2013 NFL Schedule: Breaking Down Best Potential Matchups for MNF

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IApril 8, 2013

Oct 7, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shakes hands with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) following the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady must face off against one another in one of the Monday Night Football games on the 2013 NFL schedule. 

The Denver Broncos are slated to make a trip to New England to face the Patriots, but the NFL's official 2013 schedule won't be released until April 16. Until then, we will have some fun speculating about which games deserve the most fanfare.

Last season's slate of MNF games ended up offering more stinkers than epic shootouts, and we're sure the people in charge of programming can do better this year. 

With that in mind, these are the matchups that deserve the royal treatment with a spot on MNF's lineup in 2013.


Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Until Brady and Manning are no longer playing, the Patriots and Broncos will be a matchup that deserves prime-time billing. 

These two teams don't just feature legendary quarterbacks, either. Both teams have a vast array of skill players on offense capable of making game-breaking plays. Both teams also feature exciting young defensive stars, like Von Miller and Chandler Jones.

Last year the Patriots hosted the Broncos on October 7, winning by a score of 31-21. Manning had a big game, throwing three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Stevan Ridley rushed for 151 yards and one touchdown, though, controlling the clock and keeping Manning off the field. 

Hopefully, if these two teams do play on MNF, the game will be set toward the end of the season, and if God is a fan of football, he'll make sure it's snowing outside.


San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

The balance of power in the NFL has shifted to the NFC West, with the 49ers and Seahawks leading the charge as two of the top teams in the league heading into the 2013 season. 

Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are two of the game's brightest young stars, and they both have more room to grow—a frightening thought for opposing defensive coordinators.

Both teams feature brutal defensive units loaded with some of the game's best players, including Richard Sherman, Patrick Willis, Cliff Avril and Aldon Smith. 

The 49ers were throttled by the Seahawks last year at CenturyLink Field, losing by an embarrassing score of 42-13. Kaepernick couldn't do anything right for most of the game, while Wilson tossed four touchdowns against the mighty 49ers defense. 

A MNF battle in Seattle would potentially set the stage for redemption if the 49ers can defeat both the Seahawks and the 12th man in the cold, dark Northwest. 


Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

The NFC East is the most unpredictable division in the NFL year in and year out. The only thing that's guaranteed is that the division won't be decided until the end of the season.  

Dallas may not be as popular as it once was when it earned the moniker "America's Team," but Jerry Jones' franchise is still one of the top draws in the NFL.

Robert Griffin III has made Washington one of the top teams in the NFL, as well. His ability to make jaw-dropping plays both in the passing game and as a runner makes the Redskins a must-watch team from week to week. 

Last year, the Redskins hosted the Cowboys in the final game of the season, winning by a score of 28-18. Washington earned a playoff berth and Dallas went home bitterly disappointed.

It would be fitting if both teams were to square off again, but this time the contest should be held during Week 16—the final MNF game of the year—in Texas.


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78