Data Points: Kickoff Game an accurate forecaster

Finally. The NFL schedule release on Tuesday has a lot of anxious folks around the league wondering what kind of journey their team will have to make to have a shot come mid January. And I’m not just talking about fans. General managers, coaching staffs and players all take great interest on who they play, and when. Perhaps the most important game, at least from a league standpoint, is the Kickoff Game, which — since being instituted in 2002 — always comes on the Thursday night prior to Week 1’s Sunday games. Of course, it’s important that the NFL brandishes a sexy matchup, like last year’s Vikings-Saints tilt from the Big Easy. But perhaps more significant is how the clubs […]

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