The first NFL Sunday of the year on Sept. 8 is big enough just for bringing the NFL back. However, Week 1 doesn’t have a lot of games between teams projected to be Super Bowl contenders. Yet the one game that does qualifies as the biggest matchup of this NFL Sunday, as the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers duel for the third time in 12 months.
The 49ers kicked off last year’s campaign by beating the Packers in Lambeau Field with Alex Smith, then beat them again in the divisional playoffs with Colin Kaepernick. That victory showed how Kaepernick was truly the quarterback of the future for San Francisco, as he went on to fall just yards short of a Super Bowl triumph in the present.
Kaepernick and the 49ers now look for another season-opening win over the Packers to propel them towards that next step. Yet with Michael Crabtree injured and the Seattle Seahawks the trendy pick in the NFC West, if not the entire NFC, the 49ers have something to prove once again. However, the Packers are even hungrier after two straight defeats in the second round.
The 49ers and Packers easily have the game of the day, as the other 11 matchups on Sept. 7 are a mixed bag. Here is a list of the best and worst games to follow on this opening NFL Sunday, although that doesn’t mean they will be the best and worst games of the day in practice.