The release of the upcoming season’s NFL schedule is one of the most anticipated days of the year. Those looking to place a wager on your favroite team should visit the TopBettingReviews.com website to find your play. Now that the NFL’s 2013 regular-season schedule has been unveiled, here are 25 games we can’t wait to see:
1. Broncos at Colts, Oct. 20: Peyton Manning’s first game at Lucas Oil Stadium in a visiting uniform … against Andrew Luck, the man who made his four-time MVP predecessor expendable after 14 years? Delicious.
2. Ravens at Broncos, Sept. 5: The season kicks off with the defending champs playing their first game ever without Ray Lewis — on the road at the same site where they dealt Denver a stunning overtime loss in last season’s playoffs. Elvis Dumervil will also be back in the building but wearing purple.
3. Broncos at Patriots, Nov. 24: Peyton v. Brady has become an annual rite of autumn. But Wes Welker’s return to Foxborough provides an extra layer of intrigue which could render the quarterbacks as a mere sidebar.
4. Broncos at Giants, Sept. 15: Manning Bowl III provides Eli with another chance (could it be his last?) to knock off big brother Peyton, who led the Colts past the Giants in 2006 and 2010.
5. Falcons at Saints, Sept. 8: Expect liberated head coach Sean Payton to get quite the raucous welcome from the home fans as he coaches in the Superdome for the first time since Jan. 7, 2012, when New Orleans beat the Lions 45-28 in a wild-card game.
6. 49ers at Seahawks, Sept. 15: A new Cold War has developed on the Pacific Coast, escalated by a virtual offseason arms race. And don’t forget, Russell Wilson and Seattle won their first meeting against Colin Kaepernick’s 49ers 42-13 on Dec. 23.
7. Eagles at Redskins, Sept. 9: Will the “insane” offense of new Philly coach Chip Kelly be NFL-ready as he fully unveils it for the first time in the Monday Night Footballopener? Will Washington QB Robert Griffin III’s knee be ready in what would presumably be his first matchup against Michael Vick (he missed both games vs. the ‘Skins in 2012)? Some intriguing questions will be answered.
8. Texans at Ravens, Sept. 22: It may not exactly be two tickets to paradise, but new Houston safety Ed Reed will get a fully paid trip to Baltimore to play against his employer of the previous 11 seasons. Though he’ll be behind enemy lines, expect Reed to get a loving welcome from the home crowd.
9. Falcons at 49ers, Dec. 23: The venue and the rosters will be different, but the teams will be the same for this NFC Championship Game rematch. Atlanta will be packing a new running back, Steven Jackson, a man whom the Niners are quite familiar with and who might’ve enabled the Falcons to keep their 17-0 lead in January’s conference title tilt. WR Anquan Boldin and CB Nnamdi Asomugha are among San Francisco’s newcomers.
10. Patriots at Ravens, Dec. 22: The AFC Championship Game entrants from the past two seasons will also meet once again. The Ravens have won two straight and three of five in the series. Bill Belichick had a run-in with a replacement ref during New England’s visit to Baltimore last season.
11. 49ers at Redskins, Nov. 25: A pairing of 2012 division winners is juicy in itself. But that will be the subplot as Colin Kaepernick and RGIII face off for the first time.
12. Chiefs at Eagles, Sept. 19: Wear earmuffs, Andy Reid … though there’s a fair chance your new team will be much better than your previous one in 2013.
13. Packers at Ravens, Oct. 13: Looks sweet on paper. Speaking of paper, the Baltimore defense doesn’t look quite as good after an offseason overhaul. Aaron Rodgers will give the new version quite a litmus test.
14. Colts at 49ers, Sept. 22: Another instance of 2012 playoff clubs squaring off as Luck returns to the Bay Area against Jim Harbaugh, his old coach at Stanford. Watching Luck contrast styles with Kaepernick will be a treat.
15. Redskins at Packers, Sept. 15: Green Bay was shredded by Kaepernick in the 2012 postseason. After a focused effort to combat the read option this offseason, how will the Pack fare vs. RGIII?
16. Seahawks at Falcons, Nov. 10: Their playoff battle in January was arguably the best of the 2012 postseason. The stakes won’t be the same, but the game could be just as good.
17. Packers at 49ers, Sept. 8: Kaepernick rushed for a quarterback record 181 yards in that 45-31 win that kicked off San Fran’s playoff march to Super Bowl XLVII. Rodgers will hope his first regular-season start in his native Northern California goes better than his most recent visit to Candlestick Point.
18. Patriots at Texans, Dec. 1: Houston was flying high at 11-1 before last season’s Week 14 beatdown at New England. Then they got spanked again at Gillette Stadium in the playoffs. The Texans now get another crack, this time on their own turf, and should find out if they’re truly ready to be AFC heavyweights.
19. Seahawks at Colts, Oct. 6: Two up-and-coming teams with two up-and-coming quarterbacks as Wilson and Luck highlight this clash in Indy. Luck and Ryan Tannehill will also lock horns Sept. 15 in another showdown of 2012 draft class quarterbacks.
20. Saints at Patriots, Oct. 13: It’s too bad we’re only treated to Brees-Brady/Payton-Belichick once every four years. Fortunately, this is one of them.
21. Steelers at Packers, Dec. 22: It’s been three years since these teams met in Super Bowl XLV. Though they’ve both changed significantly since, a meeting of two of the league’s most tradition-laden franchises remains a titillating one.
22. Dolphins at Patriots, Oct. 27: Time to find out if Miami’s offseason spending spree narrowed the gap in the AFC East.
23. Bears at Packers, Nov. 4: Jay Cutler has been truly abysmal at Lambeau Field (0-3 record, 2 TD passes, 10 INTs). He visits this time with a much better left tackle, Jermon Bushrod, and offensive visionary Marc Trestman as his coach. Time to see if the new formula in Chicago produces a better result in the NFL’s longest-running rivalry (this will be the teams’ 187th meeting).
24. Redskins at Vikings, Nov. 7: Did you know that league MVP Adrian Peterson has never cracked 100 rushing yards against Washington and has averaged just 45 in four career meetings? Maybe this time he’ll run roughshod against the team that put him out of commission in 2011.
25. Steelers vs. Vikings, Sept. 29: The Brits should enjoy watching Peterson try to pierce what’s been the NFL’s No. 1 defense four of the past six seasons. As for that 49ers-Jaguars game at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 27? Might as well stay at the pub and watch traditional European football.