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NFL announces 2013 regular season schedule

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Peyton Manning returns to Indianapolis on Oct. 20 (USA Today Sports Images)

Check out all the team's schedules for 2013
NFC East | NFC West | NFC South | NFC North
AFC East | AFC West | AFC South | AFC North

The National Football League announced its full 256-game 2013 regular season schedule on Thursday night, confirming an earlier report that the season would open with the Baltimore Ravens traveling to the Denver Broncos on Sept. 5.

"Kickoff Weekend" also has the Dallas Cowboys hosting the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football and concludes with a Monday Night Football double-header on ESPN featuring the Washington Redskins hosting Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles in the first game and the Houston Texans visiting the San Diego Chargers in the late game.

NBC announced that every playoff team from 2012 will appear on Sunday Night Football this season, with 16 of their 18 scheduled games (a 19th game, in Week 17, is not yet scheduled) featuring at least one playoff team from last season. Seven teams — the Ravens, Broncos, Giants, Cowboys, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers — have three scheduled appearances on NBC games this season.

[Related: Does 49ers-Texans belong in the list of worst 2013 NFL matchups?]

Among the marquee match-ups NBC will broadcast this season is Peyton Manning's highly-anticipated return to Indianapolis. Manning spent the first 14 seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Indianapolis Colts, who will host the Broncos on Oct. 20.

The NFL's triple-header on Thanksgiving Day has the Detroit Lions hosting the Packers in the early game on FOX, the Cowboys hosting the Oakland Raiders on CBS before the Ravens host the Steelers in prime time on NBC.

Fifteen NFL teams are scheduled to have four or more games in prime time this season. The six teams scheduled to have five prime time appearances are the Broncos, Patriots, Giants, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins. The nine teams with four prime time games scheduled are the Ravens, Steelers, Colts, Cowboys, Packers, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks.

[Related: Best NFL matchups of 2013 season]

For the fourth consecutive season, the NFL will wrap up the regular season with 16 divisional games, one of which will be flexed into prime time. Some of the key match-ups that week include the Packers visiting the Bears, Redskins visiting the Giants, the Seahawks hosting the St. Louis Rams and the Carolina Panthers visiting the Falcons.

The 2013 NFL playoffs will begin with wild-card weekend on January 4-5. The divisional playoff round will be held on January 11-12. The AFC and NFC championship games will be held on Sunday, January 19. Super Bowl XLVIII will be held on Sunday, February 2.


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