2013 NFL Schedule: High-Profile Matchups That Must Land Prime-Time Spots

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IApril 9, 2013

Jan 12, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional round playoff game at Candlestick Park.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens will host the Green Bay Packers at some point in the NFL's 2013 schedule—a matchup that deserves prime-time billing. 

The league's official schedule isn't set to be released until April 16, but we already know every team's opponent, thanks to an official document the NFL released back on December.

Taking a look at the matchups on the slate, there will be plenty of excellent games on the schedule this upcoming season. With that in mind, here are three matchups that deserve to be featured in prime time, either on Sunday or Monday night. 


Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens

By the time these two teams line up against one another at M&T Bank Stadium, Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers will likely be the two highest-paid players in the NFL.

Flacco already signed the richest contract in league history, and the Packers are working on a deal right now that would reportedly give Rodgers that distinction (h/t ESPN.com's Adam Schefter). 

These two teams have won two of the last three Super Bowls, as well, and both will likely be contenders once again for the Lombardi Trophy in 2014. 

Night games in Baltimore are always a treat. Ravens fans are notoriously loud, and they show up with bells on for games on national television. 

This is a game that deserves to be played on Sunday or Monday night. Rodgers vs. Flacco will be compelling television, and it's a game that could end up becoming an offensive shootout—always good for ratings.


New England Patriots at Houston Texans

Houston was blown out twice by New England last year, and you know the Texans will be itching for revenge.

Tom Brady passed for 640 yards with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions against Houston—a team that featured the NFL's No. 7-ranked defense in 2012. 

The Texans brought Ed Reed on board for next season, though, and it'll be tougher for Brady to go off with him roaming the secondary.

J.J. Watt will be healthy this season after playing the entire 2012 campaign with torn ligaments in his elbow—a frightening thought, considering he won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award last season and tallied 20.5 sacks to lead the league.

This contest will feature countless compelling storylines, and it deserves to be one of the games on the NFL's prime-time schedule.


New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

Speaking of storylines, this contest brings a few to mind.

The Seahawks took the Saints out in the Wild Card Round of the 2010 playoffs. Matt Hasselbeck threw four touchdown passes and Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch rumbled for 131 yards and a touchdown to beat Drew Brees and the Saints in an offensive shootout. 

Russell Wilson and Drew Brees—the new and the old, in terms of short quarterbacks making it big—will go head to head for the first time.

Speaking of Brees, he'll be facing a potent defense that has only gotten better this offseason, with the Seahawks adding Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to bolster their pass rush. 

This game will be epic. The 12th Man always shows up in a major way, and those fans will be rabid for another shot at defeating the Saints. 

If the Saints and Seahawks don't secure one of the prime-time spots, something's wrong with the system. 


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