Bears at Packers to kick off 2009

It will be Chicago at Green Bay on Sunday night, Sept. 13, and Green Bay at Detroit on Thanksgiving, the NFL just announced. The Packers are 4-0 in season-opening prime-time games. Plus, Packer Report just learned that the Packers did not receive any compensatory picks.

Is there anything better than opening day at Lambeau Field?

How about opening night at Lambeau Field against the Chicago Bears?

The Green Bay Packers will host the Bears in a Sunday night season opener on Sept. 13, the NFL announced on Monday during its owners meetings in Dana Point, Calif. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. (Central).

Also, the Packers will play at Detroit on Thanksgiving at 11:30 a.m. (Central). The "Sunday Night Football" game against Chicago — matchup No. 178 in the rivalry — will be broadcast by NBC, while Fox will handle the Turkey Day tilt.

The rest of the schedule will be announced in April.

Including last year's 24-19 victory over Minnesota, the Packers are 4-0 in season-opening prime-time games. They also beat Chicago 38-24 at Lambeau in 1997

Green Bay was blanked 26-0 in its last opener against Chicago, in 2006.

Meanwhile, this will be the Packers' 33rd Thanksgiving game and the 19th against the Lions. The Packers beat Detroit 37-26 in their last Thanksgiving matchup, in 2007. Green Bay is 12-18-2 on the holiday and 6-11-1 vs. Detroit. For 13 consecutive years, from 1951 through 1963, the Lions and Packers met on Thanksgiving, with the Lions claiming a 9-3-1 record.

In its last six games on Thanksgiving, Green Bay beat Detroit (2007), lost to Detroit (2003), beat Detroit (2001), lost at Dallas (1994), beat Detroit (1986) and lost to Detroit (1984). They'll be trying to buck that trend this season against a Lions franchise that is in the midst of a top-to-bottom overhaul this offseason.

The NFL announced its Week 1 prime-time games on Monday. To kick off the season, Tennessee will visit Super Bowl-champion Pittsburgh on Thursday, Sept. 10, on NBC. On Monday night on ESPN, Buffalo will visit New England — Terrell Owens vs. Randy Moss — and Oakland will host San Diego.

The other Thanksgiving matchups pit Oakland at Dallas on CBS and the Giants at Denver on NFL Network.

Meanwhile, NFL insider Adam Caplan just told Packer Report that the Packers did not receive any compensatory picks. That was not surprising, considering the Packers lost cornerback Frank Walker and signed linebacker Brandon Chillar.

That means the Packers have nine picks in the draft - one in each round, plus a third-rounder in the Brett Favre trade and a sixth-rounder from the Saints for a deal made during the 2008 draft.

The Bengals and Titans netted four draft picks apiece, with the Bears, BPatriots and Seahawks getting three. Dallas, Jacksonville, San Diego and San Francisco received two, and Arizona, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Washington and the Giants received one apiece. Four third-round picks were awarded, to New England, Cincinnati, Chicago and the Giants.

Green Bay has received 24 extra picks since they started being awarded in 1994.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at

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