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NFL releases 2014 season schedule; Seahawks begin season vs. Packers at home

2014 NFL schedule: League releases regular-season schedule for seasonRussell Wilson (3) and the Seahawks will kick off their title defense against the Packers in Seattle. (John Biever/SI)

The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks will begin their title defense at home against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Sept. 4, the NFL announced Wednesday as it released the full schedule for its 95th season.

The last time these two teams played in the regular season was Sept. 24, 2012, when the Seahawks beat the Packers 14-12 on the controversial "Fail Mary" touchdown at the end of the game.

The Seahawks also have a Super Bowl XLVIII rematch with the Denver Broncos in Week 3 in Seattle.

MORE: Sunday night schedule | Monday night schedule | Thursday night schedule

Other games on the opening weekend include the Indianapolis Colts visiting the Broncos on Sunday night Sept. 7, and the Monday night doubleheader featuring the Detroit Lions at the New York Giants and the San Diego Chargers traveling to Arizona to face the Cardinals.

The almost-annual Tom Brady-Peyton Manning matchup will take place Week 9 in New England.

This season, the schedule can be flexed as early as Week 5. Before, "flex scheduling" did not start until Week 11, with the announcement of the change coming no more than 12 days prior to the Sunday night contest.

The San Francisco 49ers will open their new venue, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. Levi’s Stadium will also be the site of Super Bowl L in 2016.

The three London games on the slate feature the Miami Dolphins against the Oakland Raiders at 1 p.m. ET in Week 4, the Lions taking on the Atlanta Falcons at 9:30 a.m. ET in Week 8 and the Cowboys playing the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. ET in Week 10.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | Top QBs | Top WRs | SI64: Our definitive Big Board

Thanksgiving's tripleheader will pit the Lions against the Bears at 12:30 p.m. ET, the Cowboys versus the Philadelphia Eagles at 4:30, and a late game NFC Championship rematch between the Seahawks and the 49ers at 8:30 p.m. ET.

According to the combined 2013 record of their opponents, the Colts have the league’s easiest schedule. Their 16 foes went 110-146 (.430) last season. The Raiders have the toughest schedule, with their opponents winning 58 percent of their games in 2013.

The playoffs are scheduled to start on Sat. Jan. 3, 2015 and Super Bowl XLIX will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 1, 2015.
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