A Week 1 slate I'd like to see
The NFL will release the 2014 schedule soon, but here are Dave Richard's picks for a fun Week 1.
The NFL schedule release is about as enthralling as watching a three-month old kid wiggle in a crib. Actually, the kid is more interesting. True, the schedule release is necessary and chances are there will be some tough stretches for several squads (things like three straight weeks on the road, cross-country trips, etc.), but it's really not that big of a deal. I've been sitting here all offseason with a list of who's playing who. There are no surprise opponents being announced. The whole process is just taking the opponents every team's been assigned for months and putting them into a grid.
So in an effort to have a little fun, I put together what I think would be an interesting Week 1 slate. The storylines, the rivalries, all the cool stuff that get people fired up for the first week of the season when most everyone is healthy and optimism is high.
Thursday Night Kickoff: Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (pretty obvious pick as it's a rematch of the Super Bowl).
Sunday 1 p.m. games: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (can't go wrong with an AFC East tilt), Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (can't go wrong with an AFC South tilt probably a couple of rookie quarterbacks facing off), Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints (lots of points?), Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions ( Reggie Bush bowl), Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (Cam's nightmare season gets off to a nightmarish start), Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles (pretty sure Ken Whisenhunt has a good recent track record at Philly), Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns (gives both teams a shot at 1-0), Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams (see Buccaneers at Browns).
Sunday late games: Chicago Bears at New England Patriots (Trestman vs. Belichick), Washington Redskins at New York Giants (Will new-team DeSean be any less of a pain in the butt for his old rival?), Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (playoff implications?), Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (because they have to play each other sometime).
Sunday night football: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (because the NFL has to make it up to Baltimore for not figuring out a proper home opener last year, and the Orioles are out of town).
Monday night football: Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys (cool out-of-conference duel), San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers (to kick off Levi's Stadium)
How likely are any of these games? Well, they'll all happen in 2014. How many will happen in Week 1? Your guess is as good as mine.
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