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2014 NFL Schedule: Predicting the Top 10 Games of September

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2014 NFL Schedule: Predicting the Top 10 Games of September

Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
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The NFL season is going to start off with a bang this year with a lot of great matchups in the opening month. This is where teams set the tone for the rest of the year and build towards the playoffs. A bad start can put a team in a bad spot for the rest of the season, and obviously a good start can give them some breathing room too. Here are 10 great matchups NFL fans should pay attention to in the opening month.

10. Week 2 Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts

Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles
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10. Week 2 Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts

Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles
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This is the third Monday Night Football game of the year and it features a lot of offense. Chip Kelly is looking to build on a successful opening season with the Eagles. His hurry up no huddle offense took the league by storm last year, and it’s going to be interesting to see if teams caught up with him. The Colts lead by Andrew Luck is going to have to keep up with the Eagles if they want a chance to win. Expect a fast game with a lot of points.

9. Week 2 Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
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9. Week 2 Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
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This is the first Thursday Night Football game of the year, and it features two teams that absolutely hate each other. Both teams are looking to win the division this year after they both missed the playoffs last year. This is going to be a very physical game that is probably going to take a toll on the players. A win here could go a long way to a division title.

8. Week 4 New Orleans Saint @ Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
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8. Week 4 New Orleans Saint @ Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
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This is a game that is going to feature a lot of offense between both teams. Drew Brees and the Saints are going to have a top five offense as usual, and the Cowboys don’t have the defense to stop him. This means that Tony Romo is going to have to put the team on his back if they are going to win. Expect a lot of points between the two teams on a prime time stage too.

7. Week 4 Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
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7. Week 4 Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
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This is a culture clash between the two head coaches. On one hand you have Chip Kelly, who plays at a high tempo and relies on quick strikes; Jim Harbaugh’s team plays at a slower pace and will grind other teams down. Both have proven to be effective in the league and it will be interesting to see what style prevails in Week 4.

6. Week 4 Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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6. Week 4 Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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Last year, Aaron Rodgers broke the hearts of Bears fans when he returned on the last week of the season to beat them and eliminate them from making the playoffs. The Bears are looking to respond this year and now that they have a healthy Jay Cutler, they can keep up with Rodgers and the rest of the offense. A division win here would put a lot of pressure on the other team to catch up to them during the rest of the season.

5. Week 3 Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
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5. Week 3 Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
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Desean Jackson returns to Philadelphia and he is looking for revenge against the team that released him. It is going to be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to Jackson during the game. Also, Chip Kelly is looking to prove that he made the right choice in letting him go. A win against the Redskins would go a long way in validating his decision.

4. Week 1 New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
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4. Week 1 New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
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The Falcons are looking to bounce back after a disappointing year that saw them fail to make the playoffs. This is a underrated rivalry in the NFL that usually produces close games. A win here could be the difference in tiebreakers down the road. Plus, fans are going to be treated to a great quarterback matchup between Matt Ryan and Drew Brees.

3. Week 3 Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks

Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks
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3. Week 3 Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks

Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks
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There is nothing like a Super Bowl Rematch to spark people’s attention early in the season. Peyton Manning and the Broncos are looking for revenge against the team that embarrassed them in the Super Bowl last year. Not to mention fans are going to see an elite offense against an elite defense. That is a great matchup to follow as the Seahawks try to prove they are still the class of the NFL.

2. Week 1 Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos

Andrew Luck, Indianpols Colts, Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
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2. Week 1 Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos

Andrew Luck, Indianpols Colts, Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
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Peyton Manning faces his old team in the opening Sunday Night game this year. Manning is looking to erase what happened last year when he played the Colts, while Andrew Luck is looking to show Colts fans that he should be mentioned in the same conversation as Manning. There is no better way to finish up the first Sunday than a prime time matchup between Luck and Manning.

1. Week 1 Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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1. Week 1 Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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The NFL schedule makers did a great job when they picked the opening game of the NFL season. The last time the Packers played in Seattle, the “Fail Mary” happened. A lot has changed since then, but Green Bay fans haven’t forgotten. This is going to be an interesting matchup between the Legion of Boom and Aaron Rodgers passing attack. The x-factor in the game is going to be Eddie Lacy; if he has a good game, the Packers have a good shot at a win.

Christopher Pimentel is a writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google.