17 Intriguing Matchups on the 2009 NFL Schedule

The NFL released the 2009 NFL Schedule today, so I’ll do what the 4,000 other websites do and list some of the more juicier matchups of the year. (Although in the sake of being at least a little creative, I’ll list one interesting matchup for each of the 17 weeks on the schedule.)

Before we get to the matchups though, let me state for the record that it’s a complete farce that the Cowboys get six nationally televised games next year despite not making the playoffs last season. I guess “America’s Team” opening a brand new stadium is worth major national exposure…six times a year.

Week 1: Bears at Packers, 8:20PM ET
Jay Cutler’s first game in a Bears uniform will be at Lambeau against the rival Packers on Sunday Night Football. How much will John Madden overplay the, “The Bears finally have a quarterback” angle after every pass Cutler completes?

Week 2: Giants at Cowboys, 8:20PM ET
One of the ‘Boys six nationally televised games, Dallas will open up their new stadium against division rival New York on Sunday Night Football. How much will John Madden overplay the, “Tony Romo and Wade Phillips must win now because Jerry Jones built this brand new stadium and he wants a contender” angle?

Week 3: Falcons at Patriots, 1:00PM ET
The over/under on the number of times Matt Ryan is compared to Tom Brady in this game has officially been set at 800,994,990.

Week 4: Chargers at Steelers, 8:20PM ET
AFC Divisional Round rematch in Pittsburgh – let’s see if the Chargers can hold onto the ball for more than 17 seconds in the third quarter unlike the last time these two teams met.

Week 5: Patriots at Broncos, 4:15PM ET
If Bill Belichick shakes Josh McDaniels’ hand at midfield after this game, I’m calling shenanigans on the behalf of Eric Mangini.

Week 6: Bears at Falcons, 8:20PM ET
Here’s hoping the Bears’ secondary figured out that they have to cover the out pattern when that’s the only route Matt Ryan can look for when there’s 11 seconds on the clock and he needs to get his team into field goal range.

Week 7: Cardinals at Giants, 8:20PM ET
Kurt Warner seeks maximum revenge against Eli Manning for taking his starting job in New York in a few years ago. This is also the battle of two goofy (yet loveable) quarterbacks. (Look, I know Warner is a good guy but you have to admit those gloves he wears look ridiculous.)

Week 8: Giants at Eagles, 4:15PM ET
I’d write something humorous about this matchup, but there’s just nothing funny about the NFC East – or Philadelphia fans. People may die…

Week 9: Dolphins at Patriots, 1:00PM ET
The Big Tuna returns to his old stomping grounds in what could be a midseason battle for first place in the AFC East. Unless of course Miami was a fluke last year, Tom Brady re-injuries himself or the Bills and Jets are in first place by a wide margin. But seriously, if those things don’t happen, then this could be a midseason battle for first place in the AFC East.

Week 10: Patriots at Colts, 8:20PM ET
Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning – finally, a forum where fans can debate who the best quarterback is in the NFL. I’m tired of not having the opportunity to discuss who the better quarterback is between Brady and Manning because these two teams never play each other.

Week 11: Chargers at Broncos, 4:15PM ET
Think Ed Hochuli’s crew will be asked to officiate this game?

Week 12: Packers at Lions, 12:30PM ET
Good to see the NFL is still honoring the tradition of keeping Thanksgiving in Detroit. Hopefully this game remains interesting for more than the seven and a half seconds that it was last year when the Titans drubbed the Lions in one of the worst Thanksgiving Day games since Drew Henson and the Cowboys took on Craig Krenzel and the Bears in 2004. (Does anyone remember that game? At one point during that game I actually cursed God for blessing me with vision.)

Week 13: Jets at Bills, 8:20PM ET
T.O. gets his first opportunity to play in front of a national audience in his new city of Buffalo…actually the game is being played in Toronto. Too bad only four people will get the chance to watch it since the game will be on the NFL Network.

Week 14: Panthers at Patriots, 1:00PM ET
Hopefully by this point in the season Tom Brady will be leading the Pats back to the playoffs and Jake Delhomme will have figured out how to get through an entire game without turning the ball over seven times and generally crapping himself. (Side note: There’s no proof that Delhomme has ever crapped himself during a game. I just flat out don’t like him.)

Week 15: Giants at Redskins, 8:30PM ET
Were the guys in charge pissed at the Giants when they were making this schedule? Check out this stretch of games to finish the season: vs. Dallas, vs. Philadelphia, at. Washington, vs. Carolina, at Minnesota. Yikes.

Week 16: Ravens at Steelers, 1:00PM ET
If this game is anything like the three these two teams played last year, we should expect plenty of anger, mass hysteria and controversy.

Week 17: Giants at Vikings, 1:00PM ET
Hey, remember when the Vikings needed to beat the Giants in Week 17 of the season last year in order to get into the playoffs? And they barely did, even though New York played its back ups for most of the game? Well this will be a replay of that game for those that missed it.

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