Revenge is excellent. Underrated, really. Revenge affords the opportunity to right a wrong, to stick it to a rival, to re-write a narrative. Maybe re-write history. Or it's just a fun thing to talk about in April.
With the 2015 schedule officially released, we've taken a look at each team and spotlighted the matchups -- whether it be team vs. team or player vs. team -- that scream, "REVENGE!" These are the showdowns that have become personal. The stakes are just a little bit higher.
Without further ado, our picks for the best revenge matchups of 2015:
Packers vs. Seahawks (Week 2)
The Packers lost their first and last game at CenturyLink Field last season, the second of which probably stands as the most painful loss in franchise history. We'd say that counts as pretty solid grounds for revenge, right? This time the two teams tangle in Lambeau Field, where the Packers went 9-0 in 2014. The only wish here is that the game was scheduled later in the season.
Andre Johnson vs. Texans (Weeks 5, 15)
Few professional athletes get to go out on their own terms. Players become stars, players go into decline and teams eventually make a business decision to move on. That's pretty much what happened with Johnson, whose 12-year run in Houston ended after the playmaker balked at a reduced role in Bill O'Brien's offense. Now a member of the division-rival Colts, Johnson will get a prime-time stage to stick it to his old team in Week 5.
DeMarco Murray vs. Cowboys (Weeks 2, 9)
Though he never let on publicly, Murray had to be scratching his head as to why the Cowboys didn't make a bigger push to retain him this offseason. Murray just gave the team its best season from a running back since Emmitt Smith's prime, and few would argue that Murray's greatness was the main driver in the Cowboys' jump to the top of the NFC East in 2014. The Cowboys didn't make Murray a priority, however, and now he'll get two cracks against his former team as a member of the Eagles.
Shady vs. Eagles (Week 14)
LeSean McCoy still can't believe Chip Kelly thinks the Eagles are better off without him. We know this because McCoy has spent the offseason poking the Eagles for their decision to trade him to the Bills in one of the most surprising NFL deals in recent memory. McCoy called the Eagles' subsequent decision to sign DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews a "panic move." For McCoy this is Rocky Balboa-Ivan Drago-level revenge.
Patriots vs. Darrelle Revis (Weeks 7, 16)
Congratulations to Revis, who makes our "revenge" game list for the third consecutive year. That's quite an achievement! This time is different, however. Revis has no reason seek any level of vengeance on the Pats, who paid him millions last season, served as a home base while Revis re-established his market value, then got him a Super Bowl ring. If anything, this is the Patriots looking to get back at Revis, who spurned them to return to the hated Jets. Will Bill Belichick try to go at Revis to prove a point? We're not convinced that's a great idea, but let's not put it past The Hooded One.
Rex Ryan vs. Jets (Weeks 10, 17)
Kudos to the schedule-makers, who have pre-loaded the season with the most Rex-Jets drama possible. The new Bills coach will get his first crack against his former team in a Thursday Night Football matchup at the Meadowlands. You think Rex will be animated in his media availability that week? The two teams will meet again in Week 17, a game that could have playoff ramifications for both teams. This is going to be fun.
John Fox vs. Broncos (Week 11)
In his first press conference following John Fox's departure, John Elway explained that his successful partnership with Fox had ended because the pair "disagreed how to get to the next level." Fox quickly found a home with the Bears, a team that was fortunate to have a coach of his pedigree drop into the free agency pool in such an unexpected manner. Fox hasn't expressed any bitterness over the end of his time in Denver, which featured four AFC West titles in four years and one trip to the Super Bowl. Still, you can guarantee Fox didn't view himself as the barrier between the Broncos and another Super Bowl. Revenge!