One of the many perks of being Super Bowl champions, with the exception of last year’s Ravens, is hosting the following season’s opening game in primetime.
Though the official schedule for the 2014 season won’t be announced until April, we do know each team’s home and road opponents, which gives us some insight as to who might be heading to Seattle for the first of the league’s 256 contests.
Fresh off a 43-8 whooping in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos could be an interesting choice for the opener. They opened the 2013 season as well, avenging a devastating loss in the divisional round to the Ravens with a 49-27 victory. The game was played in Denver because of a scheduling conflict with Baltimore’s MLB team, the Orioles. As you probably recall, Peyton Manning tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes.
For a rematch of the most recent NFC championship — one of the better games played during the 2013 season — the league could call for the division-rival 49ers to open against Seattle. Plenty of sparks flew the last time these teams played (cough, Richard Sherman) and the rivalry is developing into Bears/Packers and Steelers/Ravens territory.
One of the more memorable regular season games the past few years is the “Fail Mary” game between the Packers and Seahawks, the last game played with replacement referees. With Green Bay set to travel to the Pacific Northwest in the 2014 season, pitting two of the top teams in the NFC up against one another in the NFL opener would be a great way to kick off the season.
Lastly, there’s always a chance that the league and networks will schedule the Cowboys in a must-see primetime game. This is probably the most improbable of all the scenarios, but it’s not impossible. “America’s Team” continues to draw monster ratings year after year with the unpredictable Tony Romo under center, and their 2006 playoff matchup with the infamous bobbled snap by the aforementioned Romo remains one of the most exciting finishes in postseason history.
Back up your vote with a comment as to why you think a certain team should open its season with a trip to Seattle.