FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20: Robert Kraft, team owner of the New England Patriots addresses the fans as he receives the Lamar Hunt AFC Championship trophy from CBS announcer Jim Nantz against the San Diego Chargers during the AFC Championship Game on January 20, 2008 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
All right, schedule snoops — here’s the first clue.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft may have let the cat out of the bag a little Monday when he gave his prognostications on the scheduling for next year’s NFL season. While much of the chatter Monday was about how the Ravens may not be able to play at home for the first game of the season, as is the tradition for the Super Bowl-winning team, Kraft had thoughts about who Baltimore’s opponent would be.
“I’d be surprised if we’re not the opening opponent for Baltimore on Thursday night,” he said of the kickoff to the 2013 NFL season, according to Patriots.com.
While the NFL has traditionally picked Super Bowl participants to open the new season and scheduled their openers against foes they saw in the playoffs — in this case, the AFC Championship-losing Patriots — Kraft’s opinions aren’t necessarily inside information. The league has a complex scheduling process, and if something as simple as an O’s game can upset the apple cart, then Ravens-Patriots to kick off 2013 is no guarantee.