By TPR Staff

The 2012 NFL Schedule has been released, as all 32 teams now know who they are playing and when each game will take place. It is always interesting to see which teams dominate the primetime slate, as well as when divisional foes first meet each other for bragging rights throughout the regular season.

While the Super Bowl champion New York Giants open up the 2012 NFL regular season on a Wednesday night so that everyone can pretend they care about what President Obama has to say the following evening, that game against the Dallas Cowboys should be a great way to kick off the upcoming campaign.

Football campaign, of course. Not that other one that has already been talked about for far too long.

Yet although the Giants vs. Cowboys is a great way to begin, it does not make my list of the Top 10 Games of the 2012 NFL Season. Without further ado, here is a look at the games that did make the cut, in order of when they take place.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos – Week 1. Last year’s AFC Divisional Playoff rematch gets much more interesting with Peyton Manning’s debut in Denver. Throw in the fact that it is a Sunday Night Football game, and this one will set some ratings records in Mile High.

2. Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers – Week 2. The first true Thursday Night Football game between two of the greatest franchises in the history of the league. Plus they flat out hate each other.

3. Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots – Week 5. Everyone knows about the new rivalry with Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady. But it was Peyton vs. Brady that started it all. Seeing it with a different Manning wearing a new uniform will rekindle some memories.

4. New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers – Week 6. The NFC Championship rematch from last season. Need I say more?

5. New York Jets vs. New England Patriots – Week 7. Will Tim Tebow be starting ahead of Mark Sanchez at this point? Will the Jets have imploded by now with their new look locker room? Either way, this game will be another classic matchup between the top two teams in the AFC East.

6. New Orleans Saints vs. Denver Broncos – Week 8. Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning. This also marks the last game away for Saints GM Mickey Loomis from his suspension. Plus, it is the final night game of the day.

7. Houston Texans vs. Detroit Lions – Week 12. This kicks off Thanksgiving Day, so that should be enough. But hopefully, each team will skip playing defense, and we should be in store for a good old fashioned shoot out in Motown.

8. Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants – Week 12. They have had some great playoff games against each other, with the Giants coming out on top in each of the past two meetings. Can Aaron Rodgers get some revenge on the road this time?

9. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens – Week 13. It is truly a shame that these two have their second and final meeting this early in the regular season. This game should take place the final week of the regular season, but it is always fun to watch regardless.

10. San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots – Week 15. This could be the most likely Super Bowl matchup this late in the regular season in a primetime preview. Both teams expect to compete for a championship, and this could be a title game preview.

 

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