Green Bay's game against Carolina, the defending NFC champion, is one of four marquee games announced by Tagliabue today at the NFL owners meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla. The remainder of the NFL schedule will probably be announced within the next week.
The Packers began defense of their Super Bowl XXXI title on Sept. 1, 1997, a 38-24 win over Chicago at Lambeau Field. And, on Sept. 17, 1973, Green Bay knocked off Joe Namath's New York Jets at Milwaukee County Stadium, 23-7.
The Packers, who generally draw the highest prime-time ratings among NFL teams, are on Monday Night Football for a 12th consecutive season (1992-2004), the NFC's longest streak. In the NFL, only the Miami Dolphins (14, 1990-2003) and Denver Broncos (12, 1992-2003) have equal or longer streaks, pending release of the balance of the 2004 schedule, which the league is expected to announce by mid-May.
Other games announced Monday by Tagliabue include a rematch of the 2003 AFC Championship between Indianapolis and New England(ABC) on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 8 p.m. CDT. Then, on Sunday, Sept. 12, Dallas plays at Minnesota in FOX's national doubleheader game, a 3:15 CDT kickoff, and Denver hosts Kansas City on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. CDT.