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.

36 responses to “As schedule approaches, all eyes on September 4

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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