Rematches of Rams-Saints, Patriots-Chiefs among contenders for 2019 season opener

The NFL's regular-season opener in 2019 could well be a conference championship game rematch, no matter what happens in Super Bowl LIII.

If the Rams win the Super Bowl, they could host the Saints in the 2019 Kickoff game, a league source told ESPN. And if the Patriots win on Sunday, they could host the Chiefs in the opener, according to the source.

There also are other options for the NFL to consider -- the Seahawks and Bears as potential opponents for the Rams, and the Steelers, Cowboys and Browns for the Patriots.

But a conference championship game rematch would be among the favorites to be played to open the 2019 season, depending on what happens Sunday.

There also are, according to one source, no assurances that the Super Bowl champion will open the 2019 season at home. Because of the festivities surrounding the NFL's 100-year celebration, the league could opt to have the Super Bowl champ travel in Week 1, becoming the first defending champion to open on the road since the Ravens played at Denver to open the 2013 season.

Another option the league is considering is having the Packers and Bears open on Thursday night to commemorate the NFL's 100th anniversary, pushing this season's Super Bowl champion to the Sunday night game instead, according to sources.