Kickoff Weekend begins on Thursday, September 8 when the defending-champion Denver Broncos host the Carolina Panthers in a Super Bowl 50 rematch. It marks the first Super Bowl rematch played on Kickoff Weekend since 1970 (Kansas City-Minnesota). It’s when things start to count. Some clubs have excelled in openers.
Notable active NFL Kickoff streaks
- The Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos, who start the season at home against Carolina, have posted a 42-13-1 (.764) record in home openers, the top mark in the NFL. Denver has won 22 of its past 25 home openers.
- The NFC champion Carolina Panthers start the season on the road at Denver on Thursday night of Kickoff Weekend having won their past two openers on the road, tied for the second-longest active streak in the league.
- The AFC East champion New England Patriots, who travel to Arizona on Sunday Night Football, have a 16-4 record on the road against NFC teams over the past 10 seasons. The Patriots have the fifth-most Kickoff Weekend wins among AFC teams (31).
- The AFC South champion Houston Texans, who open the season hosting Chicago, have won five of their past six home openers.
- The NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals, who host New England on Kickoff Weekend, have the third-longest current winning streak among NFC teams in home openers (six).
- The NFC East champion Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ERS start the season at home against Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, respectively, during a Monday Night Football doubleheader. Washington has 48 wins in home openers – the fifth-most amongst NFC teams – while San Francisco has won 14 of its past 20 home openers.
- The Green Bay Packers, who travel to Jacksonville on Kickoff Weekend, hold the record for the most wins in road openers (54) and the second-best winning percentage in openers on the road (.581, 54-39-2).
• The Pittsburgh Steelers, who travel to Washington on Monday night of Kickoff Weekend, have the most wins (41) among AFC teams on Kickoff Weekend.
Home sweet home
- The Atlanta Falcons, who host Tampa Bay to open the 2016 campaign, have won eight consecutive home openers, the longest active streak in the NFL.
- The Seattle Seahawks, who host Miami on Kickoff Weekend, have won seven consecutive home openers, the second-longest streak in the league
- The New York Jets host Cincinnati on Kickoff Weekend having won five consecutive home openers, the longest active streak among AFC teams
- The Chicago Bears (65-27-4), who host Philadelphia in Week 2 on Monday Night Football, have a .707 winning percentage in home openers, the second-best mark in the NFL
- The Dallas Cowboys begin the year by hosting the New York Giants with a 38-17-1 (.691) record in openers at home, the fourth-best winning percentage in NFL history.
- New England’s Bill Belichick is 14-7 (.667) on Kickoff Weekend and his 14 wins are the most among active head coaches.
- Belichick and Los Angeles’ Jeff Fisher (12-8; .600) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games and own an opening weekend winning percentage above .500.
- Denver’s Gary Kubiak (6-3) and Buffalo’s Rex Ryan (6-1) have each won five consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest current streak among active head coaches.
- Todd Bowles (1-0) of the Jets, Hue Jackson (1-0) of Cleveland and Dan Quinn (1-0) of the Falcons are the only active head coaches with perfect records on Kickoff Weekend.
- Four head coaches – Miami’s Adam Gase, Tampa Bay’s Dirk Koetter, the Giants’ Ben McAdoo and Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson make their Kickoff Weekend debuts in 2016.