The wait will soon be over for eager NFL fans.
The league will announce the 2013 regular-season schedule for all 32 teams 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
This season's matchups have been known since late December, but the much-anticipated Sunday, Monday and Thursday night prime-time slates have still yet to be released along with the season opening matchup on Sept. 5, which will feature the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens playing on the road because of a scheduling conflict with the Orioles.
Here we'll get you set for Thursday's full schedule release.
When: Thursday, April 18, at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL.com
There will be plenty of big games to take in next fall as this past winter's playoff results and spring's free agency have added new life to some of football's best rivalries.
The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will open the regular season on Sept. 5, but their opponent remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the team Baltimore beat in the postseason three months ago, the Denver Broncos will take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough this coming fall, where Wes Welker will look to deliver a clutch performance against his old team and former quarterback in Tom Brady.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning will also be in the spotlight for another intriguing regular-season showdown in 2013, when the Broncos travel to New York to take on Manning's younger brother Eli and the Giants. Both matchups are seemingly destined for prime time.
Peyton Manning will also return to Indianapolis in 2013, where the Broncos will play his former team, the Colts.
In the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers will host two Super Bowl contenders in Atlanta in Green Bay. Both meetings will be rematches from this past postseason. The Niners, led by emerging superstar Colin Kaepernick, defeated the Packers in the NFC Divisional Round and went on to knock off the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl XLVII.
Other must-see matchups that have been spiced up thanks to free agency and trades include the Vikings vs. Seahawks (Percy Harvin was traded to Seattle), Texans vs. Ravens (Ed Reed signed with Houston) and Packers vs. Vikings (Greg Jennings signed with Minnesota).
With so many fantastic matchups on tap, the 2013 NFL season can't arrive soon enough.
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