NFL logo. (Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Normally, the defending champ hosts the NFL kick-off game the following season but, according to Sports Business Journal this week, the league's leaning toward a Packers-Bears Thursday night opener to start its 100th season celebration September 5th.
If that happens, New England would unveil its newest championship banner on Sunday Night Football a few days later, but it'd be the first time since 2006 the reigning champs did not play in the following season's kickoff game.
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Soldier Field would host the Packers and Bears. They're the NFL's oldest rivalry, with 198 meetings since 1921, which may explain the potential shift for the centennial season.
The Pats would theoretically open against the Chiefs, Steelers, Giants, or Browns, but we won't know until April.
WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports