The 2014 NFL schedule was released on Wednesday night, finally giving fans a road map for how the upcoming campaign will play out.
If you haven’t seen the entire listing of games for every team, Bleacher Report has you covered. Click here for the key dates and a team-by-team list of schedules for the new season.
Keep reading for a closer look at the complete national television lineup, plus a couple of must-watch contests you aren’t going to want to miss.
|Week||Thursday (CBS/NFLN)||Sunday (NBC)||Monday (ESPN)|
|Week 1||Green Bay at Seattle||Indianapolis at Denver||N.Y. Giants at Detroit / San Diego at Arizona|
|Week 2||Pittsburgh at Baltimore||Chicago at San Francisco||Philadelphia at Indianapolis|
|Week 3||Tampa Bay at Atlanta||Pittsburgh at Carolina||Chicago at N.Y.Jets|
|Week 4||N.Y. Giants at Washington||New Orleans at Dallas||New England at Kansas City|
|Week 5||Minnesota at Green Bay||Cincinnati at New England||Seattle at Washington|
|Week 6||Indianapolis at Houston||N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia||San Francisco at St. Louis|
|Week 7||N.Y. Jets at New England||San Francisco at Denver||Houston at Pittsburgh|
|Week 8||San Diego at Denver||Green Bay at New Orleans||Washington at Dallas|
|Week 9||New Orleans at Carolina||Baltimore at Pittsburgh||Indianapolis at N.Y.Giants|
|Week 10||Cleveland at Cincinnati||Chicago at Green Bay||Carolina at Philadelphia|
|Week 11||Buffalo at Miami||New England at Indianapolis||Pittsburgh at Tennessee|
|Week 12||Kansas City at Oakland||Dallas at N.Y.Giants||Baltimore at New Orleans|
|Week 13||Seattle at San Francisco||Denver at Kansas City||Miami at N.Y. Jets|
|Week 14||Dallas at Chicago||New England at San Diego||Atlanta at Green Bay|
|Week 15||Arizona at St. Louis||Dallas at Philadelphia||New Orleans at Chicago|
|Week 16||Tennessee at Jacksonville||Seattle at Arizona||Denver at Cincinnati|
|Week 17||No game||TBD (flex scheduling)||No game|
Week 1: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football
The season opener promises to be one of the best football games you will see in 2014, as the healthy Packers look to pull off an improbable upset on the road against the defending champion Seahawks.
Green Bay was plagued by injury for much of the 2013 campaign but still managed to sneak into the playoffs as victors of the NFC North. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers back to full strength and an uncharacteristic offseason of spending under their belt, the Pack are looking to build on that and appear poised to compete with Seattle for control of the conference this year.
Don’t expect the Seahawks to rest on their laurels, however, as these defending champs should be hungry to prove themselves, especially against this opponent, in front of a raucous home crowd. Seattle has a chance to silence the doubters who believe the team had no business winning its last meeting with the Packers.
Remember, these two NFC titans clashed back in 2012 in an infamous Monday Night Football matchup that came right down to the wire. Wide receiver Golden Tate, now with the Detroit Lions, hauled in a controversial touchdown pass from Russell Wilson that would give his side a last-second victory and ignite a media frenzy.
ESPN Stats & Info pointed out that the Seahawks had a 3.4 percent chance of winning the game on that play:
The Packers-Seahawks open the 2014 NFL season. In the infamous "Fail Mary," the Seahawks' win probability was only 3.4% on the final play.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 24, 2014
How will this game pan out?
Seattle’s odds of winning this one are much higher, as the squad is an unparalleled force at home. It has won a combined 17 games at CenturyLink Field over the past two years, dropping just one contest in that span. The league has been leery to schedule prime-time games in the Pacific Northwest, as they oft result in blowouts.
According to Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk, the team’s track record of convincing home wins led the NFL to avoid scheduling any other nationally televised games in Seattle besides the opener.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Packers can avoid being blown out to start the season off. The team seems too talented to let that happen, but stranger things have happened in the state of Washington.
Week 7: San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football
This appears to be the best battle the NFL has scheduled, at least on paper. The hard-nosed, defensively proud Niners will travel to the thin air of the Mile High City to try to steal a win from a hungry Peyton Manning and his high-powered Broncos offense.
Which team will have the better season?
These are two of the most exciting, effective teams in the entire league, and it should be nothing short of epic to watch them collide in a nationally televised showdown. Both teams should be looking to separate from the pack come Week 7 and, barring any major injuries, should just be hitting their stride by playing some of the best football of the year.
Denver’s head coach, John Fox, said he’s excited for the upcoming campaign but was reluctant to speak about individual matchups. He released a statement regarding the schedule release, as per Mike Klis of The Denver Post:
I think that is always exciting to see how you open, where do you open and who you open with. That's what all this offseason stuff is going to be geared toward. I think we have a home-heavy schedule the first half of the season and a road-heavy schedule late in the year. It's hard to say as far as opponents and schedules and all that kind of stuff, because you never know year to year. They're all tough.
Fox’s team will open against the Indianapolis Colts, Manning’s former employer, but should have the game against San Francisco circled on the calendar.
The Niners certainly will, as they need every win they can get to compete in what looks to be the toughest division in all of football. Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner tweeted about the difficulty of playing in the division:
NFC West has come a long ways since I was in AZ... And man their schedules are going to show how good they are! Best div = toughest sched's— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) April 24, 2014
Expect a bloodbath when these two powerhouse programs meet on the gridiron. It’s going to make for a great midseason test, and the outcome will definitely shake up the top of the power rankings.