Analyzing the 2014 NFL Sunday Night Football Schedule

By Brian Kalchik

Analyzing the NFL Sunday Night Football Schedule for 2014

Al Michaels NBC
Getty Images

Last season, Sunday Night Football had some of the best matchups of the 2013 campaign. From Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis to Dallas losing its third straight win-in game in Week 17, and even the Patriots' big comeback against the Denver Broncos, each and every Sunday Night game is filled with some form of drama. But what does the 2014 SNF schedule look like. Here's a quick analysis of each scheduled Sunday Night game.

Week 1: Indianapolis at Denver

Peyton Manning Broncos
Getty Images

Week 1: Indianapolis at Denver

Peyton Manning Broncos
Getty Images

The first Sunday Night game of the year may very well be the best. The season opener features the rematch between Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning, this time in the Mile High City. The Broncos will be looking for revenge against the team that ended their undefeated season while the Colts will look to pick up a significant win against the defending conference champions.

Week 2: Chicago at San Francisco

Michael Crabtree 49ers
Getty Images

Week 2: Chicago at San Francisco

Michael Crabtree 49ers
Getty Images

The Bears and the 49ers have had legendary battles in the past, and this year's matchup could very well be another. The Bears feature a potent offense led by Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall, while the 49ers boast a strong defense led by Patrick Willis and Justin Smith. The matchup to watch, however, is whether the revamped Chicago defense can contain Colin Kaepernick.

Week 3: Pittsburgh at Carolina

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers
Getty Images

Week 3: Pittsburgh at Carolina

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers
Getty Images

Two teams that are good on one side of the ball and rebuilding on another side of the ball will challenge each other in week 3. The Pittsburgh offense, led by Ben Roethlisberger, faces a stiff Carolina defense led by linebacker Luke Kuechly. On the other side, a rebuilding Pittsburgh defense will look to stop Cam Newton and a revamped receiving corps led by former Steelers WR Jerricho Cotchery.

Week 4: New Orleans at Dallas

Demarco Murray Cowboys
Getty Images

Week 4: New Orleans at Dallas

Demarco Murray Cowboys
Getty Images

These two teams met last year on Sunday Night Football with the Saints embarrassing the Cowboys in New Orleans. This time around, the game goes to Dallas. Both offenses can put up points and yards, but the Cowboys defense has been pathetic since Rob Ryan, the Saints' defensive coordinator, left the team in 2012. If the Cowboys get blown out again by the Saints, this time in Dallas, the pressure will be on Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

Week 5: Cincinnati at New England (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Giovani Bernard Bengals
Getty Images

Week 5: Cincinnati at New England (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Giovani Bernard Bengals
Getty Images

Last year, the Bengals made a major statement against the Patriots by shutting them down in Cincinnati. Now in Week 5, Andy Dalton and the Bengals travel to New England to take on Tom Brady and Bill Belichick on their home turf. Rarely do the Patriots ever get beaten by the same team twice, and with the spotlight on Dalton, he can do something that very few quarterbacks have done against the Patriots.

Week 6: New York Giants at Philadelphia (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Victor Cruz Giants
Getty Images

Week 6: New York Giants at Philadelphia (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Victor Cruz Giants
Getty Images

The greatest rivalry in NFL history, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles renew their annual clash in primetime fashion. In a reversal of fortunes, the Eagles are now the hunted instead of the hunters while the Giants are flying under-the-radar instead of being the favorites. Chip Kelly and the Eagles will be trying to prove that they are here to stay while the Giants will be looking to get back in the playoffs after a two-year absence.

Week 7: San Francisco at Denver (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Peyton Manning Broncos
Getty Images

Week 7: San Francisco at Denver (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Peyton Manning Broncos
Getty Images

Two of the Super Bowl favorites going into the 2014 season will meet in perhaps the best game of the season. The high-powered Denver Broncos will host the San Francisco 49ers in what could be a preview of Super Bowl XLIX. These two teams have been the past two Super Bowl runner-ups.

Week 8: Green Bay at New Orleans (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Jordy Nelson Packers
Getty Images

Week 8: Green Bay at New Orleans (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Jordy Nelson Packers
Getty Images

The Super Bowl XLIV and XLV champions meet in a midseason clash in the Superdome. The quarterback matchup between Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans' Drew Brees will be one of the best matchups in the entire season. Both teams are expected to be in the race for not just their respective divisions, but for clinching a first-round bye in the NFC.

