ESPN will kick off the 40th season of Monday Night Football with the return of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the debut of controversial wideout Terrell Owens in a Buffalo Bills uniform.
Part of a 50th anniversary celebration of the American Football League, the Bills will visit Brady, who missed all but part of the opening quarter of the 2008 season with a knee injury, and the Pats at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. (ET).
Two other AFL squads (the upstart circuit merged with the NFL In 1971), the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders will meet in the nightcap of the now annual MNF first weekend doubleheader at 10:15 p.m.
The 2009 season begins with NBC's coverage of the AFC South Tennessee Titans invading the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10 at 8:30 p.m.
Kickoff Weekend continues with the Peacock's first Sunday Night Football match on Sept. 13: the Chicago Bears traveling to Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.
The NFL, which today announced an extension of its Sunday Ticket deal with DirecTV, also announced its Thanksgiving schedule, featuring Green Bay going to Ford Field and the Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m.; Oakland visiting Owen's old team the Dallas Cowboys in their new stadium at 4:15 p.m.; and in the NFL Network nightcap, the New York Giants playing the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field.
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