Packers to open on 'MNF' at Carolina

The Green Bay Packers will open the 2004 regular season at Carolina Sept. 13 on Monday Night Football, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Monday afternoon.<p>

The Packers will open on the road for the first time in eight years, and for only the second time on the road in the last 19 seasons. The last two times the Packers opened away from Wisconsin were Sept. 1, 1996, a 34-3 win at Tampa Bay, and Sept. 8, 1985, a 26-20 loss at New England.

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.

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