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Seahawks & Packers Kick Off NFL 2014 Season
It's time to get "Back to Football!"
The 2014 NFL Season begins on Thursday, September 4 in primetime on NBC when the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field in a matchup of two 2013 NFC playoff participants. It's when things start to count.
Some teams have excelled in openers. Here is a sampling of notable active NFL Kickoff streaks:
The Super Bowl XLVIII-champion Seattle Seahawks, who host Green Bay in the spotlight Kickoff 2014 game on Thursday night, have a 15-1 record at CenturyLink Field the past two seasons. The Seahawks, who are also tied for the third-longest active winning streak in home openers (five), can improve those numbers when they host the Packers in Week 1.
The NFC North champion Green Bay Packers, who travel to Seattle on Thursday night of Kickoff Weekend, hold the record for the most wins in road openers (53) in the NFL and the fourth-best winning percentage in openers on the road (.582, 53-38-2).
The AFC champion Denver Broncos, who start the season on Sunday Night Football at home against Indianapolis, have posted a 40-13-1 (.755) record in home openers, the top mark in the NFL. Denver has also won 17 of their past 20 home openers.
The AFC East champion New England Patriots begin the year at Miami having won 10 consecutive openers. With a win on Kickoff Weekend, the Patriots can become just the third franchise to win 11 or more consecutive season-opening games in NFL history.
The Miami Dolphins, who host New England on Kickoff Weekend, have the fourth-best winning percentage in openers at home (.702, 33-14-1). The Dolphins have won their past two home openers.
The NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles, who host Jacksonville to open the 2014 campaign, have won three consecutive Kickoff Weekend games, the longest active streak among NFC East teams.
The Jacksonville Jaguars begin the year at Philadelphia with an 11-7 (.611) record on Kickoff Weekend, the third-best mark in the AFC.
The Washington Redskins open the season on the road against Houston with 36 wins in road openers, the fifth-most in the NFL. With a win against the Texans on Kickoff Weekend, the Redskins can tie the Eagles (37) for the fourth-most wins in road openers in the NFL.
The New York Giants and San Diego Chargers start the season on the road at Detroit and Arizona, respectively, during a Monday Night Football doubleheader. New York has the second-most (49) wins in road openers in the NFL while San Diego has won its past two road openers, the fourth-longest active streak in the league.
The Baltimore Ravens (13-5-0) and Chicago Bears (65-25-4), who host Cincinnati and Buffalo, respectively, on Kickoff Weekend, have a .722 winning percentage in home openers, the second-best mark in the NFL ... the Detroit Lions, who host the Giants on Monday Night Football to begin the year, have won 51 openers at home, the second-most wins in home openers in the NFL ... the Atlanta Falcons, who host New Orleans on Kickoff Weekend, have won nine of their past 10 home openers ... and the San Francisco 49ers, who host Chicago in Week 2, have won 15 of their past 20 home openers.
New England's Bill Belichick is 13-6 (.684) on Kickoff Weekend and his 13 wins are the most among active head coaches ... Belichick and St. Louis' Jeff Fisher (11-7, .611) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games and own an opening weekend winning percentage above .600 ... the New York Giants' Tom Coughlin (10-8, .556) joins Belichick and Fisher as the only active head coaches with 10 or more Kickoff Weekend victories ... Jim Harbaugh (3-0) of the 49ers, Chip Kelly (1-0) of the Eagles and Marc Trestman (1-0) of the Bears are the only active head coaches with perfect records on Kickoff Weekend ... and four head coaches -- Washington's Jay Gruden, Houston's Bill O'Brien, Cleveland's Mike Pettine and Minnesota's Mike Zimmer -- make their Kickoff Weekend debuts in 2014.
A rundown of the NFL primetime kickoff games since 2002:
|Sept. 5, 2002||Giants Stadium||49ers 16, GIANTS 13||San Francisco kicker Jose Cortez kicks a 36-yard field goal with six seconds remaining to lead the 49ers to victory in the NFL's first Thursday-night opener since 1949|
|Sept. 4, 2003||FedExField||WASHINGTON 16, Jets 13||Washington kicker John Hall converts a game winning 50-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to lift the Redskins past his former team|
|Sept. 9, 2004||Gillette Stadium||PATRIOTS 27, Colts 24||Tom Brady passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat the Colts|
|Sept. 8, 2005||Gillette Stadium||PATRIOTS 30, Raiders 20||Tom Brady throws for 306 yards and two touchdowns while running back Corey Dillon adds two scores for the defending Super Bowl champions|
|Sept. 7, 2006||Heinz Field||STEELERS 28, Miami 17||Pittsburgh QB Charlie Batch passes for three touchdowns and running back Willie Parker adds 115 yards as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat Miami|
|Sept. 6, 2007||RCA Dome||COLTS 41, Saints 10||Super Bowl champion Colts rack up 452 yards of offense as quarterback Peyton Manning passes for 288 yards and three TDs|
|Sept. 4, 2008||Giants Stadium||GIANTS 16, Washington 7||Eli Manning scores a touchdown and the Giants' defense allows just 209 total yards as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat division-rival Washington|
|Sept. 10, 2009||Heinz Field||STEELERS 13, Titans 10 (OT)||Pittsburgh's Jeff Reed kicks a 33-yard game winning field goal in overtime as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat Tennessee|
|Sept. 9, 2010||Superdome||SAINTS 14, Vikings 9||Drew Brees throws for 237 yards and a touchdown to lead the Saints past the Vikings in a rematch of the 2009 NFC Championship Game|
|Sept. 8, 2011||Lambeau Field||PACKERS 42, Saints 34||Aaron Rodgers passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns and the Packers' defense makes a goal-line stand on the game's final play as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat the Saints|
|Sept. 5, 2012||MetLife Stadium||Cowboys 24, GIANTS 17||Tony Romo throws for 307 yards and three TDs, including two to Kevin Ogletree, as the Cowboys defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Giants|
|Sept. 5, 2013||Sports Authority Field||BRONCOS 49, Ravens 27||Peyton Manning ties an NFL single-game record with seven TD passes as the Broncos knock off the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens|
NFL Kickoff 2014 Schedule
(All times local)
Green Bay at Seattle, 5:30 PM (Thurs., NBC)
Jacksonville at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM
New Orleans at Atlanta, 1:00 PM
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 1:00 PM
Minnesota at St. Louis, 12:00 PM
Buffalo at Chicago, 12:00 PM
San Francisco at Dallas, 3:25 PM
Washington at Houston, 12:00 PM
Carolina at Tampa Bay, 4:25 PM
Tennessee at Kansas City, 12:00 PM
New England at Miami, 1:00 PM
Oakland at New York Jets, 1:00 PM
Indianapolis at Denver, 6:30 PM (NBC)
New York Giants at Detroit, 7:10 PM (Mon., ESPN)
San Diego at Arizona, 7:20 PM (Mon., ESPN)
Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game
Of the 523 teams which won openers, 274 went to the playoffs (164 won division titles).
Of the 524 teams which lost openers, 124 went to the playoffs (70 won division titles).
There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.
In 2013, eight of the 12 playoff teams -- Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle -- were victorious on Kickoff Weekend.
Kickoff Weekend Records of NFL Teams
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Seahawks & Packers Kick Off NFL 2014 Season