It never lacks for drama every year but the 2014 NFL schedule certainly has its fair share of must-see games. Here are the top ones for each week.
Week 1 – Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
What a way to kickoff the season. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers return to the northwest still feeling slighted following their 14-12 defeat in 2012 by the Seattle Seahawks on that controversial play in the final seconds courtesy of the replacement refs.
Week 2 – Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
They both just missed the playoffs but the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are still AFC North powers and have a great chance to contend in 2014. This early contest will likely set the tone as it always does: with pain.
Week 3 – Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson has this game circled without a doubt. He will get a chance to show the Philadelphia Eagles, who unceremoniously cut him this off-season despite a Pro Bowl year in 2013 that they made a huge mistake. The Washington Redskins would love that.
Week 4 – Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Perhaps one of the most epic games in the oldest rivalry in football happened last December in which the Green Bay Packers stole the NFC North title on a thrilling last-second touchdown pass on 4th and 8. The Chicago Bears certainly have nightmares about it.
Week 5 – Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers
Alex Smith has landed on his feet with the Kansas City Chiefs but there has to be a certain sense of disappointment that his old team, the San Francisco 49ers didn’t let him finish what he started there. Beating his replacement Colin Kaepernick might ease that pain.
Week 6 – Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
There is little doubt that Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are the favorites in the AFC South but this game should be very interesting because the Houston Texans have a good roster and could be featuring a top rookie quarterback under center.
Week 7 – New York Jets at New England Patriots
When is the Bill Belichick-Rex Ryan rivalry not entertaining? Well the fact that the New York Jets will have to stare at their former superstar Darrelle Revis in a New England Patriots uniform certainly adds spice to this 2014 NFL schedule matchup.
Week 8 – Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
Shootout city? One can only hope. That should be expected from two of the best quarterbacks in football as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints finally get a shot at Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in their building. Get ready for fireworks.
Week 9 – Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
Manning v. Brady. Do I really need to say anymore?
Week 10 – Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles
This game has “fun” written all over it. A classic “offense against defense” affair that can easily become a grind it out game or a shootout. Luke Kuechly gets to chase LeSean McCoy while Eagles must somehow corral Cam Newton.
Week 11 – San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants
Anybody who knows their football history will have this 2014 NFL schedule contest on their DVR. It’s not a division-type rivalry but something crazy always seems to happen when the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers get together.
Week 12 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears
Lovie Smith makes his long-awaited return to the WindyCity to face a Chicago Bears team he took to the Super Bowl in 2006, and will be toting their former backup quarterback Josh McCown as his starter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Week 13 – Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts
There are a number of good games to choose from but this one piqued interest because it’s the first regular season meeting between Andrew Luck and his Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III and his Washington Redskins. Bragging rights on the line!
Week 14 – Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
It’s not so much about rivalry in this game as it is about high stakes. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals could very well be battling for control of the AFC North in this game since they might be the two best teams in that division.
Week 15 – San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
There is no better rivalry in the NFL at the present moment. Two teams in the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers that hate each other and return to the scene where they settled matters in a bitterly-fought NFC championship last January.
Week 16 – Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Whether it involves divisional stakes is a mystery but the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints always put on a good show for the highlight reels. Given how both teams have improved, there is every reason to think playoff implications will factor.
Week 17 – Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
The past two years the Chicago Bears have narrowly missed the playoffs, often thanks to the Minnesota Vikings. First in 2012 when the Vikes lost a shootout to Green Bay and then again last year when the Bears missed the winning field goal in OT, allow Minnesota to steal it. Here is where it could all be decided again, and this time the Bears will have Jared Allen on their side.
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