days other than Sunday seem to be unlikely.

So, in order to get the most out of TNF, take a look at a breakdown of the top two games left.

Atlanta Falcons Host the New Orleans Saints, Week 13

These two teams met in Week 10 and there were fireworks inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. At 2nd-and-goal from the Saints' 1-yard line, the Falcons failed to convert in the waning moments of the first loss of the season.

The Saints are currently on an upswing, winning four of their last five games. They are realistically out of contention in the NFC South but could surge to a wild-card berth if they can manage a road win against their divisional rivals in Week 13.

Falcons head coach Mike Smith is just 2-7 against Drew Brees and his Saints during his tenure in Atlanta.

Oakland Raiders Host the Denver Broncos, Week 14

Anytime Peyton Manning takes the field it’s a noteworthy event. To kick things off, Manning and his Broncos battled the Pittsburgh Steelers back and forth but came out on top of a dramatic Week 1 Sunday night matchup.

In Week 2, Manning threw three interceptions in the first quarter of the team’s Monday night matchup against the Falcons. That put his team in a big deficit from which he rallied them back only to fall just short in the end.

Manning picked apart the New Orleans Saints in Week 8 on Sunday Night Football for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, outshining Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints offense.

In Week 6, Manning’s Broncos trailed the San Diego Chargers by 24 points at halftime but stormed back to a 35-24 Monday night victory.

This time around, the Broncos will be looking to close out the season for their divisional rivals as they travel to the Coliseum in Oakland. Manning put up over 300 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 4 bashing of the Raiders in Denver. This Thursday night matchup should have its fair share of AFC West drama and a lot of Peyton Manning doing what he does best—throwing touchdown passes.

Remaining Thursday Night Football schedule:

Week Date Time Away Home
11 Nov. 15 8:20 p.m. Miami Dolphins Buffalo Bills
13 No. 29 8:20 p.m. New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons
14 Dec. 6 8:20 p.m. Denver Broncos Oakland Raiders
15 Dec. 13 8:20 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals Philadelphia Eagles

*Schedule courtesy of (All times in ET)

Mike Hoag Jr. is a Breaking News Team writer and NFL featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: