Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers will host the New Orleans Saints in the 2001 NFL season-opener.
The league unveiled its regular season schedule on Tuesday, but the whole thing could prove redundant if the NFL owners and players cannot resolve a labor dispute that has thrown the sport into chaos.
The players and owners met for a third day of court-ordered mediation aimed at ending the lockout which has crippled the game, and agreeing to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Provided a new agreement can be reached, the Packers will begin their title defence on September 8 against the Saints at Lambeau Field.
Last season’s Super Bowl losers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, will begin their season on Sunday, September 11 against long-time rivals the Baltimore Ravens.
Both New York teams will also be in action on that first Sunday, which marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, with the Giants visiting the Redskins in Washington and the Jets hosting the Dallas Cowboys at New Meadowlands Stadium.
“That stadium is going to be full of emotion and things like that, not only the people from the area but in the entire country,” said Jets coach Rex Ryan on the team’s website.
“The fact that it is 9/11 and we’ll be in our stadium, that’s really a huge deal for us, for sure.”
Monday Night Football will get off to an exciting start in the first week of the season, with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots facing the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders challenging the Broncos in Denver.
The NFL will again experiment with playing games outside the United States, with the , the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears going head-to-head at London’s Wembley Stadium on October 23 and Toronto hosting a clash between the Buffalo Bills and Washington a week later.
Indianapolis will host the Super Bowl on February 5 after a 17-week regular season.
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