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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
NFL should pit Steelers-Saints in '10 opener

By James Walker
ESPN.com

As the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints are guaranteed a nationally-televised home opener on Thursday night next season.

So here's a suggestion: How about the Pittsburgh Steelers against New Orleans in Week 1?

This high-profile game would pit the past two Super Bowl champions and a classic meeting between a high-powered offense versus a great defense. Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees have three combined Super Bowl titles and are undefeated in the big game.

Pittsburgh is one of the top teams on New Orleans' home schedule next season. In addition to the Steelers, the only other teams on the Saints' home slate with winning records last season are the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota-New Orleans would be an interesting rematch of the NFC title game. But if Vikings quarterback Brett Favre retires, this game loses all of its luster. (Possibly Tarvaris Jackson vs. Brees? No thanks.)

But Steel Town meets Bourbon Street? That sounds like a 2010 opener worth watching.

The NFL should make this happen when the schedules are released this spring.