Giants-Packers opener seems likely

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
12:30
PM ET
Kevin Seifert makes a good point about one likely ancillary consequence of the NFL's discipline of the New Orleans Saints -- that the Saints surely won't be the New York Giants' opponent in the Sept. 5 NFL season opener.

The league has, for some time now, been opening the season on a Thursday night at the home of the defending Super Bowl champions, and so this year's opener (which has been moved to Wednesday so as not to conflict with President Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention) will be at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

After the Giants won the Super Bowl, people began to speculate as to who the opponent would be for that game. I have always believed it would be the Green Bay Packers, since that's a matchup of the past two Super Bowl winners, a rematch of one of last year's NFC playoff games and would pit the Giants against a nationally recognizable team half of which appears in State Farm Insurance commercials.

Some people had thought it would be the Saints, who are one of the Giants' other scheduled home opponents this year. But in light of the bounty scandal, it's unlikely the league will give them that slot. And while it's always possible the game could be a marquee division matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles or Robert Griffin III's Washington Redskins, I think Giants-Packers is the matchup that delivers the most national sizzle, and that's where my money would be if I were the sort of person who bet on such things. Which I am not.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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