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As schedule approaches, all eyes on September 4

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The 2014 schedule consists of 256 regular-season games.  The first one will be played on the Thursday after Labor Day in Seattle.

Later today, we’ll know which of the eight teams to visit CenturyLink Field this season will be there on the night they raise the championship banner.  The options are the 49ers, Rams, Cardinals, Cowboys, Giants, Broncos, Raiders, and Packers.

If it’s the 49ers, then the 49ers won’t be opening that swanky new stadium in Santa Clara until Week Two.  And the NFL would be giving up one of the truly marquee games of the season right out of the gates.

Typically, the defending champion doesn’t open the season against a division rival.  A Super Bowl rematch makes sense, but given the outcome of the Super Bowl maybe it doesn’t.  The Cowboys always draw a crowd on TV, but the Cowboys have taken a step backward this offseason.

That’s why I continue to think it’ll be a rematch of 2012’s Fail Mary game, with the Packers coming to town for a playoff game that has seemed inevitable the last two years, but that hasn’t happened.  It’ll happen this season — and it could happen on the first Thursday of the season.

Here’s where you say what you think, as we re-post the poll that first appeared while the confetti was still in the air at MetLife Stadium.

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36 Responses to “As schedule approaches, all eyes on September 4”
  1. dezno24 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:12 AM

    My sources have confirmed it’s the Giants.

  2. osiris33 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:14 AM

    Cowboys.

    The 49ers should not get the break of coming to Seattle in the September sunshine 2 years in a row. Make them come up and earn it after Thanksgiving.

    The 1st game is all about raising the banner and celebrating a home victory. I’d love a Super Bowl rematch every year, but failing in that the Cowboys present enough of a challenge to make it entertaining.

  3. showmeram says: Apr 23, 2014 9:19 AM

    I would say the Cardinals, because they are the only team to beat Seattle at home in a long time.

  4. hardrockfootballfanatic says: Apr 23, 2014 9:21 AM

    I have never understood why people go nuts over the schedule release. You basically already know who you are playing each season, it is just a question of what day.

  5. scoops1 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:22 AM

    Packers….

  6. girthhammer says: Apr 23, 2014 9:26 AM

    49ers.

    Bad blood between the 2 teams. Would love to see a split screen of close-ups of Harbaugh and Carroll during the opening ceremonies. No one cares about Jerry Jones anymore other than ESPN.

  7. uwsptke says: Apr 23, 2014 9:37 AM

    It has to be one of Packers/49ers/Broncos.

    All three of those are guaranteed to be nationally televised, because ESPN & NBC are going to jump all over the two matchups that remain.

  8. jakeplummersghost says: Apr 23, 2014 9:41 AM

    Would like it to be AZ, but then again it might be better to let someone else try and beat the champs in their home opener.

  9. sdisme says: Apr 23, 2014 9:41 AM

    If the leaks are correct it’s the 49ers and they open their new stadium week two vs. KC on SNF.

  10. runmarshawnrun says: Apr 23, 2014 9:52 AM

    I don’t think it will be Denver – the NFL will save that game with it’s golden boy until later in the season. Plus, the Hawks play the Broncos in the preseason, which makes no sense.

    It won’t be the 9ers. That’s a SNF in Sept.

    I think it’s the Pack. That’s a good, marketable matchup with no downside for the NFL.

  11. higheriqthanyou says: Apr 23, 2014 9:52 AM

    Whoever it is will be 0-1 to start the season.

  12. kb500500 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:55 AM

    After the offseason splash the Broncos made, it’s gotta be them.

  13. scoops1 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:59 AM

    dezno24 says:
    Apr 23, 2014 9:12 AM

    My sources have confirmed it’s the Giants.
    ——————————————————-

    Niners plays in Jersey this season

    Your sources are on drugs

  14. jimmyt says: Apr 23, 2014 10:07 AM

    I hope it’s the Rams. Like it or not they match up pretty good with the Hawks.

  15. lurch61 says: Apr 23, 2014 10:10 AM

    last year niners played the first game in Seattle this year they are due to play Seattle first at home. so i doubt it will be niners

  16. thevikes99 says: Apr 23, 2014 10:13 AM

    Pretty sure I heard before it was the Packers

  17. doobeedoobeeyummydoobee says: Apr 23, 2014 10:15 AM

    The Raiders should play at Seattle to open the year as they would provide the biggest challenge. #stacked

  18. schmitty2 says: Apr 23, 2014 10:20 AM

    hardrockfootballfanatic says:Apr 23, 2014 9:21 AM

    I have never understood why people go nuts over the schedule release. You basically already know who you are playing each season, it is just a question of what day.

