Looking forward to the 2012 NFL football season? The NFL kickoff game pits the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys this year. Read a little history of the game held before the first Sunday of the season every year.
There isn't anything quite like that first NFL game of the season; the NFL Kickoff Game. Since 2002, before the first Sunday of the year, one game has kicked off the campaign by itself in what has become one of the biggest spectacles of a regular season game each and every year. It all started with the first Thursday night kickoff of the year, which started in 2002 with the San Francisco Giants beating the New York Giants, and continues this year with the second kickoff game in the Big Apple in league history.
Since the start of the 2004 season, the team that has hosted the opening game of the NFL season has been the team that won the Super Bowl the previous year. To date, the defending Super Bowl champs have never been defeated, going a perfect 8-0 SU. Underdogs have had a few covers though, as the defending Super Bowl winners are 5-3 ATS in their first games of the next season.
To date, there has still only been one road team manage to win an opening game of the season in this format, and that came back in the very first game when the 49ers knocked off the Giants. New York, of course, is hoping to avenge that defeat this year when the Dallas Cowboys come to town.
Here is a look at the previous opening games of the NFL season since 2002…
NFL Kickoff Weekend Results
2012: Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
2011: New Orleans Saints 34 – Green Bay Packers 42
2010: Minnesota Vikings 9 – New Orleans Saints 14
2009: Tennessee Titans 10 – Pittsburgh Steelers 13 (OT)
2008: Washington Redskins 7 – New York Giants 16
2007: New Orleans Saints 10 – Indianapolis Colts 41
2006: Miami Dolphins 17 – Pittsburgh Steelers 28
2005: Oakland Raiders 20 – New England Patriots 30
2004: Indianapolis Colts 24 – New England Patriots 27
2003: New York Jets 13 – Washington Redskins 16
2002: San Francisco 49ers 16 – New York Giants 13
What makes this year's game between the Cowboys and Giants all the more unique though, is that it is being played on a Wednesday night. The NFL hasn't played a game on a Wednesday since 1948. The reason for this kickoff coming on Wednesday is due to the fact that the Democratic National Convention is being held on Thursday, September 6th, and the NFL didn't want to get in the way of that historic event.
What also makes the Dallas/New York game all the more intriguing is that it is the first of 18 games that will be played on either a Wednesday or a Thursday this year. The NFL Network has started Thursday Night Football in the middle of the season for the past several years, but this is the first time that it is going to be televising a game every single week of the year, starting in Week 2 and going through Week 16.
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