NFL 2013 Schedule to be released Thursday, 4/18!!
Here's betting we open against Baltimore on Thursday Night Football
The NFL will announce the 2013 regular-season schedule Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, league spokesman Greg Aiello announced through his Twitter account.
Among the anticipated dates to be announced is the opponent for the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the season-opener on Thursday, Sept. 5. The Ravens will open on the road because of a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles, who are scheduled to play the Chicago White Sox at 7:05 p.m. ET on that date. The NFL, Major League Baseball and the two teams were unable to reach a compromise to allow the Ravens to open at home.
Among the scheduled 2013 road opponents for Baltimore is the Denver Broncos, which if scheduled for the opener would set up a rematch from the 2012 playoffs and also feature the return of linebacker Elvis Dumervil to Denver.
The Ravens will host the New England Patriots in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game, although Baltimore has a much different look after making several roster changes.
The NFC Championship Game teams also will face off when the Atlanta Falcons travel to play the San Francisco 49ers. Falcons receiver Roddy White said last week on "ESPN First Take" that he considers his team the best in the NFC, despite its loss to the 49ers in last season's conference title game.
Other intriguing matchups in 2013 include the return of Andy Reid to Philadelphia as the coach of the the Kansas City Chiefs.
Peyton Manning also will have a homecoming as the Broncos are scheduled to visit the Indianapolis Colts, the team with which he won four MVP awards and led to a Super Bowl title.
Manning will also face off against his brother, Eli Manning, when the Broncos visit the New York Giants.
Several other matchups will be attractive due to high-profile free-agent signings this offseason:
Manning's new teammate, Wes Welker, will be under the spotlight when the Broncos visit the Patriots, the team with which he became a prolific wide receiver and Tom Brady's favorite target.
Safety Ed Reed will face the Ravens for the first time in his career when the Houston Texans, his new team, visit Baltimore.
Greg Jennings' return to Green Bay will be an anticipated matchup after the longtime Packers receiver signed with the rival Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings also will travel to face the Seattle Seahawks and will have to defend dynamic receiver Percy Harvin, who was traded by the team this offseason.
Also, Mike Wallace will make his first visit to Pittsburgh as an opposing player when the Miami Dolphins visit the Steelers.
Finally, if the New York Jets and Buccaneers are able to agree to a trade that sends star cornerback Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay, he would make his first appearance at MetLife Stadium as an opposing player as the Bucs are scheduled to visit the Jets.
The NFL announced 2013 home and away opponents for each team last December.