The NFL season returns with 30 teams set to kick off their 2013 campaign.
Fans received a nibble of action on Thursday night when they were treated to an offensive feast in Denver. Peyton Manning led the Broncos to a 49-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens with seven passing touchdowns.
The rest of the league will hope to start the season better than the reigning Super Bowl champions. That task will be easier said than done, but either way it's time for us to kick back, relax and enjoy some football.
Here is a full look at the Week 1 schedule, as well as a preview of some of the weekend's most interesting matchups to watch:
|Sun., Sept. 8|
|New England Patriots||Buffalo Bills||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Seattle Seahawks||Carolina Panthers||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Chicago Bears||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Miami Dolphins||Cleveland Browns||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Minnesota Vikings||Detroit Lions||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Oakland Raiders||Indianapolis Colts||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Jacksonville Jaguars||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Atlanta Falcons||New Orleans Saints||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||New York Jets||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Tennessee Titans||Pittsburgh Steelers||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Green Bay Packers||San Francisco 49ers||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|Arizona Cardinals||St. Louis Rams||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|New York Giants||Dallas Cowboys||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|Mon., Sept. 9|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Washington Redskins||6:55 p.m.||ESPN|
|Houston Texans||San Diego Chargers||10:20 p.m.||ESPN|
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears
This clash won't receive its praise as an upper-level billing, but as two hard-nosed playoff contenders set to take off in the Windy City.
Away from the spotlight, the Bengals have unceremoniously rattled off two consecutive postseason appearances. Following a 10-6 campaign, they are primed to make some noise in the AFC North with the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers both losing their grip as powerhouses.
Rookies Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert could provide an exciting dynamic to Cincinnati's previously bland offense that relied heavily on declining veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Those two should join A.J. Green in allowing Andy Dalton to open up the attack.
Despite also finishing 2012 at 10-6, the Bears were secluded from the playoffs in a crowded NFC. Chicago seemed like a postseason shoo-in after starting 7-1, but a late-season swoon sent the squad packing, costing Lovie Smith his job in the process.
New head coach Marc Trestman arrives from the Canadian Football League to rejuvenate the Bears, whose offense needs some re-imagining and a productive wideout outside of Brandon Marshall.
Both teams offer more than enough defense to make a deep playoff run, so an offensive uptick would make either squad elite.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
According to last year's standings, the Falcons are the clearly superior team to the Saints. They finished first in the NFC while the Saints crawled to a 7-9 record that tied them for third in the NFC South.
Look for New Orleans to throw 2012 out the window and reignite this division rivalry.
Sean Payton returns to the driver's seat just in time to send a loud message to Atlanta and the rest of the NFL. Even if you don't buy into the head coach substantially impacting a game, Drew Brees, who will face two rookie Atlanta cornerbacks, is too good to quarterback another 7-9 squad.
The Saints, who beat the Falcons last year in the Superdome, have home-field advantage this weekend against their adversaries. Atlanta, on the other hand, gets to trot out Steven Jackson for the first time against the league's worst rushing defense.
There should be no shortage of points in this one.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick utterly humiliated the Packers last year, compiling 263 passing yards and 181 rushing yards in a 45-31 victory during the NFC divisional round. Green Bay must have revenge on its mind this Sunday.
If ending the Packers' season wasn't enough, the 49ers also started it with a defeat, proclaiming their legitimacy with a 30-22 win to start the 2012 season.
Will San Francisco make it three straight?
Green Bay had the entire offseason to concoct a better game plan to contain Kaepernick, who ran circles around the Packers under the pistol formation. Let's see what they came up with while the young signal-caller is forced to operate without his go-to receiver, Michael Crabtree.
Without any threat of a running game, Aaron Rodgers fell victim to a ferocious 49ers pass rush that notched five sacks during the two bouts. For Green Bay to rack up significant points against Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith, rookie Eddie Lacy must keep them honest on the ground.
The Packers could return the favor by opening the season with a monumental road victory that establishes them as a main contender in the NFC. Then again, doubting Jim Harbaugh rarely ends well.