Sunday Sept. 9, NBC
Peyton Manning’s Broncos got a ridiculously tough schedule for 2012, and things will start off bumpy from the get go against a hungry Steelers squad looking for redemption (and revenge) after last year’s postseason flameout.
Sunday Sept. 9, FOX
This was the postseason battle that we all expected to see, but never actually happened last season. Will the Packers come out of the gate hot again in 2012, the way they did in 2011? Can the 49ers continue what they started last season? We’ll find out the answers to both questions very early on.
Sunday Sept. 16, FOX
Both teams are great, but the main thing to watch for here is the rivalry between Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz. Really, the players can stay home and just send their coaches by themselves for this one.
Sunday Oct. 7, NBC
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning squaring off has traditionally been magic. At this point, though, it’s too early to say what version of Manning will be out there going against his arch rival. If both guys are healthy, this will be a great battle. If one of them (read: Manning) isn’t right, this could actually end up being incredibly sad.
Sunday Oct. 28, FOX
It's make it or break it time for everyone involved with the Cowboys as we currently know them – namely Tony Romo. This game will be huge for both squad’s postseason hopes, and you can bet the hometown Dallas fans will make themselves heard when the defending champs roll into town.
Thursday Nov. 22, NBC
Will Tim Tebow be the starting quarterback by the time the Patriots roll into town? If so, he has quite the score to settle with the only squad around that could make him look human last season.
Sunday Nov. 4, FOX
Everyone can make their own conclusions about why this is the case (read: racial stereotypes), but Cam Newton’s success with the Panthers last year undoubtedly boosted Cam Newton’s draft stock. This could be the starting point for one of the NFL’s most intriguing new rivalries.
Thursday Nov. 22, FOX
Robert Griffin III will make his first -- of presumably many -- trips to Cowboys Stadium in this one. Will he be able to steal a win and make himself a permanently hated figure in Dallas from the get go? We’ll find out soon enough.
Sunday Nov. 25, NBC
Quite possibly the most entertaining game of last year’s playoffs replayed all over again? Yes, please. How will the Saints look sans Sean Payton? Will Alex Smith revert to old form? So many great storylines, such an annoyingly long wait.
Thursday Nov. 29, NFL Network
This is one of the best divisional rivalries in football, but it’s made all the more intriguing this year given the Saints’ offseason troubles. Will the NFC South title still be in doubt when this game is played? Hopefully.