After the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl back in February, many quickly speculated that they would kick off the 2015 regular-season by hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, now that it is being reported that Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell will both miss the season-opener due to suspensions, you have to wonder if the league will look elsewhere for an opening Thursday night opponent for the 2014 champions
The Patriots are scheduled to host the Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins in 2015 and it’s quite easy to eliminate several of those teams as being their Week 1 opponent because of perceived lack of competitiveness and ratings. In fact, the Eagles and Bills are the only two teams that would make a lot of sense should the Steelers not be chosen.
Does the league really want a storyline attached to season-opener that revolves around two key players being suspended for violating their substance abuse policy? I suppose it’s possible.
If I’m Steelers team president Art Rooney II, I’m lobbying the league to look elsewhere for an opening night opponent for the Patriots. Wouldn’t you?
An opening night game between the Patriots and the Eagles would certainly draw great ratings as it would feature an up-and-coming coach in Chip Kelly squaring off against future Hall-of-Famer Bill Belichick. A Bills versus patriots game probably would do too bad, either, being as Rex Ryan is again the head coach of another AFC East team.
We don’t have long to wait until we find who the Patriots will face to open the 2015 regular-season, as the full league schedule is expected to be announced roughly two weeks from today. Let me know where you weigh in on this topic?