It's time to get "Back to Football!"
The 2013 season begins with the NFL's annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on Thursday, September 5 on NBC (8:30 PM ET) will feature the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visiting the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in a rematch of last year's double-overtime AFC Divisional Playoff Game.
To celebrate the start of the season, the NFL will host a pregame concert in Baltimore to honor the world champion Ravens. NBC will televise the game at 8:30 PM ET and NFL Kickoff 2013 at 7:30 PM ET.
A rundown of the NFL primetime kickoff games since 2002:
|Source: National Football League|
|Sept. 5, 2002||Giants Stadium||San Francisco 16, NY GIANTS 13||San Francisco kicker Jose Cortez kicks a 36-yard field goal with six seconds remaining to lead the 49ers to victory in the NFL's first Thursday-night opener since 1949.|
|Sept. 4, 2003||FedEx Field||WASHINGTON 16, NY Jets 13||Washington kicker John Hall converts a game winning 50-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to lift the Redskins past his former team.|
|Sept. 9, 2004||Gillette Stadium||NEW ENGLAND 27, Indianapolis 24||New England quarterback Tom Brady passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat the Colts.|
|Sept. 8, 2005||Gillette Stadium||NEW ENGLAND 30, Oakland 20||New England quarterback Tom Brady throws for 306 yards and two touchdowns while running back Corey Dillon adds two scores for the defending Super Bowl champions.|
|Sept. 7, 2006||Heinz Field||PITTSBURGH 28, Miami 17||Pittsburgh quarterback Charlie Batch passes for three touchdowns and running back Willie Parker adds 115 yards as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat Miami.|
|Sept. 6, 2007||RCA Dome||INDIANAPOLIS 41, New Orleans 10||The Super Bowl champion Colts rack up 452 yards of offense as quarterback Peyton Manning passes for 288 yards and three TDs.|
|Sept. 4, 2008||Giants Stadium||NY GIANTS 16, Washington 7||Quarterback Eli Manning scores a touchdown and the Giants' defense allows just 209 total yards as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat division-rival Washington.|
|Sept. 10, 2009||Heinz Field||PITTSBURGH 13, Tennessee 10 (OT)||Pittsburgh's Jeff Reed kicks a 33-yard game winning field goal in overtime as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat Tennessee.|
|Sept. 9, 2010||Louisiana Superdome||NEW ORLEANS 14, Minnesota 9||New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees throws for 237 yards and a touchdown to lead the Saints past the Vikings in a rematch of the 2009 NFC Championship Game.|
|Sept. 8, 2011||Lambeau Field||GREEN BAY 42, New Orleans 34||Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns and the Packers' defense makes a goal-line stand on the game's final play as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat the Saints.|
|Sept. 5, 2012||MetLife Stadium||Dallas 24, NY GIANTS 17||Dallas quarterback Tony Romo throws for 307 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Kevin Ogletree, as the Cowboys defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.|
NFL Kickoff 2013 Schedule
Thursday, Sunday & Monday, September 5, 8-9
(All times local)
Baltimore at Denver, 6:30 PM (Thursday, NBC)
Atlanta at New Orleans, 12:00 PM
New England at Buffalo, 1:00 PM
Tampa Bay at New York Jets, 1:00 PM
Seattle at Carolina, 1:00 PM
Tennessee at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM
Cincinnati at Chicago, 12:00 PM
Arizona at St. Louis, 3:25 PM
Miami at Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Green Bay at San Francisco, 1:25 PM
Minnesota at Detroit, 1:00 PM
New York Giants at Dallas, 7:30 PM (NBC)
Oakland at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM
Kansas City at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM
Philadelphia at Washington, 7:10 PM (Mon., ESPN)
Houston at San Diego, 7:20 PM (Mon., ESPN)
NFL Season Openers
Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game:
Of the 506 teams which won openers … 266 went to the playoffs (159 won division titles).
Of the 507 teams which lost openers … 120 went to the playoffs (67 won division titles).
Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.
In 2012, eight of the 12 playoff teams -- Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Minnesota, New England, San Francisco and Washington -- were victorious on Kickoff Weekend.