The NFL today announced that the Pittsburgh Steelers will open defense of their Super Bowl championship, Thursday, September 10 on NBC, hosting the AFC South champion Tennessee Titans, who had an NFL-best 13-3 record last season. In the first “NBC Sunday Night Football” contest of the season, the Green Bay Packers will host their longtime rival the Chicago Bears.
In a tradition that began in 2004, the Super Bowl champion annually hosts the NFL Thursday night season kickoff the following year. The first Sunday night primetime game on NBC will feature a division matchup between teams that have won seven of the past eight NFC North titles.
The announcement of the Kickoff Weekend and Thanksgiving games was made Monday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the NFL Annual Meeting in Dana Point, California.
The rest of the 2009 regular-season schedule will be completed and announced in April.
The 2009 Kickoff Weekend national primetime and Thanksgiving Day television games:
Tennessee at Pittsburgh
Chicago at Green Bay
Buffalo at New England
San Diego at Oakland
Green Bay at Detroit
Oakland at Dallas
New York Giants at Denver