    Maybe because some fans are eager to know so they can get their airline tickets farther in advance so they can fly somewhere to see their team play. The sooner you get the airline tickets the cheaper it is. Is that a simple enough explanation?

  19. ahsinnyc says: Apr 23, 2014 10:42 AM

    This is a money game. It will be a team from a large media market – NY, Dallas or SF.

    My guess is the Giants. Mara runs the league (behind the scenes) and wants to get the one Thursday night game over with early.

  20. just4given says: Apr 23, 2014 10:42 AM

    What off season splash did the Broncos make? DRC is a better player than Talib. Phillips is more deoendable than Ware from a health standpoint. So, in effect you gave up Decker and Woodyard for TJ Ward. The splash you speak of is more of a dog paddle. It will be the Packers.

  21. theclink12 says: Apr 23, 2014 10:50 AM

    It’s Green Bay

  22. newlydead says: Apr 23, 2014 11:00 AM

    it’s the NFL (most popular sport in the US), it’s the first game of the season (in a sport where people gets amped up over a schedule release), it is already on in prime time (don’t need to sell it) ….

    the match up has no baring on this game, in fact if the NFL was smart they would put the least marketable game on that night. they already have a built in audience. save the marque match ups for later in the season.

    raiders or rams

  23. jr325 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:02 AM

    I hope the Packers crush them

  24. ninerboi says: Apr 23, 2014 11:07 AM

    San Fran up in seattle is the game of the year. It was last year’s Super Bowl. No way that schedule that….that’s a playoff implications game.

  25. salmen76 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:27 AM

    I vote Seahawks and Cowboys. I would love to start the season off by watching the Cowboys get hammered on opening night on national TV by the defending Super bowl champion Seahawks! Ha Ha. Geaux Saints!

  26. lic112014 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:38 AM

    I hope it’s not the Giants but the league wants a big rating and the N.Y. market would be there.

  27. kkalama1 says: Apr 23, 2014 12:49 PM

    The seahawks will beat who ever comes up here then, its up to which ever team wants that loss for the whole season

  28. threedeep1998 says: Apr 23, 2014 1:10 PM

    Arizona. Only team to beat SEA at home in two seasons

  29. slugbaitspace says: Apr 23, 2014 1:15 PM

    Thursday night on the west coast means much of the east coast is asleep by halftime unless they have a horse in the race.

    The NFL is driven by money, and money is driven by television ratings. And they want the first game to break the ratings record of last season’s opener.

    So I’m thinking it will be the Giants. Keep those eyelids open.

    They might try to sell the game as NY’s payback after the wax job they got last year.

  30. axespray says: Apr 23, 2014 1:23 PM

    Packers or Niners if you want a good game.

    Broncos/Cowboys if you wanna see a slaughter.

  31. chawkup says: Apr 23, 2014 1:32 PM

    Everyone is going to watch the game no matter who it is. It won’t be San Fran or Denver. Those games will be saved for primetime later in the season. Plus, it would be pretty disrespectful to force either of those teams to have to watch the ring ceremony and the banner dropping. My guess is that it will be the Raiders. If not them, then it will be the Packers.

  32. linemanguy74 says: Apr 23, 2014 1:37 PM

    A game they will win for sure, so it will be the Packers

  33. thejimthorpejamsession says: Apr 23, 2014 3:29 PM

    It would not surprise me to see the team the Seahawks face being the Giants. That way, you get an east and west coast level of interest in the game, hence, more of a ratings draw.

  34. flyinghighphil says: Apr 23, 2014 4:20 PM

    Well we know it won’t be the RAMS. Since I’m pretty sure they have finished the season. In Seattle every year since Bradford became qb. I’d love to see it be the 40 whiners. Since IAM sure it will be the Seahawks. Destroying the whiners. Looking forward to a great season Tough fight in NFC WEST where my RAMS finish first followed by the Seahawks, cardinals, and the whiners last. LETS GO RAMS

  35. stellarperformance says: Apr 23, 2014 5:48 PM

    Well, it’s not the Giants. I think Packers. If the Seahawks get arrogant and think it will be a blow-out, they are in for a rude awakening. The Packers are long overdue for a decent season without the extreme injuries. They’ll be ready.

  36. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 23, 2014 7:56 PM

    Seahawks -4

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