The NFL schedule release rivals perhaps only National Signing Day as the event of the year that is the most absurdly overhyped. We’ve known for months who’s playing each other — the only new information now is when, and that time won’t come for another 4.5 months. Nevertheless, I’m also guilty of perpetuating the NFL Industrial Complex because I’ve thought a lot about the games I’m most looking forward to this season:
Your Season Opener: Fail Mary Rematch
Week 1 – Packers at Seahawks, Thursday, Sept. 4th, 8:30 pm
As a Packers fan, this game still rankles me (Glasspiegel). The replacement referee fiasco effectively ruined the integrity of the league’s games for three weeks of the 2012 season — the Packers were martyrs after Roger Goodell and the NFL Owners greedily and arrogantly believed that their officials could be abruptly replaced with men off the street.
From Green Bay’s perspective, it’s not just that those circumstances that were infuriating. The way that Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, and the rest of the Seahawks celebrated after the game — in gleeful delight over what they had accomplished rather than with humility about the gift they’d been given — should serve as some bulletin board material that week.
Both Seahawks-49ers Games
Week 13 – Seahawks at 49ers, Thursday, Nov. 27th, 8:30 pm (Thanksgiving night)
Week 15 – 49ers at Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 14th, 4:30 pm
Yes, these two will play twice in three weeks, the first of which will not be until Thanksgiving night.
Even though Seattle plays Denver this year, their games against San Francisco will be rematches of what everyone knows was the de facto Super Bowl. While the 49ers had their share of problems this offseason, Harbaugh vs. Carroll, Wilson vs. Kaepernick, and Sherman vs. Crabtree will presumably be must see TV each time the rivalry is renewed.
DeSean Jackson & Steve Smith Face Their Old Teams
Week 3 – Redskins at Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 21st, 1 pm
Week 4 – Panthers at Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 28, 1 pm
Week 16 – Eagles at Redskins, Sunday, Dec. 20th, 4:30 pm
The Eagles and Redskins play each other twice while the Ravens host the Panthers. The receivers’ releases were obviously under different circumstances, but both were unceremoniously dumped by the teams with whom they had spent their entire careers. Smith, for his part, promised “blood and guts everywhere” when he faces his former teammates. Fun!
Week 9 – Broncos at Patriots, Sunday, Nov. 2, 4:30 pm
More than anything, this is a reminder to avoid ESPN that week.
Alex Smith Revenge Game
Week 5 – Chiefs at 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 5th, 4:30 pm
If the Chiefs beat the 49ers this season, and Kaepernick has an off-day, you’re going to need to wear a biohazard suit to avoid withering from the heat of all the scorching takes about how Jim Harbaugh picked the wrong guy.
Thanksgiving Games: November 27th
Bears at Lions, 12:30 pm, CBS
Eagles at Cowboys, 4:30 pm, FOX
Seahawks at 49ers, 8:30 pm, NBC
This is just beautiful, especially the night game. NBC made out wonderfully here.
Drew Brees vs. Aaron Rodgers
The Saints host the Packers in Week 8 and it’s obviously the Sunday night game on NBC. This will be a great football game with an obscene amount of passing highlighted by an abundance of fantasy football chatter on Twitter. Not sure about you, but I’m (Tim) excited for “I only need 3.63 more points from Rodgers!!!!!!” to show up in my feed.
On a final note, it’s important to point out that on the NFL Network’s “Discussing Multiple NFL Schedules Show,” there were reporters stationed in bars across the country discussing the schedule announcement with fans behind them going absolutely nuts over said schedule.
You may now violently send yourself through a wood chipper.
[Photos via Getty]