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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls an audible at the line of scrimmage against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Best Week 1 games, thoughts on the NFL schedule release

First Published Apr 23 2014 07:17 pm • Last Updated Apr 24 2014 04:43 pm

The 2014 NFL schedule was released officially Wednesday night with several juicy matchups on tap for Week 1 and beyond. Check out some initial observations for the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs here, as well as general thoughts on the season’s opening week:

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Best Week 1 games:

1. Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (Sunday Night Football)

Sunday night has been reserved for the best games the last few seasons and the Week 1 matchup won’t disappoint. After the student beat the master in one of the best games of the 2013 season, Peyton Manning will get another shot at his Indy heir in Denver. It’s odd to pass up a Super Bowl rematch between the Broncos and Seahawks, but this isn’t a bad consolation prize.

2. Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (Thursday Night Football)

The opener to the 2014 season should be an explosive one, pitting Aaron Rodgers against Russell Wilson in a rematch of the botched "Fail Mary" replacement referees game in 2012. The Seahawks’ defense gave Manning fits in the Super Bowl, making this even more intriguing to see how Rodgers counters.

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3. Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

A division matchup that never gets old after the two split last season’s series with alternating wins at home. The Bengals will look to rebound from a playoff exit to the Chargers and the Ravens will be out to prove they can start the season off strong to build toward a return to the playoffs.

Other intriguing games: Chargers at Cardinals (Monday Night Football), Patriots at Dolphins

Best Denver Broncos games:

1. Broncos at New England Patriots (Nov. 2)

Manning vs. Brady never gets old, and the schedule will give us another chance at watching two quarterback legends duke it out. Brady owns the all-time series with a 10-5 record, but Manning has the last laugh with a 26-16 win in the 2013 AFC Championship.

2. Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (Sept. 21)

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