And for those who want to reserve a bar stool a few months ahead of time, here’s the games that are supposed to be shown exclusively by the NFL Network. Be sure to have your excuses ready to get out of the house, since you won’t be able to see these games at home.
And what other kind of fun awaits NFL fans come kickoff?
• The league heads back to jolly ol’ England on October 26, when the New Orleans Saints face the San Diego Chargers. Make sense that the team who’s suffered the most recent water damage would play in rainy, foggy London. But why do the Chargers have to make the charter flight from hell? They’re the farthest team away from Wembley Stadium geographically (with maybe the exception of San Francisco or Seattle).
• The Miami Dolphins will once again go international, as they travel to Toronto on December 7 to play the Buffalo Bills - maybe as a test run for the Bills’ eventual new home? It’s the second straight year the ‘Fins will be going abroad to play a regular season game. Considering their 1-15 record last year, the league likely wants to keep them out of the country as often as possible.
• For Thanksgiving, the Dallas Cowboys host the Tennessee Titans (will Pacman be wearing a star by then?), while the Detroit Lions host the Seattle Seahawks (who return to the scene of the crime that was Super Bowl XL). And for the third contest, the Philadelphia Eagles host the Arizona Cardinals, giving new meaning to the term “Turkey Day”.
• Just as the Packers kick off “Monday Night Football” by facing the Minnesota Vikings, the Green Bay squad will also finish the “MNF” season on December 22 when they visit the Chicago Bears. Should be an exciting atmosphere for Brett Favre’s comeback.