NFL Week 1 2014: Top Match-Ups To Watch

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | 0

After the Seahawks and Packers get the party started tomorrow night (September 4, 2014), the 2014 NFL regular season will kick off with a full slate of game on Sunday and Monday. Week 1 always presents an opportunity for each team to start over, but in the ever-changing NFL, those dreams can get crushed all too quickly.

With that said, there are some games on the Week 1 docket that matter more than others, and could set the tone for the upcoming season. Here are the Week 1 NFL match-ups to watch:


1.) Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks:

An obvious choice here, the season opener features defending Super Bowl champion Seattle squaring off with the Packers and their high-octane offense, who will benefit greatly from the return of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Seattle has without a doubt the best defense in the league, but they play a very physical style of pass coverage. We’ll have to wait and see how the NFL’s new rules on defensive holding affects the Seahawks brutal secondary (they were the only team not to be flagged in the preseason). If Rodgers can get his rhythm working with the help of running back Eddie Lacy, the chance for an upset is here. But with Seattle having the support of their 12th Man behind them, it’s going to be tough to pull off.

Prediction: Seattle wins 21-13


2.) New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons:

This game has all the makings for an early season shootout, as both teams are loaded on offense and play in domes. Atlanta should rebound rom their abysmal 2013 season, but they still haven’t shored up on defense. New Orleans has, and they should be able to get a lot of pressure on quarterback Matt Ryan. Still, he’ll connect with talented wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White despite most likely absorbing a few sacks, making this a close one down to the wire. With Drew Brees running an efficient machine packed with tons of skill, New Orleans is set for big things in 2014, yet this is a hard-fought rivalry.

Prediction: Atlanta wins 31-27


3.) San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys:

The 49ers will have a lot of question marks to answer when they head into Dallas for a Sunday afternoon contest. They looked horrific in the preseason, and lost key players Antoine Bethea, Aldon Smith, Glenn Dorsey and NaVorro Bowman for one reason or another. They’re going to sorely miss those players in the tough NFC West, but thankfully, quarterback Colin Kaepernick will start the season against what might just be the worst defense in the NFL in Dallas. He should have a field day with the ‘Boys’ weak defenders, and even though Dallas quarterback Tony Romo will throw for his yards against the depleted defense, San Francisco should be in the driver’s’ seat here.

Prediction: San Francisco wins 34-21

Tennessee Titans v Denver Broncos

4.) Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos:

This Sunday night contest will prove to be a pivotal one, as Peyton Manning’s old team will come into his new home of Denver. The Broncos still have a bad taste in their mouth from last year’s Super Bowl loss, and they loaded up on defensive players like DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib in the offseason. They’re going to be more than fired up to start the season, and even though they lost wide receiver Wes Welker for four games yesterday, they still have the best offense in the NFL. Indianapolis looks like a team of the future with maturing quarterback Andrew Luck, but he’ll have to do something special to beat the Broncos on opening day.

Prediction: Denver wins 35-28

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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