2013 NFL Schedule: Manning at Indy highlights reunion games
The 2013 NFL schedule is full of reunion games including Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis. We take a look at the 12 best reunion games so you can mark your calendar.
Everybody loves reunions.
High school reunions. Family reunions. The Dukes of Hazzard reunion. You name it, if it has the word reunion in it or involves any sort of reunion, people will love it. That's why we're putting together a list of the best reunions on the 2013 NFL Schedule.
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Peyton Manning back in Indianapolis headlines this list, but lets not forget about the Reed brothers -- OK, they're not really brothers -- new Chiefs coach Andy Reid will be returning to Philadelphia and Texans safety Ed Reed will be returning to Baltimore.
Unlike the rumors about the 'Friends' reunion, which turned out to be a pack of lies, all of these reunions are actually going to happen.
Tier 1 (Must-see reunions)
Denver at Indianapolis (8:30 p.m. ET, Oct. 20, NBC)
Peyton Manning didn't literally participate in the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium -- at least that we know of -- but it's probably fair to call Lucas Oil the 'House that Manning built.' In what should be one of the most hyped games of the season, Manning will play in Indianapolis for the first time since a January 2011 playoff loss to the New York Jets. The Broncos-Colts game is still six months away, but Jim Irsay is probably already tweeting about it.
Kansas City at Philadelphia (8:25 p.m. ET, Thurs., Sept. 19, NFL Network)
Will Andy Reid get booed in his return trip to Philadelphia? The guess here is, well, let's just say this game is at night and Eagles fans will have all day to tailgate and adult beverages plus Eagles fans equals -- let's just put it this way, you saw what happened to Santa Claus.
Houston at Baltimore (1 p.m. ET, Sept. 22, CBS)
Ed Reed won't have to wait long to get revenge against the Ravens, he gets to go to Baltimore in Week 3. Reed has watched Joe Flacco every day in practice for the past five years, so he probably knows a thing or two about the tendencies of Baltimore's $120.6 million quarterback. That could be good for Reed and bad for Flacco.
Denver at New England (8:30 p.m. ET, Nov. 24, NBC)
Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning will be a nice storyline, but we're only talking about reunions here, so forget about them for a second. Let's talk about Wes Welker. Welker, who signed with the Broncos in mid-March, will make his return to Gillette Stadium in Week 12 and you have to think Welker's goal will be to have more catches than every Patriots receiver combined.
Miami at Pittsburgh (1 p.m. ET, Dec. 8, CBS)
Mike Wallace likes nice weather, so he ditched Pittsburgh for a city that has a slightly better climate: Miami. The NFL has a sense of humor though, Wallace will return to Pittsburgh in mid-December when the temperature will probably be below freezing. Even if it's not below freezing, Wallace probably won't want to pack any sandals or shorts for the trip, but he may want to bring an extra turtle neck.
Washington at Denver (4:25 p.m. ET, Oct. 27, Fox)
Andy Reid isn't the only veteran coach returning to his old stomping grounds, so is Mike Shanahan. Shanahan is returning to Denver for the first time since being fired by the Broncos after the 2008 season. Shanahan won two Super Bowls with Denver with the help of John Elway, but was only 1-4 in the postseason with the Broncos after Elway's retirement. You can make that 1-5 in the playoffs if you want to include the Redkins' loss to the Seahawks last season where Shanahan may or may not have kept in Robert Griffin for a play or two too long.
Baltimore at Denver (8:30 p.m. ET, Thurs., Sept. 5, NBC)
The winner of this game doesn't get a fax machine, but they should. Former Bronco Elvis Dumervil isn't current Bronco Elvis Dumervil because he failed to get a fax in on time back in mid-March. That led to Dumervil becoming a free agent, which led to him signing with Baltimore. Former Broncos quarterback Caleb Hanie also signed with Baltimore, but Hanie's family is probably the only group calling this the 'Caleb Hanie Reunion Bowl.'
Jacksonville at Seattle (4:25 p.m. ET, Sept. 22, CBS)
If there's one team that might be able to slow down the Seahawks offense in 2013, it's probably the 49ers. If there's two teams: you might be able to add the Jaguars to the list. New Jags head coach Gus Bradley was the Seahawks defensive coordinator last season, which means he probably knows a thing or two about slowing down Russell Wilson and the read-option offense. However, even if he knows how to stop it, getting his players to do it might be another issue: the Jaguars finished 30th in total defense last season. Before taking over the Jaguars, Bradley had been in Seattle since 2009.
Tier 2 (Family reunions)
Denver at New York Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, Sept. 15, CBS)
Unless the Giants and Broncos play in the Super Bowl or Peyton Manning plans on playing until 2017, this could be your last chance to watch a Manning Bowl. Eli is 0-2 against his big brother, but Peyton probably never brings that up because Eli has something called 'more Super Bowl rings.'
Tier 3 (Only watch if it doesn't interfere with Tier 1 or Tier 2 reunions)
If you've ever wanted to see a team of current Vikings play a team of former Vikings, this is probably as close as you're ever going to get. Two of Seattle's most recent additions -- Percy Harvin and Antoine Winfield -- played for Minnesota last season. Not to mention, Sidney Rice and Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell both spent time with the Vikings before joining Seattle.
St. Louis at Atlanta (1 p.m. ET, Sept. 15, Fox)
New Falcons running back Steven Jackson will get the first crack at his old team in this game. However, there might not be too much spice to this storyline because Jackson and the Rams actually left each other on good terms. St. Louis owner Stan Kroenke actually bought a newspaper ad to thank Jackson for his time. That's boring. We need more broken fax machines and weather complaints.
Tier 4 (Only a reunion if the Revis-to-Tampa trade actually happens reunion)
Tampa Bay at New York Jets (1 p.m. ET, Sept. 8, Fox)
Have the Jets traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay yet? No? OK. Have they now? Still no? What's going on New York, make the trade already. If the Jets send Revis to Tampa, this becomes a very watchable game, if not, it goes on our list of five 2013 games you shouldn't watch under any circumstance -- a list that already includes two Jet games. Either way, you won't have to wait long to see it, the Jets and Bucs meet in Week 1.
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