Monday, April 16, 2012
The 2012 NFC West openers I want to see
By Mike Sando
The NFL plans to announce its 2012 regular-season schedule Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
A look at four regular-season openers fans could embrace:
- San Francisco at Green Bay. The Packers were supposed to stand between the 49ers and the Super Bowl last season. The New York Giants had other plans, eliminating Green Bay in the divisional round. With the Giants already set to open their regular season against the Dallas Cowboys, a Packers-49ers game at Candlestick Park makes perfect sense. The 49ers' dominant defense would face Aaron Rodgers, the MVP quarterback San Francisco passed over for Alex Smith in the 2005 draft. And a 49ers victory at Lambeau would send a strong message. By the way, Fox's Chris Myers hinted at this matchup for Week 1.
- Washington at St. Louis. The Rams and Redskins swung a blockbuster trade putting Washington in position to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Why not pit the teams against one another, showcasing Griffin and 2010 No. 1 overall choice Sam Bradford? Former Rams coach Jim Haslett is the Redskins' defensive coordinator, another connection between the teams. From the Rams' standpoint, they would be opening the season at home against a rookie quarterback, giving them a good shot at claiming their first victory under coach Jeff Fisher.
- Seattle at Arizona. Consider this one a continuation of the Cardinals' overtime victory against the Seahawks in the final game last season. That was a bruising game featuring gritty play from Larry Fitzgerald and punishing running from Marshawn Lynch. We've debated this offseason whether the Seahawks or Cardinals should be considered in best position to challenge the 49ers for NFC West supremacy. Why not get some answers right away, in Week 1?
Any other openers you'd like to see more than these?