Monday Night Football kicks off with a bang in Week 1, opening with a doubleheader of games. The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins face off in a showdown of up-tempo NFC East offenses, while the Houston Texans will visit San Diego to open the season against the Chargers.
Let's take a look at every MNF showdown of the season and highlight the biggest looming matchups.
2013 Monday Night Football Schedule
TV note: All games will be aired on ESPN
|1||Philadelphia at Washington||Mon., Sep. 9||6:55 p.m.|
|1||Houston at San Diego||Mon., Sep. 9||10:15 p.m.|
|2||Pittsburgh at Cincinnati||Mon., Sep. 16||8:30 p.m.|
|3||Oakland at Denver||Mon., Sep. 23||8:30 p.m.|
|4||Miami at New Orleans||Mon., Sep. 30||8:30 p.m.|
|5||New York Jets at Atlanta||Mon., Oct. 7||8:30 p.m.|
|6||Indianapolis at San Diego||Mon., Oct. 14||8:30 p.m.|
|7||Minnesota at New York Giants||Mon., Oct. 21||8:30 p.m.|
|8||Seattle at St. Louis||Mon., Oct. 28||8:30 p.m.|
|9||Chicago at Green Bay||Mon., Nov. 4||8:30 p.m.|
|10||Miami at Tampa Bay||Mon., Nov. 11||8:30 p.m.|
|11||New England at Carolina||Mon., Nov. 18||8:30 p.m.|
|12||San Francisco at Washington||Mon., Nov. 25||8:30 p.m.|
|13||New Orleans at Seattle||Mon., Dec. 2||8:30 p.m.|
|14||Dallas at Chicago||Mon., Dec. 9||8:30 p.m.|
|15||Baltimore at Detroit||Mon., Dec. 16||8:30 p.m.|
|16||Atlanta at San Francisco||Mon., Dec. 23||8:30 p.m.|
Schedule courtesy of ESPN.com
September 9: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Even though the Eagles struggled through one of the worst stretches a football team can possibly go through in 2012—losing 11 of their last 12 games—the Chip Kelly era looks bright in Philly.
Who will win the MNF opener?
With Michael Vick running his blisteringly fast offense and a plethora of playmakers around him, the Eagles could turn a woeful offense from 2012 into a dynamic attack that brings Vick back into the spotlight.
They start off with a tough test against second-year star Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins—and despite much uncertainty, the Redskins signal-caller will start after sitting the preseason, according to ESPN's John Keim.
After beating the odds to win the NFC East last season, hopes are high for a championship in the nation's capital, as RG3 looks poised to enter his Redskins into a new era.
Meanwhile, Kelly's Eagles are ready to change the way NFL defenses plan out schemes. Something has got to give, and it certainly will on Monday night.
November 4: Chicago at Green Bay
Any time the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers face off in the colder months, it's a must-watch affair full of emotion and bitterness. Throw in a Monday Night Football stage and you have yourself a sure classic.
Jay Cutler led the Bears to a great start in 2012, but they folded down the stretch and threw away a playoff bid. Aaron Rodgers' Packers took advantage of their choke job down the stretch, stealing away the NFC North before losing in the divisional round of the playoffs to San Francisco.
Scheduled for Week 9, this matchup will come in the season's heyday, as the regular season passes the halfway point. The result will go a long way in deciding who has a leg up in the division.
Plus, with a November date, this one could unfold on a snowy Lambeau Field. That's exactly how Bears-Packers games should be decided.
December 23: Atlanta at San Francisco
What better way to close out the MNF slate than with quite possibly the best matchup of the season?
If last season is any indication of how the NFC will turn out in 2013, this Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers showdown will end up potentially deciding who wins home-field advantage in the NFC.
The Falcons streaked out to the conference's best record late last season by finishing 13-3 and claiming home field, but it didn't translate to success as they were ousted in the playoffs. San Francisco got the other first-round bye at 11-4-1.
With this game coming on the second-to-last week of the season, some sort of implications should still be hanging in the balance—even if both of these squads have distanced themselves in the conference.
Who knows what will take place from Week 1 to Week 16, but if the stacked rosters of the Falcons and 49ers are any indication, both of these teams should be vying for top playoff spots by this Dec. 23 showdown.