There was an interesting item from earlier this week in Peter King’s MMQB discussing which team will travel to MetLife Stadium to open the season against the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.
Lots of candidates for the Giants to open with next September 6. The favorites, in order:
1. Green Bay. Easily the most attractive game, but will FOX lobby hard to keep it as a doubleheader game, and keep it from opening night?
2. New Orleans. Drew Brees-Eli Manning is a heck of a No. 2 choice.
3. Pittsburgh. Great story angles at the midpoint of the careers of Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning. Each will be entering year nine. If the Giants didn’t get Manning in the 2004 draft, they’d have taken Big Ben. And each has two Super Bowl wins.
4. Philadelphia. Good rivalry game. Mike Vick, presumably healthy.
5. Dallas. But after FOX got robbed of both Giants-Cowboys games for 2011 by NBC, I doubt sincerely NBC’s going to be lobbying for this game.
Frankly, if this was a year ago, I could see the Eagles-Giants matchup to open the season. The Eagles were the most talked about team entering the year off their free agency bonanza and the national intrigue for such a game would have been at its peak. Now? Not so much.
Yeah, the Eagles-Giants rivalry has supplied plenty of fireworks and drama over the past several seasons, but it just doesn’t have the glitz and sex appeal that the other options offer.
King mentions that FOX would likely lobby to block a Packers-Giants opener, and wouldn’t be thrilled about losing Saints-Giants, either. But as we know by now, FOX doesn’t always get what it wants–they were quite miffed about losing the Week 17 Giants-Cowboys game.
The bottom line is there’s no way NBC won’t get the Packers or Saints, the two teams that most assumed had the best shot to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, into the season opener.
Sorry, Eagles fans. You’re going to have to wait another three days.