Monday, February 6, 2012
Packers-Giants for 2012 opener?
By Kevin Seifert
The New York Giants are the Super Bowl champions. That means they'll host the NFL's Thursday night kickoff game in September. I realize I'm not the first one to mention it, but there is a decent chance of the Green Bay Packers serving as the Giants' opponent in that game at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants' eight-game home 2012 schedule includes their normal matchups against the NFC East, in addition to the Packers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. A Packers-Giants matchup would feature two marquee teams who also happen to be the most recent Super Bowl champions. The NFL could market the game as the Packers' opportunity for revenge after the Giants knocked them out of the 2011 playoffs.
The NFL doesn't typically scheduled division games for its opening night, and the Bucs and Browns wouldn't bring much national cache to the matchup. That leaves the Saints, Steelers and Packers. We're probably two months from finding out the answer, but I could certainly see the NFL viewing Packers-Giants as the most attractive option. My NFC South colleague Pat Yasinskas suggests the Saints-Giants possibility as well.
In recent years, the NFL has announced its kickoff game during the March owners meeting. Stay tuned.