The NFL Schedule came out last night. The biggest thing that made me take notice was that the NFL brought back late-season December Saturday games.
So here’s what I love about the NFL schedule, in 2014:
Week 1: Green Bay at Seattle (Thursday Night Football Opener)
The rematch of the ‘Fail Mary’ game, we get the tradition continued of the World Champions hosting on Opening Night and it’s Russell Wilson against Aaron Rodgers. This will be one of the first openers in a LONG time that I’m stoked for.
Week 1: Indianapolis at Denver (Sunday Night Football Opener)
It’s Andrew Luck at Denver to do battle with Peyton Manning. The round one of this was epic. It doesn’t get much better.
Week 2: Philadelphia at Indianapolis (Monday Night Football)
There’s a build during the NFL season. It’s perfect and it’s slow. In September it’s still kind of hot and there aren’t any holidays going on – but Nick Foles facing off with Andrew Luck in primetime could mean serious points and yardage. It will be a fun and gun type of game with lots of scoring, which I like.
Week 3: Denver at Seattle (4:25)
The re-match of the “Weed Bowl” and it isn’t even at night. This is about perfect. I love Russell Wilson, and this could be Peyton Manning’s last season. If it’s not, the Sunday’s that we will get to see Peyton are at a limited premium. You can bet I’ll soak this in.
Week 3: Pittsburgh at Carolina (Sunday Night Football)
Cam Newton goes against his first sledgehammer defense of the season for the first time. Must-see tv. The Panthers will probably score under 10.
Week 5: Seattle at Washington (Monday Night Football)
Russell Wilson returns to the original scene of the crime – the site of his first postseason win at FedEx field and the spot where RGIII injured his knee on that January day.
Week 6: NY Giants at Philadelphia (Sunday Night Football)
My wife’s team and one of my teams for 2014 – which happens to be her hated rivals – square off for the first time in 2014 about a month before our baby is born. Perhaps we bet some kind of wager that deals with who does the poopy diapers the first few weeks or something.
Week 8: Seattle at Carolina (1:00)
The first two encounters between these two teams in Carolina has been very, very similar. Call me crazy but I think Cam Newton and the Panthers might find a way to pull off the upset over the world champs in Charlotte this time around. Perhaps my two favorite quarterbacks in the NFL today square off a few days before Halloween.
Week 8: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh (4:25)
In the later time-slot, we get Big Ben and what is sure to be that usual physical Steelers team against Andrew Luck in Pittsburgh for the first time. The grass will just be starting to turn that gray color and the weather is sure to be feeling seasonal. This *could* be my last Sunday without a kid! Weird to think about.
Week 9: New Orleans at Carolina (Halloween Thursday Night)
When these two teams hook up it’s always a war. I think the Saints will probably be superior to the Panthers in 2014, but I expect a tight battle for a .500ish Panthers team that they probably lose in the end. Halloween evening in Charlotte should have the crowd rocking. It’s also a rare marquee match-up on a Thursday night.
Week 9: Indianapolis at New York Giants (Monday Night Football)
Andrew Luck squaring off against the guy who was the prototype #1 overall franchise QB about a decade before him. Eli is getting up there in years.
Week 10: NY Giants at Seattle (4:25)
Why do I feel like this could be the day my kid is born?
Week 10: Carolina at Philadelphia (Monday Night Football)
Foles vs. Cam, nuff said.
Week 11: Philadelphia at Green Bay (1:00)
Week 11: New England at Indianapolis (Sunday Night Football)
Week 12: Dallas at NY Giants (Sunday Night Football)
Week 13 – THANKSGIVING: Philadelphia at Dallas (4:30), Seattle at San Francisco (8:30)
Week 14: Indianapolis at Cleveland (1:00)
Week 14: Seattle at Philadelphia (4:25)
Week 15: San Francisco at Seattle (4:25)
Week 15: Dallas at Philadephia (Sunday Night Football)
Week 16: Philadelphia at Washington (NFL Returns to Saturday)
All those NFL late season December Saturdays as a kid. Finally the memories can be once again. Two classic franchises doing battle just a few days before Christmas. I’ll sit around with the kid with the tree lit and soak in a full day of football while my wife shops or bakes.
Week 16: Cleveland at Carolina (1:00)
Cam Newton in Cleveland for the first time. I might have to go see this one.
Week 16: Indianapolis at Dallas (4:25)
Week 16: Seattle at Arizona (Sunday Night Football)
Week 17: Philadelphia at NY Giants (1:00, until it’s flexed to PRIMETIME)