NFL fans will soon know when and where to catch every 2013 regular-season matchup next fall, as the league is set to release the upcoming season's schedule on Thursday night, according to the NFL's Greg Aiello.
Greg Aiello @gregaiello
2013 regular-season schedule will be announced at 8 pm ET on Thursday (April 18).4/16/2013, 3:00:50 PM
The matchups are known, but when they'll be played remains up in the air at the moment.
Aside from learning who, when and where their teams will be playing in 2013, most NFL fans are curious to see what games the league opts to play during prime time on Sunday, Monday and Thursday night this year.
Below, we'll get you set for Thursday's much-anticipated release.
When: Thursday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL.com
Upcoming Marquee Matchups
Although football fans will have to wait until Thursday night to discover when this season's marquee showdowns will be played, at least we know they will take place at some point next fall.
Here, we'll highlight a pair of exciting regular-season matchups on this year's slate.
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
In a rematch of last January's AFC Championship Game, the New England Patriots will travel to Charm City for the second straight year to take on the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore scored 21 unanswered points in the second half of the teams' conference title clash in Foxborough three months ago, cruising into Super Bowl XLVII.
The two perennial playoff contenders also delivered a memorable Sunday night matchup in Week 3 last season, which saw the Ravens rally from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to win on a last-second field goal by Justin Tucker.
With both of these teams set to contend in the AFC again in 2013, this regular-season collision carries a ton of significance and certainly has postseason implications. It would be shocking if this game wasn't featured on Sunday or Monday Night Football.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Another rematch from last year will pit the Green Bay Packers against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park.
The Niners beat the Pack in Week 1 of the 2012 regular season and then again in the NFC divisional playoffs. Therefore, expect a fired up Green Bay team in this game, as the Packers will be looking to end their losing skid against the defending NFC champions.
On the other end, San Francisco will be every bit as locked in, knowing that the winner of this matchup could go on to claim coveted home-field advantage in the playoffs, which could loom large in a potential postseason rematch.
It will also be interesting to see whether the Packers defend explosive 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick any differently this time around. Kaepernick had his way against the Pacers' defense last January and, like Aaron Rodgers, is blossoming into an NFL superstar himself.
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