Vikes-Packers In Prime Time Week 1

The NFL announced Monday its early slate of prime time games, which will include the Vikings and Packers at Lambeau Field.

Call it Peterson Mania if you want, but for the last few months it has been anticipated that the NFL would want to market one of its top young stars by giving the Vikings some primetime exposure.

The entire NFL schedule hasn't been released yet, but the NFL announced Monday what games will be part of its Kickoff Weekend primetime package.

Last week, the league announced that the defending champion Giants will open the season on Thursday, Sept. 4 when they host the Redskins in the regular-season opener. Monday three more games were added to that list, including three of the four NFC North teams.

The Colts will play host to the Bears in a Super Bowl rematch from two years ago on the initial Sunday night telecast, and on the annual Monday doubleheader games the Vikings will play the Packers at Lambeau Field in the early game (6 p.m. Central Time), followed by the Broncos-Raiders at 9 p.m. CDT.

This will be only the third time in franchise history that the Vikings have opened the season on Monday Night Football. Minnesota's other opener on "Monday Night Football" came in Brad Childress' head-coaching debut when the Vikings played at Washington on Sept. 11, 2006. That game, like the franchise's first MNF opener in 1971, was also decided by a field goal with Ryan Longwell connecting on a 31-yarder with a minute remaining to give the Vikings a 19-16 victory over the Redskins at FedEx Field.

The Sept. 8 game will be the 47th appearance on MNF for the Vikings, who have a 24-23 record in the prime-time showcase. It will be the sixth game in franchise history between Minnesota and Green Bay on Monday Night Football, with the last game coming on November 21, 2005, when the Vikings topped the Packers 20-17 on a last-second field goal by Paul Edinger. It will also be the sixth time that the Vikings have opened the season against the Packers, with the other season-openers coming in 1962, 1974, 1992, 1994, and 2003.

Vikings fans may have to get to used to watching their team in prime-time contests because, as we've already seen, A.D. is one of the most marketable young stars in the league and there is the expectation the country will get to see him under the spotlight more times than the Vikes have been featured in recent years.

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