Week 9: Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers
Getty Images

Week 9: Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers
Getty Images

Whenever the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers square off, it is one of the toughest and hardest hitting games on the schedule every year. This will be the second primetime game between the Ravens and Steelers as they will have faced one another in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football. Whoever wins this matchup will be in great position to challenge for the AFC North title.

Week 10: Chicago at Green Bay (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Randall Cobb Packers
Getty Images

Week 10: Chicago at Green Bay (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Randall Cobb Packers
Getty Images

The league's oldest and most historic rivalry comes to Sunday Night as the Chicago Bears travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers. Last year, the Bears were able to steal a win in Green Bay after injuring Aaron Rodgers, but the Packers were able to steal the division in Week 17. This will be the final matchup between these two teams as they will have already faced one another in Week 4.

Week 11: New England at Indianapolis (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Andrew Luck Colts
Getty Images

Week 11: New England at Indianapolis (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Andrew Luck Colts
Getty Images

A rematch of last year's AFC Divisional playoff game, the Colts will be looking for revenge after being drubbed by the Patriots in New England. Tom Brady and the Pats now have to travel to Indianapolis where they will meet Andrew Luck and an improved Colts team that gets back Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen. In order to be considered a true elite QB, Luck will have to beat Brady for the first time after losing his two previous matchups.

Week 12: Dallas at New York Giants (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Tony Romo Cowboys
Getty Images

Week 12: Dallas at New York Giants (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Tony Romo Cowboys
Getty Images

In the past two seasons, both the Cowboys and the Giants have hovered around .500 after enduring years of sustained success. Tony Romo and the high-powered Cowboys offense travel to the New Meadowlands and its swirling winds to take on Eli Manning and an improved Giants offense. If both of these teams have struggled before this game and if there was a game that has the best chance of getting flexed out, it's this one.

Week 13: Denver at Kansas City (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Alex Smith Chiefs
Getty Images

Week 13: Denver at Kansas City (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Alex Smith Chiefs
Getty Images

The Broncos and Chiefs had two tremendous games last year, but the Broncos ended up on the winning side both times. Peyton Manning and the Broncos go back to Arrowhead Stadium and a raucous crowd after shredding the Chiefs defense for 35 points last year. If Alex Smith and the Chiefs can't find a way to get past the Broncos, the division could very well be decided.

Week 14: New England at San Diego (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Phillip Rivers Chargers
Getty Images

Week 14: New England at San Diego (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Phillip Rivers Chargers
Getty Images

One of the league's most consistent winners in New England takes on a young and upstart team in San Diego in a crucial Week 14 matchup. This game could be important for both the Patriots and the Chargers because both are expected to contend for their respective division titles. This will be a more important game for the Patriots because they have struggled on the road recently against quality teams.

Week 15: Dallas at Philadelphia (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

LeSean McCoy Eagles
Getty Images

Week 15: Dallas at Philadelphia (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

LeSean McCoy Eagles
Getty Images

The Cowboys against the Eagles may not be the most important game in Week 15, but it will be the most watched. These division teams meet up for the second time in three weeks in what will be a crucial game in the NFC East race. If Dallas is able to slow down LeSean McCoy, and put up some points against a suspect defense, Dallas could come into Philly and steal one.

Week 16: Seattle at Arizona (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Russell Wilson Seahawks
Getty Images

Week 16: Seattle at Arizona (Subject To Flex Scheduling)

Russell Wilson Seahawks
Getty Images

In what will surely be a key game that will determine the NFC West title, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks travel to Arizona to take on Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals. While Seattle is expected to once again be Super Bowl favorites, Arizona is looking to get back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Seahawks could have everything locked up by Week 16, and the Cardinals might be fighting for their own playoff lives.

Week 17: Flex Game

Jordan Reed Redskins
Getty Images

Week 17: Flex Game

Jordan Reed Redskins
Getty Images

There is no scheduled Sunday Night game for Week 17, but one will be flexed in depending on late-season playoff implications.

You May Also Like