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Way we see it, it'll be Packers-Giants to kick off 2012 season

INDIANAPOLIS –- While the New York Giants celebrate their victory in Super Bowl XLVI, putting a cap on the 2011 season, we turn our attention to the 2012 opener on Sept. 6.

And MetLife Stadium is sure to witness a doozy.

The defending champs will host one of the following teams: Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, Saints, Buccaneers, Packers, Browns, or Steelers. While we don't know for sure what team it will be, we can take some educated guesses based on past schedules.

Only once since 2004 –- the year the NFL started scheduling the Super Bowl champions to host the Kickoff game -– has there been a divisional matchup to start the season (Redskins-Giants in 2008), so let's eliminate the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins.

Let's also eliminate the Buccaneers and Browns, since neither of those teams would present a marquee matchup.

While we're at it, let's also toss out the Steelers since there only has been one inter-conference Kickoff game (Saints-Colts in '07) since 2004. That leaves us with the Saints and Packers, the two teams to kick off the freshly concluded season in September.

And why were those teams picked to open the 2011 season? It pitted the champions of the previous two seasons.

So there you go, it's Packers-Giants to open 2012.

Of course, we won't know for sure until some point in April when the league announces next season's slate. But with no meaningful games for the next seven months, what else is there to do but dream of a dream matchup to kick off things all over again?

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