The Monday Night Football schedule got off to an exciting start in Week 1. The Philadelphia Eagles withstood a late rally from the Washington Redskins while the Houston Texans completed their own comeback against the San Diego Chargers.
Football fans can only hope the rest of the slate is equally as intriguing, starting with a matchup between the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals tonight. The AFC North foes are both looking to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start.
Let's take a look at the entire Monday Night Football schedule for this season with all games being shown on ESPN. It's followed by a breakdown of the top games on the horizon as the NFL campaign rolls on.
2013 Monday Night Football Schedule
Week 9: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
The rivalry between the Bears and Packers is one of the best in football, but it's become a little lopsided as of late. Green Bay has rattled off six straight wins, including one in the NFC Championship Game a couple years ago.
While Chicago is off to an ideal start by winning each of its first two games, there's still room for improvement. The Bears beat the Bengals and Minnesota Vikings by just four points combined. They need Matt Forte, who's averaging less than four yards per carry, to find top gear.
One player already in midseason form is Aaron Rodgers. He has thrown seven touchdowns through two weeks while leading the dynamic Green Bay offense. If the defense can take even a small step forward, the Packers will be very tough to beat.
Week 13: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks
Sean Payton is back on the sidelines and the Saints once again look like contenders in the NFC. The energy level the head coach brings each and every week was missing last season, and New Orleans will need that extra motivation against the potent Seahawks.
Seattle has already gone up against Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, two of the league's best young quarterbacks, and allowed just 10 points. When you combine that with a Russell Wilson-led passing game and Marshawn Lynch on the ground, the weaknesses are few and far between.
As usual, the Saints will counter with a high-powered aerial attack featuring Drew Brees. The Seattle secondary and the rowdy crowd will represent one of Brees' toughest tests on the season. It should lead to a tremendous chess match between the sides.
Week 16: Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers
Normally, teams like the Falcons and 49ers would be looking toward the playoffs by Week 16. But since they are both locked in tough divisions this season, there's a good chance both will be fighting for postseason positioning heading into the final weeks.
Atlanta's biggest problem in the early going has been a leaky secondary. It's giving up nearly 350 yards per game through the air. Matt Ryan was up to the task in Week 2 to make sure the Falcons didn't fall to 0-2 by outdueling Sam Bradford and the Rams, but the defense must improve.
After winning an exciting game over the Packers in Week 1, the 49ers were never able to find a rhythm against the Seahawks. They have too many weapons on both sides of the ball to fall into any type of extended slump, though. By Week 16, they should be in good shape.
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