NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike McCarthy promises there won't be any bad
memories plaguing his Green Bay Packers when they open the NFL season on
Sept. 4 at Super Bowl champion Seattle.
The last time Green Bay visited CenturyLink Field was in Week 3 of
the 2012 season, a 14-12 Seahawks victory clinched on what now is often
dubbed the "Fail Mary." Russell Wilson's desperation pass on the final
play was called a touchdown reception for Golden Tate by the replacement
A few days later, the lockout of the regular officials ended.
"This game won't be about the past," he said. "It will be about the 2014 Green Bay Packers.
It's the third straight season the Packers have traveled to face the defending Super Bowl champions.
"It's a tremendous opportunity for our football team," Packers coach
Mike McCarthy said. "We have experience playing in the kickoff opener
three years ago, and we will draw on that. Obviously, being the visiting
team this time presents new challenges. It will help sharpen our focus
even more during training camp and the preseason."
That Thursday game is the first of four prime-time games on opening
weekend. Also at night will be a Sunday matchup of AFC champion Denver
and Peyton Manning hosting his former team, Indianapolis; and a Monday
night doubleheader with the New York Giants at Detroit, followed by San
Diego at Arizona.
The NFL will play three games in London: Dolphins-Raiders on Sept.
28; Lions-Falcons on Oct. 26; and Cowboys-Jaguars on Nov. 9. The
Detroit-Atlanta game will kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET in an experiment to
test the NFL's audience draw on a Sunday morning.
A Saturday doubleheader in Week 16 has San Diego at San Francisco and Philadelphia at Washington.
For the first time, games in Weeks 5 through 10 can be flexed from
Sunday afternoon to night, with a limit of two. Beginning with Week 11, a
Sunday game can be moved to prime time each week. Also, a select number
of Sunday afternoon games are being "cross-flexed," moving between CBS
and Fox to potentially draw more viewers.
The Thanksgiving tripleheader features three strong division
rivalries: Chicago at Detroit, Philadelphia at Dallas, and Seattle at
San Francisco, a rematch of the memorable NFC title game last January.
That game will be played in 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara,
Calif., which opens in Week 2 when they host Chicago in a Sunday night
Looking for the latest installment of Manning vs. Tom Brady? The Patriots host it on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 2.
And for those looking for the rematch of the Super Bowl, Seattle's
43-8 rout of Denver, it's on Sept. 21 at Seattle. Denver opens the
season against three 2013 playoff teams: Indianapolis and Kansas City at
home, then at the Seahawks.
"I think when you look at it, we have to start fast," Broncos general
manager John Elway said. "We knew it was going to be a tough schedule
playing the NFC West, and when we finish first in our division like we
have the past three years, it is always going to be a tough schedule
with a lot of good football teams on it."
Bye weeks begin in Week 4 when Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland,
Denver, Seattle and St. Louis are off. They end in Week 12 when Carolina
and Pittsburgh are idle.
The season ends Dec. 28 with all divisional games.