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NFL announces 2014 schedule

<p>New York, NY (Sports Network) - The National Football League released its 2014 regular-season schedule on Wednesday.</p>

New York, NY (Sports Network) - The National Football League released its 2014 regular-season schedule on Wednesday.

It will open with the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Sept. 4 at what's sure to be a raucous CenturyLink Field celebrating the franchise's first title.

Kickoff weekend features 13 games on Sept. 7, with the first Sunday primetime matchup pitting Peyton Manning against a familiar foe as he leads the reigning AFC-champion Denver Broncos opposite the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Manning, of course, was the Colts' starting quarterback for 13 years before neck surgery and the arrival of Andrew Luck ended his memorable tenure in Indy in 2012.

The Thanksgiving games pit three division rivals against each other for the first time. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions get things started with an NFC North clash, the reigning NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles visit the Dallas Cowboys and the Seahawks collide with the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of last year's NFC title game at new Levi's Stadium.

The participants in last season's AFC championship game -- the Broncos and Patriots -- square off in a Week 9 showdown in Foxborough.

London will get three contests this season with Miami-Oakland on Sept. 28, Detroit-Atlanta on Oct. 26 and Dallas-Jacksonville on Nov. 9.

Byes for teams go from Week 3 through Week 12.

The league made a change in its flex scheduling, where times of games can be changed for Sunday night matchups, moving it up from Week 11 all the way to Week 5.

Once again, every Week 17 contest will pit divisional opponents against one another, with all games to be held on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Wild Card weekend is set for January 3-4, with the divisional round the following weekend. The AFC and NFC championship games will be played Sunday, Jan. 18.

Super Bowl XLIX is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium.

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