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NDVI is defined for any two bands with near-infrared and infrared data (it is an empirical remote sensing index). As such, you can calculate it straight from the DNs. This is mostly OK if you are only classifying or analyzing vegetation on a single image without significant atmospheric effects (cirrus clouds...) However, if you are performing change ...
Yes, you can use the acquisition_date in the metadata, which is the date in ISO format (YYYY-MM-DD). The date in the filename is Year+Julian Day. You can check the acquisition date against the filename if you wish using the NASA Julian Day Calendar This shows 2014-08-10 = 2014222
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