It was announced on Tuesday that the first game of 2012 NFL regular season will be played on Wednesday, September 5th at at MetLife Stadium as to avoid a conflict with President Barack Obama’s Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention. The Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants will be the home team of course and the speculation has been rampant as to who they will play.
When you look at the Giants 2012 opponents that they will play at home in 2012, you will see that they are scheduled to host the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ever since the Giants won the Super Bowl it has been speculated that the Steelers would be the most likeliest candidate to kickoff the season against the Giants. It would be great for television ratings as it would pit quarterbacks Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger against each other for the third time in their carrers. The two teams last played against each other in the regular season on October 26, 2008 and the Giants won 21-14. Prior to that the Steelers beat Manning and the Giants 33-30 on December 18, 2004 in New York. It was the rookie season for both of the quarterbacks. The two teams did play against each other during the 2010 preseason in New York.
Manning tied Roethlisberger in Super Bowl wins just a few weeks back and this game would be billed as a sort of rubber match. The Rooney and Mara families are most likely pushing heavily for this as well. The Rooney\’s are big supporters of President Obama and the move from the normal Thursday season kickoff to Wednesday really smells like something Dan Rooney would push for if the Steelers were to open the season. The full 2012 NFL schedule will not be announced until late in April, so there will be plenty of more time to speculate. If I were to place bets right now, I would say the odds certainly favor it being the Steelers.