We still do not know who will be coaching the New Orleans Saints next season (the money line that it will be Bill Parcells is -130 verse an even money line of +100 it will not be him) or which college player will be the first overall pick in this year’s draft (Andrew Luck appears to be a lock to go first overall to Indianapolis, but the Colts have not officially ruled-out taking Robert Griffin III). What we do know is which two teams are playing in the 2012 NFL Kickoff and the opening line for the game.
Sticking with the fact that in the previous eight years, the past season’s Super Bowl Champion always hosted the first game of the new season, we already knew that the New York Giants would be one of the teams. What we did not know was the date and team they would play.
The game has traditionally been played the Thursday night before the first Sunday of the regular season, but it was decided last month that in 2012 it will be played on Wednesday, September 5 to avoid conflicting with the President’s keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, which was already scheduled for Thursday night.
This week at the owners’ meetings in Palm Beach, the NFL announced that the Giants would open defense of their recent Super Bowl title with a NFC East matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. This will be just the second time in the nine-year history of the NFL Kickoff game that two teams from the same division faced one another. Ironically enough, the last time was in 2008 when the Giants hosted the Washington Redskins after winning Super Bowl XLII.
The Oddsmakers wasted little time setting an opening line for this game, instilling the Giants as 4.5-point home favorites. This makes sense considering that New York easily covered as a three-point home favorite in a 31-14 romp over the Cowboys in the final game of the 2011 regular season. The Giants have owned Dallas in the past few years with a 5-1 record both straight-up and against the spread. At the very least, New York should win this game SU considering that the home team has won all eight previous games in this series.
The other big news to come out of this week’s meetings was the decision to adopt the league’s rule for overtime in the postseason to the regular season as well. If you recall, starting with the 201o playoffs, if a game was tied at the end of regulation, the team winning the coin toss for the start of overtime had to score a touchdown to win the game. If they could only manage a field goal, the other team would get a chance to tie or win the game with a field goal or touchdown of their own.
This past season’s playoff game between Denver and Pittsburgh was the first time the rule came into play, but the Broncos won the toss and scored a touchdown on their first possession to end the game. The owners should have taken things one step further by giving both teams at least one guaranteed possession in overtime, but at least your team will not lose an overtime game on a chip-shot field goal without first having a chance to win the game on their own.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.