NFL 2013 Schedule: Can't-Miss Showdowns Between League's Best Quarterbacks

Justin OnslowContributor IIApril 17, 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

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league that places heavy emphasis on its marquee signal-callers. Fortunately, matchups between the league’s best quarterbacks often provide some of the most explosive offense and intriguing storylines we’ll see all season. Everyone wins.

Last year’s draft signaled a changing of the guard of sorts. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson took the NFL by storm in 2012, proving they can be the face of the sport when the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady take their last snap.

Manning and Brady aren’t done yet, though. The two squared off in a tremendous contest in Foxborough last season, and this year’s rematch will feature even more intrigue, due in part to Wes Welker’s defection to Denver in the offseason.

We’ll preview those games and also highlight a matchup fans will have the pleasure of seeing twice in 2013.


New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos

There have been a lot of great quarterback rivalries in the NFL’s storied history, but with all due respect to Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas, this generation may be seeing the greatest of them all.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the faces of the modern NFL, and while both are nearing the end of their careers, there’s no denying the immense talent each signal-caller still possesses. Let’s hope this isn’t the only time we see these two quarterbacks do battle this season.


Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts

Everyone expected Luck and Griffin to be as good as they were last year. No one expected Wilson to potentially exceed them.

Wilson led his Seahawks past the Washington Redskins in the NFC Wild Card Round and further into the playoffs than either of his counterparts—and he did it with the poise and leadership of an NFL veteran.

That trio of 2012 signal-callers could go down as one of the best in recent history when all is said and done. We’ll see plenty of matchups featuring them in the coming years, and we’ll be lucky enough to see one this season when the Seahawks and Colts square off.


New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

The 2012 NFC South race wasn’t as heated as it usually is, but this year should be different. Sean Payton is back at the helm in New Orleans, and the Saints should be prepared to once again challenge the Falcons for NFC South supremacy.

Drew Brees wasn’t as efficient in 2012 as we’re used to seeing, but he still threw for 5,177 yards and 43 touchdowns. Given an offseason to repair its offensive line and receiver corps, New Orleans should be as dominant as ever in 2013.

The Falcons took advantage of New Orleans’ inconsistency last season, posting a 13-3 regular-season record to secure the NFC South title. In doing so, Matt Ryan set up his first playoff victory in beating the Seattle Seahawks to advance to the NFC title game.

The two teams split their series in 2012, and a similar result this year wouldn’t be a big surprise. New Orleans and Atlanta feature quarterbacks worth watching week in and week out.