The 2014 schedule came out last Wednesday for the NFL. I immediately drank it up like many others. I’m an NFL junkie so I dive into every facet of the game in the “off season”. I love looking at the matchups that are compelling and will have “Fantasy Football” ramifications. Let’s go!
Week 1: Kicks off with the Thursday night game. The Packers re-visit Seattle in a re-match of the “hail Mary” game with the replacement refs from a couple years back. That aside, two high level teams going at in. Should be a good one.
Saints at Falcons: This game should have been on Sunday or Monday night. Even though Atlanta had a down year, they should be a playoff contender. Drew Brees is still a top 3 QB and that makes him fun to watch. Should be a shoot-out.
Panthers at Buccaneers: Panther’s head coach Ron Rivera takes his team into Tamp Bay and goes up against the former Bears coach, Love Smith. If you don’t think this is a grudge match, Rivera Blitzed QB Jay Cutler when Lovie was still there in a pre-season game. This looks to be a good rivalry in the NFC south for years to come.
49ers at Cowboys: Both teams are talented right now. I’d give the edge to San Francisco, which makes it a good “underdog” game, unless you don’t like Dallas. Either way, should be a good one.
Colts at Broncos: Luck vs Manning part 2. Should be a fun game for both football fans and “Fantasy Football” fans alike. Great way to cap off the first Sunday of NFL action.
Week 2: Steelers at Ravens. This game is always a classic rivalry. Throw out the stats and the records. Won’t be great for Fantasy Football, but if you like hitting and defense, this game should have plenty. No love lost between these two AFC North stalwarts.
Bears at 49ers: This made my list as one of the signature games for the Bears season. Ex-bear Jim Harbaugh is a hard nosed football man. His team plays the same way. Hopefully the Bears play better than they historically do on MNF in the Bay area. It will be a new stadium so maybe that breaks the streak.
Eagles at Colts: I’d like this a lot more if DeSean Jackson was still on the team. Still, 2nd year Coach Chip Kelly seems to have a solid grip on high scoring offenses. Andrew Luck is in his 3rd season. His new WR Hakeem Nicks has a lot to prove and should be healthy. Could be a high scoring affair.
Week 3: Broncos at Seahawks. Not sure why they chose not to put this one in prime time. Will definitely have to go out Chiefs at Dolphins is my local game. Peyton will be wanting some revenge but he will have to do it in a hostile crowd this time. Epic match up.
Week 4: Packers at Bears. Always a good contest. The Packers have had the Bears number since Brett Favre left town. 2nd year head coach, Marc Trestman will have something to say about that. He has brought a legitimate NFL offense to the Windy City. The Bears will want to wash the bad taste out of their mouth, losing to Green Bay in week 17 and a playoff bid.
Eagles at 49ers: Chip Kelly’s high octane offense vs Jim Harbaugh’s tough as nails defense. This has all the elements of a classic showdown. Like T.O. used to say, “Get your popcorn ready”.
Saints at Cowboys: Drew Brees vs Tony Romo. 2nd year defensive coordinator against his former team. Dez Bryant, Jimmy Graham. Sign me up!
Patriots at Chiefs: Andy Reid has done a solid job restoring the Kansas City Chiefs to being a respectable football club. Hopefully they get Alex Smith a nice WR or two in the NFL Draft on May 8th. Patriots are always a tough match up under Bill Belichick. Arrowhead stadium is one of the tougher venues to get a win for NFL road teams. A nice cap to a solid week of football.
Next up: Weeks 5-8.