Is it football season, yet?
No, not yet, unfortunately we still got another four months, but the NFL certainly knows how to tease their fan-base.
On Wednesday, the league released the 2014-2015 season schedules for all thirty-two teams, giving NFL fans everywhere something to speculate about for the next four months until the season finally kicks off in September.
This year’s schedule release date was pushed backed a week due to the later-than-usual date of the NFL Draft, which will begin Thursday, May 8th, in New York City.
Week one of the 2014 season will kick off with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks hosting Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The game will be played Thursday, September 4th, and will be broadcasted on NBC.
That following Sunday and Monday will be when the other thirty NFL teams kick off their seasons.
The first Sunday Night game of the 2014 season will be in Denver as Peyton Manning and the Broncos, still licking their wounds from the beating they took in the Super Bowl, host Manning’s former team, the Indianapolis Colts.
ESPN, fresh off the announcement that they’ll be broadcasting their first playoff game in 2015, will open up their 2014 Monday Night Football campaign with a doubleheader on September 5th.
The first game will be in Detroit, as the Lions host the New York Giants. Part two of the doubleheader will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which is also the site of the 2015 Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIX, as the Cardinals play host to the San Diego Chargers.
This season will be the first year of the partnership between the NFL Network and CBS Sports in regards to Thursday Night Football. Each network will simulcast Thursday night games beginning September 11th with Baltimore hosting archrival Pittsburgh.
The Thursday night action will simulcast on the two networks until week 8. After that, the NFL Network will solely broadcast the games until week 16, when a Saturday night doubleheader will air on CBS Sports and the NFL Network.
Speaking of Thursday football, the league’s annual Thanksgiving Day games have a twist to them this season. For the first, all three games on Turkey Day will feature NFC teams. The first game that day will be the annual game in Detroit as the Lions host the Bears, followed by Eagles-Cowboys in Dallas, and culminating with the much anticipated San Francisco-Seattle matchup from Seattle.
In another 2014 NFL schedule tidbit, there will be three international games this year, all of which will be played at London’s Wembley Stadium. The first will be a Week 4 matchup between Oakland and Miami. In Week 8, the Lions and Falcons will kick off the first ever nationally televised international game. Kick off for that game in the states will be at 9:30 AM Eastern time. The final London game will be a Week 10 matchup between the Jaguars and Cowboys.
There certainly is lots of football and a number of great matchups, but the only problem is, is that it’s still about four months away.
Be patient NFL fans.