The NFL announced the 2014 season will open with the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks against the Green Bay Packers, on the first Thursday in September. The game be a rematch of the “Fail Mary” game from 2012 when the Seahawks won a Monday Night affair after replacement referees incorrectly ruled an intercepted pass to be a game winning touchdown as time expired.
The game is the first time the two teams have met since that infamous game and kicks off the first week of the season. Other highlights of week one include the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon and the Denver Broncos hosting the Indianapolis Colts on the first Sunday night football game of the season. It will be the second time Peyton Manning has played against his former team and the first time the Colts have visited Denver since Manning departed after the 2011 season. Robert Griffin III will also see how far his injured right knee has come when the Washington Redskins visit the Houston Texans in head coach Jay Gruden’s first game as head coach of the Redskins.
Monday Night Football will open with a double-header as the New York Giants visit the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals host the San Diego Chargers.
Another highlight of the NFL season schedule is the Thanksgiving Day schedule and the NFL has delivered for fans on this one. Three division games among teams that should all be playoff contenders give the NFL what looks to be their best Thanksgiving day schedule ever.
Chicago visits Detroit in the early game with Philadelphia traveling to Dallas for the second game. One of the most anticipated games of the season tops off Thanksgiving Night as San Francisco hosts the Seahawks.
Other games of note on the schedule include a Super Bowl rematch on Sunday, September 21 as the Broncos visit the Seahawks. Manning highlights the schedule again when the Broncos visit the New England Patriots for the next chapter in the Brady/Manning rivalry on Sunday, November 2.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens will meet both times on national television, the first game being on Thursday of Week 2 in Baltimore and the second meeting on Sunday night, November 2 in Pittsburgh.
The season ends on Sunday, December 28 with no Monday night games scheduled for the 17th weekend of the season. The Super Bowl will be held February 1, 2015 in Glendale, AZ, just one week after the Pro Bowl is played in the same venue.
The NFL also announced Wednesday that they will allow NBC to “flex” out of two Sunday night games between weeks five and 10 in order to accommodate a more viewer friendly game on Sunday Night’s “Football Night In America.” In previous seasons NBC was not allowed the flex option until week 11.
Once again Roger Goodell and the NFL keep their fan base entertained during a long but eventful off-season for football junkies. Goodell also found the perfect way to reward them with the Seahawks and Packers to start the season.
Commentary by Mick Varner