2012 NFL season: Games you can’t miss

Aaron Rodgers is poised for a 5,000-yard passing season.

Getting to know you

Week 1: Steelers at Broncos

Peyton is back. The biggest wild card in the NFL this season is Denver. If Peyton Manning returns to form, the Broncos could very well be in the thick of the AFC race. Denver’s “D” finished 24th in total defense in 2011 but Vonn Miller and Co. have the potential to be a top 10 unit.

Week 2: Ravens at Eagles
Look out, Mike! Mike Vick had a pair of scary injury situations in the preseason. Though Baltimore’s defense is now bordering on ancient, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed should bring the heat at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 2. Philly has cupcakes in Week 1 (Cleveland) and Week 3 (Arizona) and you know Andy Reid would love to be 3-0 heading into a Week 4 showdown against the Giants.

Week 3: Patriots at Ravens
Billy Cundiff drinks alone. Kicker Billy Cundiff won’t be able to redeem himself in this game after blowing that 32-yard field goal (he recently signed in Washington), but the AFC Championship Game rematch will still have plenty of drama. If the Patriots can get past Baltimore here, another 16-0 regular season could be a talking point on Monday, Sept. 24.

Week 4: Giants at Eagles

NFC B-east. This division should be the best in football and the winner of this Week 4 showdown will give us an early idea of who will be in the driver’s seat come late December. The Giants won in Philly at the same time of year last season but the Eagles got revenge in the Meadowlands just prior to Thanksgiving.

Who do we have here?


Week 5: Broncos at Patriots

Brady vs. Manning. The league’s signature individual rivalry of the past decade returns. Brady and Patriots beat Manning and the Colts, 31-28 in Foxboro, on Nov. 21, 2010 in the last meeting between the two future Hall of Famers. The Broncos will also be peeved because the Pats pounded them in the divisional round last January.

Week 6: Packers at Texas
Super Bowl preview? Houston was a decent quarterback away from being the run-away favorite in the AFC playoffs last year. With Matt Schaub back, the Texans figure to be in the same class of the Packers as two of the best teams in the NFL.

Week 7: Jets at Patriots
Turning point for NYJ. Who knows where the Jets will be at this point? Tim Tebow could be starting at quarterback. Or Mark Sanchez could be thriving there. The NYJ could either be in first place in the AFC East or (gulp) without a win. This will either be a classic Patriots-Jets war or New England could put the final nail in the coffin of the Rex Ryan era. Regardless, we’ll be watching.

Week 8: Giants at Cowboys
Halloween havoc. The Cowboys had little luck with the G-Men last season, going 0-2 against their division foes. This rematch of tonight’s NFL season opener is one of the few marquee games on a relatively weak Week 8 slate.

November pain

Week 9: Eagles at Saints
Bounty battle. The original bounty hunters vs. the new bounty hunters; Mike Vick vs. Drew Brees; Strap on your cleats and grab an Abita because this might be the biggest track meet of the year, with two of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses.

Week 10: Broncos at Panthers

The past vs. the future. Peyton Manning looks to show he’s not over the hill against the most electrifying player in the league, Cam Newton. Last year, defenses had no answers for Cam and his 35 total touchdowns.

Week 11: Packers at Lions

Detroit Rock City. The Pack have had their way with the NFC North for the past couple of seasons, but the times may be a’changin’. If Matt Stafford and Megatron are clicking, Detroit could leave Week 11 in first place.

Week 12: 49ers at Saints
Oh, this should be fun. The last time we saw these two, Alex Smith had just thrown a 14-yard TD pass with nine seconds remaining, as the 49ers punched their NFC Championship ticket. That didn’t sit well down in the Big Easy but it remains to be seen if New Orleans will be able to overcome all the offseason turmoil and still be in the mix come Thanksgiving.

Holiday helpings

Week 13: Steelers at Ravens
Changing of the guard? Don’t adjust your TV sets. For the first time in this storied rivalry, the combatants rely more on high-octane offenses over hard-hitting defenses. Last year, the Ravens swept the series for the first time since 2006.

Week 14: Texans at Patriots

Battle for AFC supremacy. With Arian Foster leading an unstoppable rushing attack, the Texans are out to prove they more than just one-hit wonders. This could easily be an AFC Championship preview.

Week 15: Giants at Falcons

Showdown at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons were absolutely inept in their playoff loss to Big Blue, forcing Atlanta to change their philosophy. They’re now a pass-first offense who has had this one marked since last winter.

Week 16: Chargers at Jets
Playoff slot on the line? The Chargers and Jets usually enter with Super Bowl aspirations, but their windows seem to be closing. Can Tim Tebow provide some sparks? Can Philip Rivers pull one last rabbit out of his hat?

Week 17: Eagles at Giants
Division crown on the line? Anything and everything can and usually does happen when these two meet at the Meadowlands. Set the DVR and expect the unexpected. Who knows, the NFC East title may be on the line.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

Movies

Interview: Robert Rodriguez doesn't mind that Jessica Alba…

In making a Hollywood-friendly adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty "Sin City" graphic novel series, Robert Rodriguez learned that some things have to go — namely…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Aug. 20: 'Extant,' 'Legends'…

See a two hour block of Halle Berry's scifi show, "Extant."

The Word

The Word: Mischa Barton in trouble, not that…

  People are really, really worried about Mischa Barton. Again. The former "O.C." star is reportedly in deep financial trouble and can't seem to get…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Food

The Chic Wife tells us how to use…

Kris Schoels, aka The Chic Wife, grew up on a farm with peach trees. August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason…