The 2014 NFL regular season is exactly seven months away and so far, we know two things about the opener: It will be played on Sept. 4 and it will be played in Seattle. The Seahawks get the game because the defending Super Bowl champion gets the honor of hosting the first game of the following NFL season.
Who will the Seahawks play though? That's the big question. Let's look at Seattle's home schedule and see who has the best chance of playing the Seahawks in the 2014 regular season opener.
Seahawks 2014 home games
Raiders: This game would get an incredibly high TV rating in Oakland and Seattle, but there's no guarantee that anyone else in the country would watch. And let's be honest, who wants to watch the Seahawks beat the Raiders 49-3? Chances of Oakland appearing in the regular season opener: .05 percent.
Rams: Rams owner Stan Kroenke would love to be in the regular season opener. After the game, he'd probably take the TV numbers to Roger Goodell and say, "Look at our high TV rating in Los Angeles! We should definitely move there and we should probably move tomorrow!" Chances of St. Louis appearing in the regular season opener: 2.95 percent.
Cardinals: We learned in 2013 that the Seahawks aren't unbeatable at home because the Cardinals beat them. But then everyone forgot the Cardinals beat them, so the Cardinals had to remind us.
Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 12, 2014
If the Cardinals had anything resembling a national following, they'd have a chance to play in Seattle in Week 1, but they don't. Chances of Arizona appearing in the regular season opener: Five percent.
Giants: After watching what the Seahawks did to Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl, I'd almost be afraid to watch what they'd do to Eli Manning. Plus the NFL seems to like putting the Giants up against a divisional rival in Week 1. In six of the past seven seasons, the Giants have opened up with an NFC East opponent. Chances of New York appearing in the regular season opener: Eight percent.
Cowboys: If I'm afraid to watch Eli Manning against the Seahawks, then I'd be terrified to watch Tony Romo. The Cowboys once faced the Seahawks in a Seattle home opener and lost 27-7. That was in 2012. The Cowboys may also be hurt by the fact that they played in this game in 2012. Since the defending Super Bowl champion started hosting the regular season opener in 2004, no team that hasn't won a Super bowl has played in the opener twice. Chances of Dallas appearing in the regular season opener: 14 percent.
Broncos: A Super Bowl rematch with Peyton Manning trying to get revenge on the Seahawks seems like a logical choice for the 2014 regular season opener, but my guess is that it won't happen. Since the defending champion started hosting the opener in 2004, there's only been an inter-conference game once and that was when the Colts and Saints kicked off the 2007 season. That's one time in 10 years. Also, the Broncos played in last year's opener, so the NFL may want to get some fresh blood in the game. The Saints did play in the season opener twice in a row in 2010 and 2011, but the 2011 game was a chance for the NFL to match up the past two Super Bowl champions that year in Green Bay and New Orleans. Chances of Denver appearing in the regular season opener: 15 percent.
49ers: San Francisco seems like the obvious choice to open the 2014 season in Seattle, but no choice is ever obvious or easy in the NFL because the NFL doesn't do obvious or easy. One thing keeping a 49ers-Seahawks opener from happening is that the 49ers will be opening a new stadium and the league might want to give San Francisco a Sunday night opener in Week 1 to show off San Francisco's Field of Jeans, which is actually in Santa Clara. Also, Fox may do everything it can to keep 49ers-Seahawks. The network has only aired one of four Seattle-San Francisco regular season games since 2012. Chances of San Francisco appearing in the regular season opener: 25 percent.
Packers: The argument for the Packers playing in the opener is two words long: Simultaneous possession. The last time Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay played in Seattle came in September 2012 when the Fail Mary happened. If the Packers end up playing the Seahawks, the Fail Mary clip will probably be shown 117,000 times leading up to the game. Also, if this game happens, you can probably bet that replacement ref Lance Easley will be at CenturyLink Field before the game signing copies of his non-best selling book, Making the Call. Chances of Green Bay appearing in the regular season opener: 30 percent.
Here's a complete list of every team's home and away schedule for 2014. Exact dates for each game will be released in the spring.