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2012 NFL Schedule: Week 1 Poses Challenge For AFC North Teams

The NFL season kicks off on Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys visit the Super Bowl champion New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

The remainder of the NFL's Week 1 schedule kicks into gear on Sunday including a challenging start for the Cleveland Browns and the rest of the AFC North. The Browns will be the only division team not playing under the prime time lights when Brandon Weeden makes his regular-season debut at quarterback for Cleveland against Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday evening, the spotlight turns to the Pittsburgh Steelers as they open their season at Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos at 8:20 p.m. on NBC's Football Night in America. The Steelers should face an emotional atmosphere in Denver where fans hope Manning can build on his legendary career with his new team.

An AFC North intraconference battle wraps up the division schedule on Monday night when the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are among the teams favored to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl let alone win the AFC North and they can take their first step in that direction with a division win in Week 1.

For more on the Browns, check out Dawgs by Nature or stick with SB Nation Cleveland. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.