It's a special time, Kickoff Weekend, which begins on Thursday, September 4 this season in primetime on NBC when the Super Bowl champion New York Giants host the Washington Redskins. It's when things start to count. Some clubs have excelled in openers. Some notable active NFL kickoff streaks:
» The Super Bowl champion New York Giants, who host Washington in the spotlight Kickoff 2008 game on Thursday night, have 46 wins in openers, the third-most in NFL history. The Giants have a 46-32-5 (.590) record on Kickoff Weekend. New York is tied for third in league annals with 45 wins in home openers and the team's 46 wins in road openers rank second all time. The Giants visit St. Louis in Week 2 to face the Rams.
» The New England Patriots have won 11 of their past 13 home openers, including a perfect 6-0 record at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots open the season at home versus Kansas City and aim for their seventh consecutive win in a home opener.
» The Dallas Cowboys own a 32-15-1 (.681) record in openers, the top mark in the NFC. The Cowboys open the season in Cleveland and Dallas has the NFL's best record in road openers at 30-18 (.625).
» The Indianapolis Colts, who will kick off the season by opening up Lucas Oil Stadium against Chicago on Sunday night, have won eight of their past nine openers and five consecutive home openers. The Colts travel to Minnesota in Week 2 and have won three road openers in a row, the longest current such streak in the NFL.
» The Chicago Bears open the season at Indianapolis in primetime and seek to become the first team to record 50 victories on Kickoff Weekend. The Bears return home to Soldier Field in Week 3 to face Tampa Bay and have 60 wins in home openers, the most in the league.
» The Green Bay Packers have 48 wins on Kickoff Weekend, the second-most in NFL history. The Packers host the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night to start the season. In Week 2, Green Bay travels to Detroit and the Packers have 49 wins in road openers, the most in NFL history.
» The Jacksonville Jaguars, who open the season at Tennessee, are 9-4 (.692) all-time on Kickoff Weekend, the best mark in the NFL.
» The Denver Broncos, who open at Oakland on Monday night, have won 14 of their past 19 openers and are 30-17-1 (.638) on Kickoff Weekend. The Broncos host San Diego in Week 2 and have won eight consecutive home openers, the longest current streak in the NFL. Denver is 35-12-1 (.745) in home openers, the second-best mark in the league.
» The Miami Dolphins, who host the New York Jets on Kickoff Weekend, are 31-10-1 (.756) in home openers, the best mark in the NFL. Miami has won 12 of their past 16 openers.v
» The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 37 openers, the most among AFC teams, and have won five consecutive openers, the longest current streak in the NFL.
» The Oakland Raiders, who open the season at home against Denver on Monday night, are 34-13-1 (.719) in home openers. The Raiders have won seven of their past 10 openers at home.
» The San Francisco 49ers, who open the season at home against Arizona, have won 12 of their past 15 home openers, outscoring opponents 434-281 in those games.
» The Arizona Cardinals open the season at San Francisco, the 19th time in the past 21 years the club has started the year on the road. The New York Jets travel to Miami on Kickoff Weekend, marking the 36th time in the team's 49-year history the club has opened on the road.
Home sweet home
The Minnesota Vikings, who will host Indianapolis in Week 2, have won 17 of their past 21 openers at home. ... The Kansas City Chiefs, who host Oakland in Week 2, have won 14 of their past 19 home openers. ... The Detroit Lions, who host Green Bay in Week 2, have won 12 of their past 17 home openers. ... The St. Louis Rams, who host the New York Giants in Week 2, have won 10 of their past 13 openers in St. Louis. ... The San Diego Chargers, who open the season hosting Carolina, have won 10 of their past 15 at home. ... The Seattle Seahawks, who host San Francisco in Week 2, have won five consecutive home openers.