15 Must-Watch Games During the 2013 NFL Season

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The Top Must-See Games on the 2013 NFL Schedule

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

It's almost here. After months of waiting for the NFL to return, fans are now just days away from watching the county's most popular sport again. We've all gotten a taste of the action with preseason football, but let's be honest, exhibition games are not even close to entertaining.

So with the return of real live football, and now that we have a good idea of who the contending teams will be, it's time to start looking at the schedule. NFL fans are blessed with 17 full weeks of action, and there's rarely a week that ever disappoints. In today's NFL, talent is pretty fairly distributed and there are more contending teams than ever before.

Still, the powers that be don't just randomly pick teams to face off. They plan their games out meticulously, matching up as many popular teams as they can. They also waste no time putting contending teams in difficult positions and making their roads back to the playoffs extremely difficult. It's just another thing that makes the NFL great, as losing teams often get a break the following year with a lighter schedule to try and get back in to contention. It's only fair and the NFL does a great job of balancing things out.

One thing is definitely true of the NFL schedule - there are no weeks off. Every victory is hard fought and earned, and I believe that's another reason why watching football is now America's favorite pastime.

It's with all that in mind that we'll take a look at 15 must-see games on the 2013 schedule:

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Week 1 - Packers @ 49ers

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

This one is a playoff rematch from a season ago, as well as a rematch from week one last year. The Packers are hurting along their offensive line and traveling west to take on the 49ers will be no easy task. Still, they've got arguably the league's best QB and they'll need him to be on his A-Game to pull out a tough road win in this one.

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Week 1 - Eagles @ Redskins (MNF)

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

This would have been a good game to open the MNF schedule, but now it's become great with the return of RG3. This game is the epitome of must-see NFL TV.

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Week 2 - Vikings @ Bears

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

This will make for a very intriguing early season NFC North showdown. The Vikings never win at Soldier Field and Jay Cutler will be out to prove that he's deserving of being the Bears' QB long-term. The Vikings open their season on the road at Detroit, so there's a real possibility they could start in a 0-2 hole. The Bears, on the other hand, will be hosting their second consecutive game to start the season.

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Week 2 - 49ers @ Seahawks

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

These are the two teams that seemingly everyone wants to become rivals. They're not there quite yet, but if things go as most predict they will in 2013, 49ers/Seahawks could be a great rivalry by the end of the year. What a tough draw the 49ers got to start their season - home vs. GB and away at SEA. Ouch.

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Week 2 - Steelers @ Bengals

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Great AFC North matchup here. This one will of course be all about James Harrison taking on this former team, while the Bengals try to establish themselves as the favorite to win the division.

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Week 4 - Patriots @ Falcons

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

If you like offense, this is an absolute must-see game. Both teams are looking to get a step further than a season ago, as both lost in their respective conference title games. The Falcons could really make a statement by coming out and waxing the Pats at home.

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Week 6 - Packers @ Ravens

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Who knows where these two playoff teams from 2012 will be by week six in 2013? Regardless, fans will be treated to one heck of a game featuring lots of star power.

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Week 7 - Broncos @ Colts

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

This is a team matchup that will be overshadowed by two players - Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. It's a showdown that football fans have been clamoring to see, as it marks Manning's return to Indianapolis and also the first time he's matched up with what equates to his replacement.

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Week 8 - Redskins @ Broncos

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Mike Shanahan returns to Denver, Manning vs. RG3 - there's plenty for fans to watch in this one. Not to mention that both teams figure to be right in the thick of their respective playoff races in 2013.

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Week 10 - Cowboys @ Saints

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

A solid week 10 matchup between two teams that figure to be fighting for a playoff spot in the NFC. Then again, it won't be too shocking if both squads have losing records heading into this one. Still, they're two of the NFL's most popular teams and that always makes for must-see football.

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Week 10 - Seahawks @ Falcons

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

It doesn't get a whole lot better in week 10 than this NFC Championship game rematch. The Seahawks will have to once again travel thousands of miles east to take on the Falcons, and this time they'll be hoping for a much different result.

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Week 12 - Broncos @ Patriots

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Two teams that will be fighting for the AFC crown, and I think there are a couple of good quarterbacks going at it in this one as well. Might be something to keep an eye on...

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Week 12 - Steelers @ Ravens (Thanksgiving Night)

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Steelers vs. Ravens is arguably the best rivalry in the NFL. It's never flashy or pretty, but these two teams hate each others' guts. Add in the fact that it's the primetime game on Thanksgiving night, and you have must-see football.

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Week 13 - Patriots @ Texans

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Two teams that could do battle in the postseason again in 2013, just like they have each of the past two seasons. Depending on how things play out during the first 12 weeks, this game could also go along way towards determining playoff seeding in the AFC.

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Week 16 - Falcons @ 49ers (MNF)

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Can you say - battle for the No. 1 seed in the NFC? That's a very real possibility with these two high-powered NFL franchises. Props to the NFL for scheduling such a gem late in the season.

 

 


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