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Lambeau Field will be a cauldron of noise for the start of the new NFL Season
So finally, the 2011 NFL Season is about to begin, however the build up has been far from plain sailing.

Immediately after the dust had settled in Arlington, Texas, attention swiftly moved from an exciting Superbowl, to the worrying chance that the following season would not even take place.

After the months of endless NFL Labour disputes following Superbowl XLV in February, it is back with a vengeance kicking off again this evening with a heavyweight clash featuring the two previous Superbowl Champions - last year's winners Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field.

Difficult

The man at the heart of the discussions earlier in the year will be in attendance at this season's kick off. After a difficult Spring and Summer, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be hoping for a less controversial Autumn and Winter and just be glad that Football is back.

In Green Bay this past week, he praised all 32 teams and their fans for their patience in the last few months. Goodell called it an "unusual and difficult off-season".

The clash of these two NFC giants pits two of the NFL's best quarterbacks as they look to show why they are both Superbowl MVP's. Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers will want to continue "The Cheeseheads'" 2010 season's success into a new year and Drew Brees will want his New Orleans side to venture further into the Play-offs this year.

Dark Horses

The Packers somehow kept themselves under the radar all season long, even finishing 2nd in the NFC North behind fierce rivals the Chicago Bears. Teams such as the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons took the limelight, allowing Mick McCarthy to coach his side to the very top as the Darkest of all Dark Horses and bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to its spiritual home. 

The Saints managed another Play-Off place last season after also finishing 2nd in their division (NFC South) but lost a close game in the Wild Card round to a resurgent Seattle Seahawks side who did enough to beat an on-fire Brees.

Pre-season

Ahead of the big Kick-off, Green Bay won three of their four Pre-season matches losing at the Cleveland Browns 17-27 but recorded a 24-21 victory at next year's Superbowl Venue beating the Colts at the Lucas Oil Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Saints only managed two victories out of the four pre-season games including a 32-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans. However, their depth chart still remains full of players who were involved in the Superbowl XLIV win in Miami so the Saints will yet again be around and about the play-offs come January.

So the road to Indianapolis for Superbowl XLVI starts tonight and you can see the New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers at 1AM on Sky Sports 2.
 


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