NFL Schedule Week 12: When to Watch This Weekend's Must-See Matchups

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVNovember 21, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18:  Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots reacts after being called for defensive holding late in the fourth qurter of a loss to the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 18, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 24-20.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

With the NFL season ticking on and on, everybody seems to have a grasp on what each team is capable of by the middle of the week, every week.

Then, upsets reveal themselves, bad teams play well, and great teams play terribly. Such is life in the NFL. The league is more unpredictable than ever, which makes for must-see TV from week to week. In even the paltriest of matchups, anything can happen as has been proven each and every week.

With an impending matchup between AFC giants and a handful of matchups that feature playoff implications, the weekend slate is sure to produce unforgettable football.

Here is the complete schedule for the upcoming slate of games. 

NFL Week 12 Schedule and TV Info.
Thursday, Nov. 21Time (ET)TVLocation
New Orleans at Atlanta8:25 p.m.NFLGeorgia Dome
Sunday, Nov. 24Time (ET)TVLocation
Pittsburgh at Cleveland1 p.m.CBSFirstEnergy Stadium
Tampa Bay at Detroit1 p.m.FoxFord Field
Minnesota at Green Bay1 p.m.FoxLambeau Field
San Diego at Kansas City1 p.m.CBSArrowhead Stadium
Chicago at St. Louis1 p.m.FoxEdward Jones Dome
Carolina at Miami1 p.m.FoxSun Life Stadium
NY Jets at Baltimore1 p.m.CBSM&T Bank Stadium
Jacksonville at Houston1 p.m.CBSReliant Stadium
Tennessee at Oakland4:05 p.m.CBSO.co Coliseum
Indianapolis at Arizona4:05 p.m.CBSU of Phoenix Stadium
Dallas at NY Giants4:25 p.m.FoxMetLife Stadium
Denver at New England8:30 p.m.NBCGillette Stadium
Monday, Nov. 25Time (ET)TVLocation
San Francisco at Washington8:30 p.m.ESPNFedEx Field
ESPN.com

 

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

Whether it's Colts-Pats or Broncos-Pats, Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady is arguably the individual matchup of this generation in pro football. 

Any time these two great quarterbacks take the field opposite one another, an instant classic almost always ensues. Seven of the first eight were decided by one score or less.

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls out from under center in the first half against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 18, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Street
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For the 14th time on Sunday, the public will be graced with Brady vs. Manning as the Patriots' prodigy looks to win his 10th game against one 6'5", 230-pound quarterback with a laser rocket arm

The Broncos are aiming to go 10-1 and notch another win over one of the AFC's elite one week removed from toppling the then-undefeated Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Manning went virtually untouched against one of the best front sevens in all of football, and he threw for his usual 300-plus yards. 

New England, on the other hand, is having to bounce back quickly after a gut-wrenching and controversial loss to Carolina on Monday Night Football

While both teams are coming in off much different swings of momentum, this game will inevitably come down to which quarterback exposes the opposing defense best.

 

Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals

Nov 14, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) passes against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts have looked less than inspiring in recent weeks but still enter the weekend at 7-3. However, they'll face one of the league's hottest teams.

That's right, Arizona. The Cards have won three straight and have surpassed .500, now at 6-4 and firmly in the hunt for a wild-card playoff spot behind the leadership of Carson Palmer. Patrick Peterson is blossoming into one of the most dangerous young players in the league, not only dominating in the secondary but proving to be a force in special teams and in sparse use offensively. 

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 17:  Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals attempts a pass during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 17, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Coming off arguably the worst performance of his young career in a 38-8 drubbing to the Rams, Indy quarterback Andrew Luck endured a short week and pulled out a road win on Thursday Night Football against the Titans. He failed to throw a touchdown, but he didn't need to—23-for-36 through the air for 232 yards helped set up a big day from Donald Brown (14 CAR, 80 YDS, 2 TD) as the Colts mounted a second-half comeback. 

Indianapolis is almost certainly in the playoffs—second place in the AFC South is 4-6 Tennessee—but winning a road test against a surging NFC team would do wonders for the team moving forward. 

Belief is the biggest thing. The Colts believed last year enough to get into the playoffs but weren't ready to be an actual contender in the playoffs. This year, the talent adds up, and the confidence has to follow. Wins like this would help.

 

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Cowboys 49-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sp
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Don't get me wrong—this game could get very, very ugly.

But it also has major playoff implications moving forward in the race for the NFC East. Let's be honest, the Eagles have as good of a shot as anybody, but they aren't going to run away with the division. 

The Cowboys and Giants probably won't run away with it, either, which means the division could likely come down to the final weekend like it has nearly every season in recent memory. 

Don't look now, but Big Blue sits firmly entrenched in the playoff hunt at 4-6. Winning at home over Dallas this weekend would put New York just one game back of Philly. 

As for the Cowboys? Yikes. They were throttled 49-17 by the Saints the last time they stepped onto the gridiron and have had nearly two weeks to kick that thought around in their minds. 

Will Jason Garrett's squad come out hungry knowing the stakes and dazzle us with its heaps of talent? Probably. Will it still find a way to throw away a game it has no business losing? Perhaps. 

In this battle of two teams that have had problems showing up this season, it could either end up being one of the more painful games of the season slate or one of the most memorable.