The Green Bay Packers will host the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field for the first game on the Thursday night football schedule in the 2011 season. Thursday night football doesn't start its weekly schedule until November but it's become a tradition for the Super Bowl winner to host the first game the following year on the Week 1 schedule.
That means the 2011 Super Bowl champs (Green Bay) is hosting the 2010 Super Bowl champs (New Orleans) at 8:30 p.m. (ET) Thursday night.
There's a strong argument that the Saints-Packers game is the best on the schedule in Week 1 but there's another option, too. Looking at the 2011 NFL schedule, you could argue that the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers is the best game in Week 1. Many folks prefer elite defensive units going at each other rather than an offensive explosion, which is what Saints-Packers could be, so it's a matter of taste I suppose.
Either way, the first week of the NFL season is always the best. Almost every team's fan base can legitimately claim their team has a shot at making a playoff run. There's about a 50 percent playoff turnover rate every year so there will be open spots for January football.
Here's a look at the Week 1 schedule. Is the best game of the week Saints-Packers? Or is it Steelers-Ravens? Or another game?
While you're at it, check out the complete 2011 NFL schedule.
1:00 P.M. (ET)
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (CBS)
8:20 p.m. (Sunday Night Football)
7:00 p.m. (Monday Night Football)
10:15 p.m. (Monday Night Football)