In football mad Edmonton, every game is important.
But this regular-season opener carries a little more significance after the dismal 2006 season.
And that point isn't lost in the Green and Gold's locker-room as they prepare for Thursday's lid-lifter to the real campaign against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Commonwealth Stadium.
"I wouldn't say it is life or death (that we win)," said receiver Trevor Gaylor.
"But I would put it (as) a high priority. I think with what happened last year, we want to get things going to a good start - especially with the new faces so they can have a new-found confidence as far as being an Eskimo."
Veteran safety J.R. LaRose has the same attitude.
"It is huge (to get a win)," he remarked.
"We need to come out flying. We can't come out slow."
Head coach Danny Maciocia also knows the importance of setting the right tone to start the year.
"We want to impress our fans with these guys we have chosen to play for us," said Maciocia, before detailing how happy he is with the overall team speed.
After beating the B.C. Lions in the final pre-season game, the head boss is raising some valid points.
"When was the last time we actually had three interceptions in a game?" he asked.
"When was the last time we turned a five-yard pass into an 80-yard gain?"
But this is a football team that has really struggled out of the gate in recent seasons.
In the last eight years, Edmonton has only won twice to start the season.
Thursday's regular-season opener goes at 7:30 p.m. at Commonwealth.