By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on April 24, 2014
Now that the dates and times of the 2014 NFL slate are set, we can begin to prematurely preview every game of the season. The following slideshow highlights the most exciting game each week has to offer.
Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and the Green Bay Packers versus arguably one of the best defenses of all time and the Seattle Seahawks. It doesn't get much more exciting as far as season-opening games go.
Chip Kelly’s high-powered offensive attack travels to Indianapolis to take on the Andrew Luck-led Colts. There should be fireworks under the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
If the Super Bowl rematch goes anything like the actual Super Bowl did, the last thing this game will be is exciting. But the Broncos should be more competitive this time around. While the Seahawks will be favorites, expect the Broncos to come out eager to prove their blowout loss in the Meadowlands was a fluke.
The Cowboys might be an overrated team that worsened this offseason, but they still have one of the largest fan bases in professional sports. They still have talent offensively too. In Week 4, Drew Brees and the prolific Saints’ passing attack will travel to Texas for Sunday Night Football.
Another Sunday night matchup, the Bengals and Patriots' Week 5 showdown will feature two of the AFC’s best teams from a year ago. Both will likely have similar success in 2014, making this game a highly entertaining duel.
The NFC East boasts some of the most intense rivalries in the NFL. The Giants and Eagles despise each other, which always makes for good television. Both teams project to be good too, assuming the Giants can rebound from a disappointing season in 2013.
Anytime one of the NFL’s best defenses faces one of its best offenses, intrigue ensues. That’s exactly what will take place in Week 7 when the 49ers travel to the Mile-High City to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Aaron Rodgers versus Drew Brees. Need I say more?
The Peyton Manning/Tom Brady rivalry never gets old -- even as the two quarterbacks do. The winner of this matchup will have the upper hand in any head-to-head tie-breaking scenario in regards to the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed.
Cam Newton may dominate headlines for the Panthers, but Carolina quietly has a dominant defense. That defense will be tested versus Chip Kelly’s innovative attack.
The Patriots/Colts rivalry lost some of its luster when Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos, but this Week 11 tilt should still be a great game. The Colts will look for payback after having their Super Bowl aspirations halted in Foxborough back in January.
The Superdome might be one of the most difficult places to play outside of Seattle. That is especially true during a nationally televised game. The Saints will be a handful for the Ravens on Monday Night Football, but John Harbaugh’s club always comes to play.
What better way to spend Thanksgiving night than by watching the two best defenses in the league and potentially the two best teams overall do battle? It’s one of the league’s fiercest current rivalries. The intensity and physicality are arguably unparalleled.
The Patriots and Chargers squaring off this late in the season means playoff implications should be prevalent for both teams. The Tom Brady and Philip Rivers-led offenses will likely put up plenty of points in beautiful San Diego.
This rivalry is so good it had to be listed twice. Expect whichever team that loses two weeks prior to come out fired up to play its best game of the season.
Another game in which the playoff implications project to be huge, the Colts and Cowboys will both likely be desperate for a win in this Sunday afternoon showdown.
In week 17, it’s all about which games will have the most at stake. The Bengals and Steelers are both expected to compete for a playoff spot in 2014. They’re also AFC North rivals, which means a division title could be up for grabs.
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