Column: RICK SOLEM
There may not be a more exciting game to kick off the 2013-14 NFL season.
It’s the rematch of the AFC Divisional playoff between the Baltimore Ravens at the Denver Broncos.
Jan. 13, 2013 may live in infamy for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Up seven, with just over 30 seconds left, Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones for a 70-yard touchdown to force extra time - a lot of extra time.
It took nearly two overtimes to decide it and it was a Peyton Manning interception that ultimately led to a Justin Tucker winning field goal and, eventually, a Ravens Super Bowl championship.
And tonight, the rematch to kick off the 2013-14 season - one of two meetings this season between the teams. The second will come in the first round of the AFC playoffs, where Peyton Manning will have his revenge and lead his team to the AFC Championship.
On the NFC side, Green Bay Packers fans want one rematch – a game that cost them the bye week last season. A game that, by all accounts, should have been a Green Bay victory, but instead, because of replacement referees, went to Seattle.
There’s no need to recount the Golden Tate touchdown “reception,” or was it the M.D. Jennings “interception?”
The Packers will get their rematch in the NFC Divisional round, but this time, it will be at Seattle – not Lambeau Field - and, unfortunately for Packers’ fans, the Seahawks will win this one legitimately.
Russell Wilson will then lead the Seahawks past the Cardinals, of all teams, in the NFC Championship. That, however, is as far as they’ll get.
And this may where the train leaves the tracks. Then again, maybe it did when the Cardinals made the NFC Championship.
But if that’s not crazy enough, the Seahawks will meet the Cincinnati Bengals in the championship and lose ... in the snow. The redhead led Bengals will upset Seattle 27-17 at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.
And a bearded Andy Dalton, who, midseason, will vow not to shave until his team loses, will go on to be the Super Bowl MVP, as the Bengals win the final 10 games of the season.