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Broncos-Seahawks could start 2014 NFL regular season

The saddest part of the post-Super Bowl hangover is the moment you realize we have to wait seven months for another real NFL game.

Before the Seattle Seahawks kick off the 2014 season, we must wade through the NFL draft, free agency, minicamps, organized team activities and months of Sunday boredom.


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Super Bowl coverage:
» 'Hawks stomp Broncos in SBXLVIII | Smith is MVP
» Manning falls flat on big stage | No-so Super night
» Manning running out of time | 'Not embarrassing'
» 'Hawks' dominant D new normal | Why effective?
» 'Best defense since '85 Bears'? | D sets tone
» 'Hawks savor the moment | Carroll's a.m. rounds
» Harvin saves his best for last | Intimidation factor?
» Broncos center takes responsibility for safety
» Lynch dances with himself in locker room | Watch
» Namath's coin flip gets picked by ref | Name it

Video:
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» Game highlights | Trophy presentation | Remix
» Highlights: Seahawks D | Harvin | Wilson | Sherman
» Safety first | Pick six | Harvin's return | Kearse TD

Photos:
» Super Bowl XLVIII | Halftime | Celebrities

NFLShop.com:
» Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII champs gear

In order to stem the tide of depression and malaise setting in, let's take a moment to consider whom the Seahawks might host in the 2014 NFL season opener. (Official dates and times to be announced in April.)

Here are our options:

Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

There really is no wrong answer. OK, there is one wrong answer -- sorry, Oakland.

The Cardinals are the last team to win in Seattle. The Rams represent what could be the up-and-coming team in the NFL's toughest division. The Giants and Cowboys provide big names and big markets.

The three most enticing matchups, however, are the Packers, Broncos and 49ers.

A San Francisco opener almost would be too easy. Talk about a slobberknocker to begin the season. The 49ers -- perhaps a few plays away from holding the Lombardi Trophy for the past two seasons -- have all summer to stew over their rival's parade. I'm not so sure the NFL needs to (or would want to) use the first game of the season to reignite the rivalry.

How glorious for the world would it be to open the season with a Fail Mary rematch? As you'll recall, the last time the Packers visited Seattle, one of the most controversial endings ensued (thanks in part to replacement referees). Many in Green Bay still haven't gotten over being "robbed" of the win in 2012. The potential bad blood will add a different element to the home opener. Then there is a healthy Aaron Rodgers against the NFL's most dominating defense. This gets my vote.

Finally, a rematch of Sunday's Super Bowl is a very real possibility. As we saw last year, the NFL loves to start the season by running back a juicy matchup from the previous year. Peyton Manning will fume all offseason following the Super Bowl pummeling. The NFL could give him a chance at revenge right off the bat. A rematch between the 2013 No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense would be a thrilling way to kick off the season.

If that did happen, it would be the first Super Bowl rematch in Week 1 since 1970, when the Kansas City Chiefs played the Minnesota Vikings after meeting in Super Bowl IV, per NFL Media research.

Who else is excited for 2014 already?

The "Around The League Podcast" recapped Super Bowl XLVIII live from MetLife Stadium right after the game.

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