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2014 NFL schedule: Revenge games

"It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it," wrote Friedrich Nietzsche.

Revenge isn't among our higher qualities, but the desire to get even is a key ingredient to the NFL season.

With the league's official schedule now in hand, there's no more guessing about the dates, times and locations of this season's meatiest, hate-fueled affairs.

Without further ado, let's dig into the top revenge games of 2014:

Peyton Manning vs. Seahawks


How many times has Manning tumbled into deep, darkened thoughts over the embarrassing events of February's Super Bowl? In preventing Peyton from winning a second title, the Seahawks did more than simply outwit the Broncos quarterback. Richard Sherman and friends reduced Denver's record-setting offense to a neutered, broken beast. Manning admits he hasn't even watched the game film -- can you blame him? The chance for revenge comes in Week 3.

Darrelle Revis vs. Jets


Revis teaming up with Bill Belichick? It hardly seems fair. Especially if you're Rex Ryan, now forced to pit his Jets -- in Weeks 6 and 16 -- against the finest defender in franchise history. Garbed in red, white and blue, Revis will be anxious to show Gang Green that he's more than worth the $12 million pricetag. He faced the Jets as a member of the Bucs last season, but that feels so long ago -- so meaningless -- compared to this.

Steve Smith vs. Panthers


Talk about a bad breakup. After serving for 13 seasons as Carolina's primary receiving threat, Smith was sent packing in a highly unpopular cost-cutting move. Snatched up by the Ravens, the 34-year-old wideout has a chance for revenge when the Panthers come to town in Week 4. Smith's lost a step, but he's still a good bet to make noise against Carolina's depleted secondary.

T-Rich and Chud return to Cleveland


Last year at this time, Rob Chudzinski was being touted as Cleveland's bright, young coach of the future, while Trent Richardson was bandied about as a 300-plus-carry bell cow set to give the Browns an identity on the ground. So much has changed, with both men now encamped in Indy. Traded for in September, Richardson is under plenty of pressure to bounce back after last season's disaster. As for Chud, we've heard nothing from the offensive-minded aide since he was fired in stunning fashion by the Browns. Come Week 14, he'll let Andrew Luck do the talking.

DeSean Jackson vs. Eagles


Released to the street in March, Jackson will face Chip Kelly and his former Eagles teammates twice in the regular season -- in Weeks 3 and 16 -- as part of an amped-up Redskins offense that has Robert Griffin III stationed as an early favorite for Comeback Player of the Year. New Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins acknowledged that Philly's less-than-stellar secondary will have its hands full containing Pierre Garcon and DJax, a duo with the talent to make this division a dogfight.

Jim Schwartz vs. Lions


Buffalo's voyage to Detroit in Week 5 serves as a bittersweet homecoming for Jim Schwartz. Fired by the Lions, Buffalo's new defensive coordinator will be tasked with forcing Matthew Stafford into the mechanical flaws that Schwartz long denied the existence of during his five years in the Motor City. It's a fascinating matchup because of how well Detroit's roster knows Schwartz's scheme -- and how well the coach knows the crop of players he drafted, developed and bled with for half a decade.

Chris Johnson vs. Titans


The Titans gave up on him, but Johnson has the chance for payback when New York faces Tennessee in Week 15. Quizzed about his surgically repaired knee, CJ?K told reporters last week that he'll be ready for the start of training camp. A fully healthy Johnson gives the Jets an unusual weapon on the ground, but we still expect opponents -- including the Titans -- to see plenty of the hard-charging Chris Ivory.

Julius Peppers and Jared Allen vs. old teams


The NFC North is brimming with blood feuds. Cast off by the Bears, Peppers has landed in Green Bay as the pass-rushing foil for Clay Matthews. Those two will make it their mission to batter Jay Cutler in Weeks 4 and 10, but Chicago has a new quarterback killer of its own in Jared Allen. The former Vikings All-Pro gives the Bears a disruptive complement alongside Lamarr Houston, and we'd imagine Allen is more than a tad motivated to show Minnesota that his tank is far from empty.

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