Top 20 Games on the 2013 NFL Schedule

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2013 NFL Schedule: Top 20 Games

Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

There are still over four months remaining before the start of the 2013 NFL season, but on Thursday night, the NFL released its schedule for this upcoming year.

Now it's time to dive into the schedules and take a look at some of the top games on the docket.

From heated divisional rivalries to can't miss match-ups between potential Super Bowl contenders, the NFL schedule is what makes this sport so great. Each game is so important and each game holds high implications, especially for the playoff contenders that are involved in these rankings. In addition, fresh off another off-season and free agency period, there are new players that were on the move that will return to their former homes. Yes, we are talking about Wes Welker, Mike Wallace and Ed Reed, among others. Same applies for former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. Where does his return to the City of Brotherly Love rank among the games that you do not want to miss this NFL season?

The Baltimore Ravens have not had the best off-season, but they are fresh off a Super Bowl title in 2012. So where do some of their games rank?

Without further ado, let's dive into some of these questions and break down the 2013 NFL Schedule. Here are some of the can't miss and most highly-anticipated match-ups of this season:

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No. 20- San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles

Tim Heitman-USA Today Sports

When: Week 2

Believe it or not, the last four Super Bowl champions have played against the Philadelphia Eagles in their home opener. Well, no pressure San Diego.

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No. 19- Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Robert Hanashiro-USA Today Sports

When: Week 17

It's a rivalry game on the final week of the regular season. The NFC North could very well come down to this match-up between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

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No. 18- Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Heitman-USA Today Sports

When: Week 14

Mike Wallace is making his return to Pittsburgh in this can't miss match-up. Only time will tell if this Week 14 contest will have playoff implications for either team.

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No. 17- New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Shirey-USA Today Sports

When: Week 12

These two squads will play each other in Week 1, but the return trip to Atlanta takes place later in the season. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons have been the top dogs in the division for the past couple of years and this Week 12 match-up could have similar implications.

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No. 16- Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks

Steven Bisig-USA Today Sports

When: Week 11

There are a number of former Minnesota Vikings on the Seattle Seahawks' roster. They'll welcome their former team to the west coast in Week 11.

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No. 15- New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

Matthews Emmons-USA Today Sports

When: Week 13

Russell Wilson vs. Drew Brees is a storyline. This week 13 match-up between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks will be can't miss football.

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No. 14- Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Jeff Hanisch-USA Today Sports

When: Week 8

The Green Bay Packers will be welcoming Greg Jennings back to Lambeau Field in Week 8. It's a division rivalry with a new storyline that's worth following.

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No. 13- Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Shirey-USA Today Sports

When: Week 10

The Seattle Seahawks lost a heart breaker to the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional round of the NFC Playoffs a season ago. Buckle up, this rematch should be a good one.

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No. 12- Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

Daniel Shirey-USA Today Sports

When: Week 16

This heavyweight battle at the end of the regular season could certainly have the feel of playoff football. Well, that's because a season ago it was the San Francisco 49ers advancing to the Super Bowl, defeating the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game.

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No. 11- San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins

Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports

When: 12

Colin Kaepernick vs. Robert Griffin III (obviously considering he will be healthy and back to form by Week 12) is can't miss football. There could be some interesting numbers and some exciting plays in this one, that's for sure.

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No. 10- Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles

Denny Medley-USA Today Sports

When: Week 3

Andy Reid makes his return to Philadelphia early on in the schedule. The former Philadelphia Eagles head coach brings his Kansas City Chiefs to the City of Brotherly Love in Week 3.

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No. 9- New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens

Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

When: Week 16

Another match-up between these two budding rivals. The Baltimore Ravens got the last laugh in 2012, defeating the New England Patriots en route to a Super Bowl title.

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No. 8- Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

Chris Humphreys-USA Today Sports

When: Week 1

The 2013 NFL season will kick off on Thursday, Sep. 5 with the Denver Broncos and the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. All fans should be tuned into this exciting, opening night of football.

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No. 7- Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

When: week 3

Ed Reed, the longtime Baltimore Raven, makes his return to the east coast as a member of the Houston Texans.

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No. 6- New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots

Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

When: Week 6

Tons of points usually means exciting football. Well, that's exactly what you can expect in this Week 6 match-up between the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots.

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No. 5- Denver Broncos at New York Giants

Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

When: Week 2

It's an early season match-up between the Manning brothers. Peyton hits the road to New York to face Eli in an early season contest that has all the makings of can't miss football.

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No. 4- Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

John David Mercer-USA Today Sports

When: Week 14

This budding, divisional rivalry is quickly heating up. A late season match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers is can't miss football that will certainly have that playoff-like feel.

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No. 3 Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

Robert Deutsch-USA Today Sports

When: Week 1

It's the Green Bay Packers shot at redemption after getting blown out in the playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers. The best news of this match-up is that this match-up takes place in Week 1.

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No. 2- Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts

Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

When: Week 7

Peyton Manning makes his return to Indianapolis where he will square off against the man that replaced him: Andrew Luck. That's enough of a storyline to tune into this Week 7 match-up.

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No. 1- Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Stew Milne-USA Today Sports

When: Week 12

We got Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Then throw in the fact that Wes Welker is returning to New England. This very well could be the game of the year in 2013.