Last updated: September 04. 2014 1:01PM - 114 Views

Scott DrydenContributing Sports Columnist
Scott DrydenContributing Sports Columnist
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The 2014 season kicks off with some major match-ups. It all starts with a primetime battle between the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers.

Thursday- Green Bay at Seattle: No matter the team, playing in Seattle is a daunting task. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack are a worthy opponent but on a day when the Seahawks raise their championship flag, the challenge will be too much. SEA 27 GB 24

New Orleans at Atlanta: Two of the NFC South’s better teams square off in the Georgia Dome. Rob Ryan will bring a fierce blitz but Atlanta is healthy and provides several match-up problems. In a thrilling high scoring affair, Matt Ryan outduels Drew Brees. ATL 34 NO 31

Minnesota at St. Louis: It should be a great defensive battle. The Vikings have a lot of new parts and will struggle early to adapt. The Rams will control the clock and dominate defensively. STL 20 MIN 13

Cleveland at Pittsburgh: Brian Hoyer’s return from an ACL injury will be a difficult test on the road against their fiercest rival minus Josh Gordon. Big Ben will face a tough Cleveland defense but do enough to get the victory. PIT 23 CLE 13

Jacksonville at Philadelphia: Gus Bradley is bringing enthusiasm to the Jaguar franchise but starting Chad Henne is a setback. When Blake Bortles finally gets the call, the Jags fortunes will change for the better. There is no chance they can keep up with the high flying Eagles. Nick Foles has a huge day. PHI 37 JAX 17

Oakland at New York Jets: The Raiders will attempt to pound the ball to offset the pass rush of the Jets. Geno Smith will make enough plays as the Jet defense dominates. NYJ 24 OAK 13

Cincinnati at Baltimore: A key divisional battle between two teams primed to win the division. Andy Dalton will make some plays but Joe Flacco and the Baltimore defense ride the home crowd to a pivotal divisional victory. BALT 23 CIN 20

Buffalo at Chicago: The Bills could be without rookie receiver Sammy Watkins. The road was already steep and it will be even tougher without the game-breaking rookie. Chicago will unleash their proficient offense as Jay Cutler has a huge day. CHI 31 BUF 17

Washington at Houston: Two rookie head coaches open the season with plenty of question marks. For the Redskins, the key will be RG3. He will be under immense pressure against a very tough Houston defense. Can Fitzpatrick put up enough points? Washington ekes out a big road victory. WASH 20 HOU 17

Tennessee at Kansas City: Jake Locker and the Titan offense will have plenty of challenges in front of the Arrowhead faithful. Alex Smith, fresh off signing a new contract, will have a big day along with Jamaal Charles. KC 27 TEN 9

New England at Miami: The Pats will attack the Miami o-line and Ryan Tannehill. Historically, the Dolphins always give New England troubles. Miami will keep it close but Brady pulls it out in the end. NE 31 MIA 27

Carolina at Tampa Bay - The Panthers defense should stifle a Buccaneer offense that lacks playmakers. The new look Tampa Bay defense will put the pressure on Cam Newton throughou,t but the offense will struggle. In a tight defensive battle, Carolina gets the victory. CAR 17 TB 13

San Francisco at Dallas: The Niners have struggled during the preseason. The return of Alex Boone should galvanize the offensive line. However, the defense has plenty of holes. Look for Tony Romo to have a huge game leading the Cowboys to an opening day victory. DAL 34 SF 24

SNF- Indianapolis at Denver: Manning faces his old team in a rematch from last year, which was a classic. Andrew Luck will be under heat but no doubt will make some big plays. Manning and his plethora of weapons will be too much for the Indy defense. In an outstanding game, Denver gets the home victory. DEN 38 INDY 30

MNF- New York Giants at Detroit : The Giants will have a new look offense and hopes of a better defensive performance. Detroit should be a far more disciplined squad and simply have too many weapons for the G-Men. Matthew Stafford has a monster game in front of the home faithful. DET 41 NYG 24

MNF- San Diego at Arizona: For the Chargers to get the road victory, Phillip Rivers will have to make big plays and not turn the ball over. He will play well but the Cardinal defense is very good. Carson Palmer plays well in the big home victory. ARI 24 SD 20

Follow on Twitter - @nfltalentstaff , Instagram @acdryden , Youtube Scott Dryden and for more coverage visit www.nfltalent.com

(To read the Dryden’s Den 2014 NFC Preview, go to www.peoplesdefender.com)

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