The NFL is inundating us with so many tidbits of news, notes, stats and quotes that our heads are ready to explode waiting for the opening kickoff this weekend when our Baltimore Ravens host the Pittsburgh Steelers in what many consider the best and most fierce rivalry in the NFL. We already got an amazing glimpse of what the 2011 NFL season holds for us in the thrilling win by the Green Bay Packers over the New Orleans Saints last night where the two QBs threw for over 700 combined passing yards.
While we should expect anywhere near that number in the Ravens-Steelers match-up, there are some stats about the game, teams and players that while meaningless, are out there and every true football-starved fans wants to gobble them up.
The Ravens under head coach John Harbaugh, are 3-0 in season openers. The Steelers, under head coach Mike Tomlin, are 4-0 in openers. Something has to change with that comparison after Sunday. Pittsburgh has won eight straight season openers, 5th best all-time and the current longest streak on the league. QB Ben Roethlisberger is looking for his 70th win as a starter (in 99 starts), which would make him the 4th fastest QB to that level behind leaders Tom Brady and Roger Staubach, who both did it in 94 career starts.
The NFL is offering all fans a "freeview" this opening weekend of NFL RedZone, SiriusXM NFL Radio and the NFL Sunday Ticket. To celebrate the kickoff of the 2011 NFL season, NFL Network and NBC Sports will present a one-hour NFL Kickoff 2011: Back to Football special Saturday, September 10 at 8pm ET on NBC.
(For more on this weekend's "freeview," and one-hour special on NBC, click on the 'Jump.')
FREEVIEWS OF NFL REDZONE CHANNEL,
SIRIUSXM NFL RADIO & NFL SUNDAY TICKET
ON KICKOFF SUNDAY
Fans get "Back to Football" with free access to top subscription products
NFL says ‘thank you’ with more football for fans for free
To celebrate the kickoff of the 2011 NFL season, fans will be offered free previews of NFL RedZone channel, SiriusXM NFL Radio and NFL Sunday Ticket, as well as free shipping for all orders on NFLShop.com, on Kickoff Sunday (September 11), it was announced today.
All fans whose television providers carry the widely acclaimed NFL RedZone channel -- which whips around every NFL game on Sunday afternoons, delivering the touchdowns and most exciting moments as they happen – will receive the channel free on Kickoff Sunday. Comcast, Dish Network, Cox, Charter, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T U-Verse are among the operators offering the NFL Network-produced NFL RedZone channel.
SiriusXM NFL Radio will offer XM Select Package subscribers the chance to listen to every home and away radio broadcast of each game on Kickoff Sunday (via www.siriusxm.com/max1 or by calling 888/749-2689). The only place on radio for NFL news and analysis 24 hours a day, seven days a week, SiriusXM NFL Radio offers the home and visiting team radio broadcasts and national Westwood One radiocasts for all 256 NFL regular season games and the playoffs, including Super Bowl XLVI.
All DirecTV homes which don’t already have subscriptions to NFL Sunday Ticket and the RedZone Channel will on Kickoff Sunday receive at no charge the subscription package which includes all AFC and NFC regional network telecasts of Sunday afternoon games (subject to blackout restrictions).
In addition, fans will receive free shipping on all orders placed at NFLShop.com Thursday, September 8 through Monday, September 12.
NBC TO AIR "NFL KICKOFF 2011: BACK TO
SATURDAY AT 8 PM ET
Features Jon Bon Jovi performing ‘America the Beautiful’ from NYC firehouse &
kickoff highlights of Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum & Maroon 5
NFL Network & NBC Sports talent preview Week 1
To celebrate the kickoff of the 2011 NFL season, NFL Network and NBC Sports will present a one-hour NFL Kickoff 2011: Back to Football special Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 PM ET on NBC.
The show, a joint NFL Network/NBC Sports production, will feature football, music and a tribute to 9/11 first responders.
With BOB COSTAS hosting from atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the NFL Kickoff 2011 Saturday night show previews the Week 1 games with commentary and analysis from NFL Network and NBC Sports talent. In addition, the special features a Costas interview with New York Jets head coach REX RYAN and a look ahead to the debut of the new NFL Films-produced NFL Turning Point, which premieres on VERSUS on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 10 PM ET.
Football Night in America’s Dan Patrick will host segments with Football Night colleagues TONY DUNGY and RODNEY HARRISON, who will preview Sunday night’s Cowboys-Jets game, and PETER KING and MIKE FLORIO, who will provide updated news and notes on the eve of the NFL’s first full Sunday of action.
The new six-man team from NFL Network’s Emmy-nominated NFL GameDay Morning – RICH EISEN, MARSHALL FAULK, STEVE MARIUCCI, MICHAEL IRVIN, WARREN SAPP and newcomer KURT WARNER – will debate whether the Philadelphia Eagles are truly the ‘dream team’ of the 2011 NFL season and provide their thoughts on what they’re most looking forward to this season.
From the field to the stage, KID ROCK, LADY ANTEBELLUM and MAROON 5 are featured with highlights from their NFL Kickoff 2011 performances at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
The show’s grand finale features rock icon JON BON JOVI paying tribute to the 9/11 first responders by performing ‘America the Beautiful’ this week at a New York City fire house (Engine 8, Ladder 2, Battalion 8). Ten years ago Bon Jovi’s stirring rendition of the song from the same firehouse aired nationally on Sept. 23, 2001 prior to kickoff of the first NFL games after 9/11.