In the second half of our preview of the 2013 NFL schedule, we look ahead to the top matchups for Weeks 9-17. As the season progresses, games will only take on greater significance as the playoff picture begins to take shape. These clashes will undoubtedly add to the intensity as many of the games will likely feature teams fighting for a spot in the NFL Playoffs.
Part 1 | Part 2:
Week 9 – San Diego Chargers @ Washington Redskins (Sunday, Nov. 3)
Fans of offensive output won’t want to miss this QB dual in the nation’s capital, as starting quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Robert Griffin III can light up the scoreboard like few others in the league. New Chargers head coach Mike McCoy will look to cure the team of its past struggles in afternoon East Coast road games as the team travels across the country for this shootout.
Thursday Night – Bengals @ Dolphins | Monday Night – Bears @ Packers
Week 10 – Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, Nov. 10)
The Seahawks will look to exact revenge in this rematch of last year’s thrilling NFC divisional playoff game in which the Falcons advanced to the NFC Championship game on a last-second field goal. After trailing by 20 points at halftime, the Seahawks roared back to take the lead with only seconds remaining, before ultimately losing on a game-winning drive led by Matt Ryan. The Seahawks will hope their newly revamped offense will help them get over the hump this season in the Georgia Dome.
Thursday Night –Redskins @ Vikings | Monday Night – Dolphins @ Buccaneers
Week 11 – Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants (Sunday, Nov. 17)
After disappointing seasons in 2012, both of these teams will hope to return in 2013 with a vengeance, and this will surely be a game that is circled on both teams’ calendars. The key to this contest will be if the star quarterbacks on each side can make plays in the face of the opposing teams’ elite pass rush.
Thursday Night – Colts @ Titans | Monday Night –Patriots @ Panthers
Week 12 – Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots (Sunday, Nov. 24)
Over the years, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have competed in some of the most memorable quarterback showdowns in the league’s history. With both quarterbacks entering the twilights of their careers, we may not have many more opportunities to see these future Hall of Fame players square off on the gridiron.
Thursday Night – Saints @ Falcons | Monday Night – 49ers @ Redskins
Week 13 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (Thursday, Nov. 28)
One of the hardest-hitting rivalries in the history of the NFL comes to Thanksgiving night for the first time ever. The division title could very likely be on the line, so expect this game to have all the ingredients for a perfect nightcap.
Thursday (Thanksgiving) –Packers @ Lions, Raiders @ Cowboys | Monday Night – Saints @ Seahawks
Week 14 – Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears (Monday, Dec. 9)
Two of the most embattled quarterbacks in the NFL will face off in this late-season primetime matchup at Soldier Field. With a win in this critical game, either Jay Cutler or Tony Romo will be rewarded with momentary relief from the constant pressure that the spotlight often brings.
Thursday Night – Texans @ Jaguars
Week 15 – Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, Dec. 15)
The last time these teams played in 2010, Aaron Rodgers lit up the Cowboys for 45 points in a game that set the tone for the team’s eventual Super Bowl win. Tony Romo will be looking to use this game for the same purpose, as his Cowboys will hope to be on the way to their first Super Bowl since the dynasty days of the early 90s.
Thursday Night – Chargers @ Broncos | Monday Night –Ravens @ Lions
Week 16 – New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, Dec. 22)
Tom Brady will without a doubt be looking to avenge his team’s devastating loss to the Ravens in last year’s AFC Championship. With new offensive weapons like Danny Amendola and Emmanuel Sanders at his disposal, Brady will have the tools necessary to exploit a Ravens’ secondary that punished receivers in last year’s contest.
Monday Night –Falcons @ 49ers
Week 17 – Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (Sunday, Dec. 29)
One of the most storied rivalries in all of sports will be renewed in what is sure to be a thrilling season finale. These two teams always bring their best, and when a spot in the postseason is a factor, the intensity only increases. The Packers have won the last six in this rivalry, including an NFC Championship victory on the Bears’ home field in the 2011 playoffs.