Mike Klis, Denver Broncos beat writer from The Denver Post, reported Tuesday that the Broncos have received word there is a strong chance they will play their season opener Sept. 9 on NBC\’s “Sunday Night Football.”
Klis speculates that the Broncos opponent for that game could very well be the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New Orleans Saints or the New England Patriots. Klis also goes on to speculate that the Saints might not be the choice in light of the recent Bountygate scandal and the Patriots may not be the choice because that game is on the road.
Should the Steelers indeed wind up playing the Broncos in week one, the game would played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and this would almost certainly rule out safety Ryan Clark from playing in week one because of his sickle cell trait. Clark almost died several years ago when the Steelers played in the Denver thin air and has sat out every game in Denver since that incident as a result. Clark even tweeted as much today as he his hearing the Steelers could indeed be facing the Broncos in week 1 as well.
The Broncos have made a lot of news this offseason with the signing of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and the trading of quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets. The game would be a rematch of course of the AFC Wild Card game last season that the Broncos won on the first offensive play in overtime as Tebow hit wide receiver Demaryius Thomas with a quick slant pass in front of cornerback Ike Taylor for an 80-yard walk-off touchdown.
The Steelers 2012 opponents are already known but the dates will not be officially announced until later in April. The Steelers have already been linked as a possibility to open up the 2012 NFL season against the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. The Giants will open their season at home on Wednesday, September 5th.
ETA: Ed Bouchette reports via Twitter the Giants will play host to the Dallas Cowboys to kick off the 2012 season, so that is one you can now mark off as a possibility.
As of right now it is all speculation, but it is looking good that the Steelers will likely play week 1 in prime-time.