The NFL is now entering the final five-game stretch on the 2012 season, and even though the year has gone by faster than we prefer, there's still plenty of action to look forward to.
Week 13 will feature a number of intriguing games between conference and division rivals with real playoff implications, making this a can't-miss week for the true NFL fans.
Read on for an outline of this week's schedule, as well as a brief preview on several of the most anticipated games.
Thursday, Nov. 29, 8:20 p.m. ET
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (NFL Network, DirecTV 212)
Sunday, Dec. 2, 1:00 p.m. ET
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs (FOX)
San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (FOX)
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears (FOX)
Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets (FOX)
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (FOX)
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (CBS)
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (CBS)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (CBS)
Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 2, 4:05 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. ET
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos (FOX)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (CBS)
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders (CBS)
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 2, 8:20 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (NBC)
Monday, Dec. 3, 8:30 p.m. ET
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (ESPN)
Vikings at Packers
The NFC North currently has three teams trying to fit through the door at once, which makes every game vital from this point on.
Minnesota is slightly trailing Green Bay and Chicago in the standings, but a competitive win over the Packers in Week 13 could launch them closer to the top.
The Packers have been explosive as expected, despite a slow start, but the Vikings have been one of the top surprise teams this season.
This game will give the Vikings a chance to make a statement or curl up in a ball and surrender.
Steelers at Ravens
Any game between the Steelers and Ravens is automatically entertaining and fun to watch, but when the season is winding down and both teams are trying to claim the division, it only adds to the intensity.
The Ravens have been arguably the top team in the AFC this season, but the Steelers are just a step behind in the AFC North and desperate to come out on top.
This division will eventually end in a photo finish, which makes a head-to-head matchup this late in the season absolutely vital for both teams.
Bengals at Chargers
This is not a game between two powerhouse competitors, but it does feature two teams still in the mix and desperate for a boost.
The Chargers have allowed the Broncos to gain a healthy lead in the AFC West, while the Bengals are stuck behind Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the AFC North.
A division title seems highly unlikely for either team, but a wild card appearance is still a possibility.
As a result, expect this to be an intense game between two teams with capable offenses.
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