COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF (1 DAY)
September 3, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Kickoff Weekend 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 clubs 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.
- · HOME SWEET HOME: 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.
- · HEAD COACHES: 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.