NFL NETWORK 2009 PRIMETIME
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Eight-Game Slate Kicks Off With 49ers-Bears on Nov. 12
Super Bowl Champion Steelers Visit Rival Browns on Dec. 10
Division Champs Chargers and Titans Wrap Up Schedule with Special Friday Night Christmas Game
First International Game for NFL Network
NFL.com LIVE Coverage Returns
NFL Network announced today its eight-game, regular-season primetime Thursday Night Football schedule. Game times for the contests — six on Thursdays and one on Saturday – are 8:00 PM ET, with a special 7:30 PM ET start on Christmas. NFL Network’s schedule features teams that combined for seven playoff berths and six division titles in 2008.
Bob Papa (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth, who won a 2006 Sports Emmy and is a nominee in 2008 for Best Event Analyst for NFL Network broadcasts, return for their second season calling the games. The following are highlights of NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football:
- San Francisco head coach Mike Singletary faces the team for which he starred during his Hall of Fame career as the 49ers host the Chicago Bears and new quarterback Jay Cutler on Thursday, Nov. 12.
- The Miami Dolphins, who equaled the best worst-to-first improvement in NFL history (10 more wins than 2007) to win the AFC East last season, visit the NFC South champion Carolina Panthers, who had their own five win increase last year, on Thursday Nov. 19.
- The NFL’s Thanksgiving Day tripleheader on Thursday, Nov. 26 concludes with the NFC East champion New York Giants visiting the Denver Broncos in the first NFL “turkey day” game in Denver since 1963.
- New head coach Rex Ryan leads the New York Jets north of the border to Toronto to face the Buffalo Bills in NFL Network’s first-ever international game on Thursday, Dec. 3. The Jets defense will face an additional challenge in new Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens, who had an NFL-best 213-yard receiving game in 2008.
- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes lead the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers to Cleveland for an AFC North clash with the Browns and new head coach Eric Mangini on Thursday Dec. 10.
- 2008 NFL MVP Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts visit the AFC South rival Jaguars on Thursday, Dec. 17, marking the third consecutive primetime meeting in Jacksonville between the clubs. Jacksonville’s explosive running back Maurice Jones-Drew has rushed for 571 yards and five touchdowns in six career games against the Colts.
- Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys visit 5,000-yard passer Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Dec. 19. The Saints have won their last three home games against Dallas.
- The NFL Network schedule wraps up with a special primetime Christmas game on Friday, Dec. 25 as NFL passing leader Philip Rivers and the three-time defending AFC West champion San Diego Chargers visit a Tennessee Titans squad which won the AFC South last year with an NFL-best 13-3 record.
Each NFL Network telecast will feature a live, two-hour pregame show. In addition, a one-hour postgame show will wrap up the action with interviews, highlights and press conferences.
NFL.com LIVE again will offer complementary Thursday Night Football game coverage including select live video, statistics and interactive applications. NFL.com LIVE coverage in 2007 and 2008 earned Sports Emmy nominations for outstanding new approaches in coverage.
NFL Network 2009 Schedule
Week 10: Thursday, November 12 at 8:00 PM ET
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers
Week 11: Thursday, November 19 at 8:00 PM ET
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers
Week 12: Thursday, November 26 at 8:00 PM ET
New York Giants at Denver Broncos (Thanksgiving)
Week 13: Thursday, December 3 at 8:00 PM ET
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (in Toronto)
Week 14: Thursday, December 10 at 8:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Week 15: Thursday, December 17 at 8:00 PM ET
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 15: Saturday, December 19 at 8:00 PM ET
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints
Week 16: Friday, December 25 at 7:30 PM ET
San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans
NFL Network games also will be carried on free, over-the-air television in the city of the visiting team and in the city where the game is played if it is sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff.
For the entire 2009 NFL schedule, visit www.NFL.com.