18. Lions at Falcons (Oct. 26, FOX): That’s right, FOX. We’re including this one because it takes place in its own time slot nationally at 9:30 a.m. ET from London. If you’re on the east coast, you’ll be able to combine football with breakfast for the first time ever. Plus, there’ll be some fun with Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones and Roddy White on the field for a solid NFC matchup.

17. Saints at Cowboys (Sept. 28, NBC): Both teams are completely loaded with offensive weapons, with a lot of potential for a shootout. Last year when they met, the Saints set a record for most first downs in a game. In Dallas, this could be one of the highest-scoring games of the 2014 season. Plus, the Cowboys will still be contenders in September, anyway.

16. Giants at Redskins (Sept. 25, CBS/NFLN): Key early-season divisional matchup between two teams looking to redeem themselves after tough 2013 campaigns. Both Eli Manning and Griffin will be adjusting to new offenses and trying to stay alive.

15. Eagles at Colts (Sept. 15, ESPN): Cross-conference games just don’t carry as much weight, but this should be an offensively-charged affair between two of the game’s best young quarterbacks. Luck is the stud, but Nick Foles outplayed him last year.

14. Falcons at Packers (Dec. 8, ESPN): Don’t be shocked if the Falcons are actually playing for something late in what should be a bounce-back season. They should stick with Green Bay on the road, and this will be a big MNF game for a lot of fantasy owners.

13. Bears at 49ers (Sept. 14, NBC): Chicago is always a tough opponent early, before injuries usually ravage the roster, and the Niners are always a draw. As San Francisco opens its brand-new stadium, we’ll have a good tilt between two playoff-caliber teams.

12. Broncos at Bengals (Dec. 22, ESPN): Two reigning division champions that should be jockeying for AFC playoff positioning in a big Week 16 matchups. Plus, expect a ton of offense.

11. Seahawks at Redskins (Oct. 6, ESPN): Russell Wilson vs. Robert Griffin III. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl, but the ‘Skins are far better than their 2013 record (3-13) would indicate. I guarantee you this will be a close game.

10. Chargers at 49ers (Dec. 20, CBS or NFLN): Fun west coast battle between two teams likely to be bound for the playoffs but also likely to be fighting for seeding.

9. Eagles at Redskins (Dec. 20, CBS or NFLN): CBS and NFL Network are giving us a pretty cool Week 16 Saturday with this game and San Diego-San Francisco. This game could easily decide the NFC East. You can’t go wrong, even if one of the two teams have faded. You know this’ll be a battle.

8.¬†Colts at Patriots (Nov. 16, NBC): A great matchup even in the post-Manning era, simply because Luck has picked up where Peyton left off. Bill Belichick has Luck’s number at this point, but this could be a big season for the third-year quarterback. And looking more broadly, this is a matchup that could have major implications.

7. Bears at Packers (Nov. 9, NBC): Two playoff-caliber NFC squads renew one of the best and longest-standing rivalries in sports. This is always good TV, especially with guys like Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler throwing the passes.

6. Saints at Bears (Dec. 15, ESPN): There’s something about this game that intrigues us. Both teams should be very desperate in an NFC game that is bound to have playoff implications. And both offenses are just super-fun. Did the Saints get the cold-weather monkey off their back after winning in the playoffs on the road at Philadelphia? Or will a Monday night in December in Chicago prove their undoing.

5. Colts at Broncos (Sept. 7, NBC): Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning. Manning vs. his old team. Plus, you’re probably looking at two AFC division winners. Expect fireworks as Luck kicks off what is supposed to be a big breakout season.

4. Packers at Saints (Oct. 26, NBC): Aaron Rodgers vs. Drew Brees is all you need. Lots of offense between two Super Bowl contenders in the Superdome? That’s football perfection.

3. 49ers at Broncos (Oct. 19, NBC): This was very nearly our matchup for last year’s Super Bowl, and it would surprise exactly nobody if it were to become our matchup for this year’s championship game. It’s the ultimate battle of offense vs. defense, and two very popular teams that really draw.

2. Packers at Seahawks (Sept. 4, NBC): The opener always has a special feel, and this is a battle between two NFC juggernauts. Would it surprise anyone if these teams met in the NFC championship game? Plus, it’ll be a Fail Mary reunion.


1. Seahawks at 49ers (Nov. 27, NBC): Suddenly, Thanksgiving Thursday night is becoming an appointment time slot for the NFL. This has become the best rivalry in the league, and it could be another preview of the NFC championship game. Offense sells better than defense, but everyone will be watching this game. And in San Francisco, it’ll likely go down to the wire. You may remember what happened after their last meeting.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at CBSSports.com, Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.

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