One of the perks of winning the Super Bowl is you get to host the first game of the regular season the following year in front of a national audience on NBC.
Of their eight home games, here are the five most likely opponents the Seahawks will face in that Thursday night NFL kickoff.
- Why it will happen: A Super Bowl rematch. How appropriate would it be to have the two teams that ended the previous season also kickoff the following season?
- Why it won’t happen: A 43-8 blowout on a neutral field made the Super Bowl less than super to the general viewing audience. Now, put the Broncos in CenturyLink Field? It could be worse.
San Francisco 49ers
- Why it will happen: This is the best rivalry in the NFL today – period. They hate each other. Their NFC Championship Game was far better than the Super Bowl and it looks like both teams will look equally competitive in 2014.
- Why it won’t happen: The NFL knows they have a good thing here, so why use up all the energy with the first game? Besides, their primetime matchup in 2014 most likely will be played in the Niners shiny new stadium so that the league can show it off on national TV.
Green Bay Packers
- Why it will happen: The first regular season rematch after the so-called “Fail Mary” game. You know the media and Packers fans want to see that more than anything.
- Why it won’t happen: Since that game was on Monday Night Football, don’t be surprised to see the league save it for another Monday night matchup.
- Why it will happen: Because no matter how many 8-8 seasons the Cowboys string together, there’s some unwritten rule that says they must have four primetime games a year. Plus, the defending Super Bowl champs vs. "America's Team" = ratings.
- Why it won’t happen: This is a mediocre team, to use a word famously coined by Richard Sherman. The NFL probably doesn’t want to start the season with a game that will look like a blowout on paper. Plus, the Cowboys will probably end up playing the Eagles on that first Sunday night game.
- Why it will happen: The Cardinals are the only team in the last two years to beat the Seahawks in Seattle, so you know they can compete. Head coach Bruce Arians did an amazing job turning the Cards into a playoff contender last season.
- Why it won’t happen: The Cardinals still don’t have the league-wide respect amongst fans to be worthy of such a big stage.