With their 43-8 demolition job of the Denver Broncos complete, the Seattle Seahawks can now bathe in the glory that Super Bowl champions command. It was a thoroughly dominating performance by the Legion Of Boom, as they physically and emotionally decimated Peyton Manning, and the rest of the Broncos.
With that said, it is time to look ahead to the 2014 season. More specifically, the opening game of the 2014 season. Since 2004, the NFL has scheduled the defending Super Bowl champion to host the first game of the campaign on a Thursday night. Last year was an exception, as the Baltimore Ravens kicked off the season at Denver, as they were locked in a with a dispute with the Baltimore Orioles, who were scheduled for a home game at Camden Yards, which is next door to M&T Bank Stadium.
That won’t be a problem in Seattle as the Mariners will be on the road on September 4, the opening night of the NFL season. (The Mariners are in Texas to face the Rangers that day.)
So who are the possible opponents for the Seahawks on opening night? Who does Roger Goodell and the rest of his corporate hacks want to visit CenturyLink Field so they can count the added profits from attendance and TV ratings this game will bring? Here are five candidates.
San Francisco 49ers:
This is the best rivalry in the NFL today. These two bitter foes met in a vicious NFC Championship game that saw television ratings soar, and hatred seep from the blood of both teams. There is no better way to kick off the 2014 season than to see these two division rivals, square off yet again in what would be a highly anticipated affair. NBC is drooling at the thought of this and I can only imagine that Goodell is counting the money from the expected hype and ratings. This would be the definition of must-see TV.
A rematch of the Super Bowl is always enticing, even if the Super Bowl became the Super Blowout. This will be the Broncos first appearance in Seattle since 2002, after being division rivals for 25 seasons. This will be a nationally televised game at some point in the season and it wouldn’t be a bad way to start the season. Denver would want revenge while Seattle would want to prove they are a worthy contender to repeat as Super Bowl champions. The blowout in the Super Bowl may take some of the lustre off, but anytime Peyton Manning is around, Goodell and company go out of their way in showcasing their golden boy in front of the biggest audience possible.
Even though the Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs in 2013, they did achieve something no one else dreamt possible. They beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Yes, the Arizona Cardinals escaped CenturyLink Field with a victory that kept their playoff hopes alive at the time. It may not be the marquee matchup but if Seattle has any case for revenge, they may want to avenge their lone home loss of 2013 right off the hop. The Cardinals are a solid team and would have made the playoffs if they were in the NFC North or East divisions. Hell, they would have made the playoffs if they were an AFC side. It is a long shot, but this game would have some intrigue to it.
Green Bay Packers:
Remember the immaculate interception that was somehow ruled a touchdown? The Packers haven’t forgotten and neither has the NFL. That miraculous “call” sparked the league to reach out to its locked out officials, and reach a deal that brought back the regular referees thus kicking out the replacement officials. The Packers will be returning to the scene of the crime for the first time since that fateful Monday night and it would be a fascinating way to kickoff the season if this matchup occurred. There were observers that felt that a healthy Aaron Rodgers could lead the Packers past Seattle in the playoffs. Although the two teams never met, the debate rages especially in the state of Wisconsin. The Packers also mean big TV ratings as they have a national following. It wouldn’t be shabby if the NFL decided to begin 2014 with Rodgers vs. The Legion Of Boom.
Love em or loathe em, (and I loathe em) the Cowboys are America’s Team and they generate hype and TV ratings that Goodell craves adores and has disturbing sexual fantasies about. Whenever the Cowboys arrive in town, it always feels like a circus, thanks to the inept ringmaster Jerry Jones and Tony Romo, the high wire act that seemingly falls over himself at the worst possible time. How can anyone forget Romo fumbling the snap on the potential game winning field goal against the Seahawks in the NFC Wildcard game, which began Romo’s late game disasters. The Cowboys are a mediocre team that are fascinating to watch because you never know what will happen next. The Seahawks may have plenty of fun at the expense of the Cowboys while millions watch. Don’t discount the TV numbers either. The NFL lives off ratings and the Cowboys are a ratings draw. This could be the game that kicks off the season.
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