3 biggest upsets from NFL Kickoff Game in the league's history

The Kickoff Game is a major occasion for all football fans
The Kickoff Game is a major occasion for all football fans

The NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday Night Football has been a tradition in the league since its implementation in 2002. It symbolizes the start of the NFL's regular season and is preceded by a concert alongside other festivities.

Since 2004, the first game of the new season has been hosted by the Super Bowl winners with two exceptions.

In 2013, the Baltimore Ravens played on the road due to a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles. In 2019, the Chicago Bears hosted the Green Bay Packers to celebrate 100 years in operation while the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, were not involved.

The full NFL schedule will be released on May 12. But the NFL will also slowly trickle out some games throughout the week.May 9: ESPN will announce some of their games.May 10: CBS's turnMay 11: FOX's turnMay 12: NBC's turn + all teams will announce their first home game.

As the NFL schedule is due to be released on May 12, 8:00 PM ET, we look back at some of the most memorable games that have started the NFL season. Here are three of the biggest upsets from the opening game in the league's history.

#3 - Dallas Cowboys 24-17 New York Giants, 2012

The game was played on a Wednesday night to avoid competing with a national political convention, but it did throw up a shock. The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Giants, were defeated at MetLife Stadium by the Cowboys.

Eli Manning failed to complete a fourth-quarter comeback, which was New York's specialty the year before. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns for 307 yards in a 24-17 victory to open the new season.

#2 - Baltimore Ravens 27-49 Denver Broncos, 2013

The Ravens, who defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, played this game in Denver because the Baltimore Orioles were also playing at home on the same day and the two franchises shared parking.

It was a bad night for Joe Flacco and Co. as Peyton Manning threw for seven touchdowns in a mesmerizing performance, avenging the defeat in the 2012 AFC Divisional game.


#1 - Kansas City Chiefs 42-27 New Englan Patriots, 2017

This remains to this day the biggest shock in NFL Kickoff Game history as the Chiefs toppled Tom Brady and the Patriots 42-27 at Gilette Stadium.

The Patriots were celebrating a heroic comeback in the Super Bowl seven months earlier, after being 28-3 behind the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter. They eventually tied the game to sent it into overtime, with James White scoring the winning touchdown.

This made the Chiefs' victory even more impressive. No one expected them to have a chance against the Patriots. But they completely blew away New England with a mightily impressive performance, with quarterback Alex Smith throwing four touchdowns for 368 yards.


With the NFL schedule set to be released, it will take a mammoth performance to knock the Chiefs' victory from 2017 off the top spot.

Which team should have the most primetime games in 2022? πŸ“ΊπŸ‘€NFL Schedule Release -- Thursday at 8pm ET on @NFLNetwork

Edited by Akshay Saraswat


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