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Sunday Night Football Schedule 2014: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 20: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos congratulates Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts after the Colts beat the Broncos 39-33 at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 23, 2014

The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks will get the 2014 NFL season kicked off when they host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Sept. 4. 

Yes, it is Sunday Night Football on a Thursday. It falls under NBC's umbrella of coverage. So, the excellent schedule for SNF features two games on Thursday. The season opener, and Thanksgiving night.

That will also feature a fantastic matchup, as the San Francisco 49ers will attempt to avenge their defeat in the NFC Championship to the Seattle Seahawks. 

As Fox Sports 1230 reports, the flex scheduling for Sunday Night Football will get a head start this season. Beginning in Week 5, the matchup in the below schedule may be changed to a more appealing one. 

Time will tell how many matchups this alters, but anything that increases the chances of getting the best matchup on prime time is a win for the fans. 

Have a look at the schedule: 

2014 Sunday Night Football Schedule
DateWeekAway TeamHome Team
Sept. 41Green Bay PackersSeattle Seahawks
Sept. 71Indianapolis ColtsDenver Broncos
Sept. 142Chicago BearsSan Francisco 49ers
Sept. 213Pittsburgh SteelersCarolina Panthers
Sept. 284New Orleans SaintsDallas Cowboys
*Oct. 55Cincinnati BengalsNew England Patriots
*Oct. 126New York GiantsPhiladelphia Eagles
*Oct. 197San Francisco 49ersDenver Broncos
*Oct. 268Green Bay PackersNew Orleans Saints
*Nov. 29Baltimore RavensPittsburgh Steelers
*Nov. 910Chicago BearsGreen Bay Packers
*Nov. 1611New England PatriotsIndianapolis Colts
*Nov. 2312Dallas CowboysNew York Giants
Nov. 2713Seattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ers
*Nov. 3013Denver BroncosKansas City Chiefs
*Dec. 714New England PatriotsSan Diego Chargers
*Dec. 1415Dallas CowboysPhiladelphia Eagles
*Dec. 2116Seattle SeahawksArizona Cardinals
Dec. 2817TBATBA
Source: NBC Sports; * denotes subject to flex scheduling

 

Highlights of the Sunday Night Football Schedule

With flex scheduling starting in Week 5, we are guaranteed a dynamic year of exciting games. As the schedule is now, there are plenty of great matchups. SNF highlights that the participants from last year's playoffs are well represented:  

That starts with the first week, as Seattle will begin its quest to defend its title in front of what should be an insanely energetic fanbase. The Packers, meanwhile, will be looking to make an early statement and erase some of the sting from the infamous setting that caused the Fail Mary. 

Stephen Brashear

The Seahawks will play in another exciting matchup in a game that won't be flexed. That is the Thanksgiving showdown with divisional rival San Francisco. 

This matchup has quickly become the NFL's best rivalry, and that rivalry should only be more intense after last year's nail-biting NFC Championship game between the two. Both sides exchanged healthy trash talk as a result, and there will be plenty of bad blood on the field. 

The game I'm most looking forward to on the SNF schedule comes in Week 1, however. 

 

Week 1 Spectacular: Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 20:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos is sacked during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos will host quarterback Peyton Manning's old team, as Andrew Luck rides into town with the Indianapolis Colts for the season's first Sunday Night Football contest on a Sunday. 

The exciting matchup will not only force Indianapolis fans to root against the quarterback they once worshiped, but it will be a chance for both AFC powers to make a statement.

It's the Broncos' chance to show they are ready to go one step further than last year's Super Bowl defeat to the Seahawks. For the Colts, it is a chance to continue the momentum gained last season before bowing out in the divisional round to the New England Patriots. 

Although we have a lot of time and football before this game, one thing is for certain: the Denver Broncos will be ready for the start of the season. This team will be incorporating new players, and dealing with the offseason departure of last season's second-leading receiver in Eric Decker, but Denver has an offense fully in place, and Manning will make sure the men around him are ready. 

The Broncos started fast last season by scoring over 40 points in each of their first two games, and I expect similar excellence at the start of next season. 

Manning went on to have a record-breaking season. The 38-year-old passed for 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards passing, but they still came up short. It is safe to expect the offense to be very similar, but Manning is open to some tweaking.

Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post passed along this quote from Manning on what the offense will look like: 

It's certainly possible. I know the coaches are excited to see some of our new players. I think it's wide open at this point as to what kind of offense we are going to have based on the personnel, because it's still up in the air at this point. 

The Colts did not enjoy as hot a start to the season. The Colts averaged 24.4 points per game last season, but didn't eclipse that mark until Week 3. 

Still, with Luck having another season of experience under his belt, the Colts offense will be a good early test for Denver's defense. 

The Broncos were strong against the rush last season but weak against the pass. They brought in pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware to boost the pass defense and will likely address that area in the draft. 

This will be a fun game on many levels. 

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