Saints to take on Packers to kick off 2011 NFL Season, Lions to host MNF game

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (R) celebrates with teammate Greg Jennings after they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL’s Super Bowl XLV football game in Arlington, Texas February 6, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Assuming there even is a 2011 NFL season, the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers will host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, September 8 to kick off the new year according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The full NFL schedule won’t be released until 7:00PM ET tonight, but word has leaked about some of the matchups. Along with the Saints-Packers tilt on opening night, the Giants are expected to play the Redskins in Week 1 and the Cowboys and Jets will kick off the Sunday Night Football schedule.

And get this: the Detroit Free Press is also reporting that the Lions will host a Monday Night Football game this year against their NFC North rivals, the Bears. The game is slated for October 10 and will be the Lions’ first appearance on MNF since 2001 and their first prime-time game of any kind since 2005.

That’s great news for long-suffering Lions fans, although does anyone else find it ironic that they get to celebrate their team being on MNF next year in the middle of a lockout? Congratulations, Lions fans – your team will be on Monday Night Football next season! Well, if there even is a season, that is.

I’ll update this post with the full schedule once it’s released tonight.

View the full 2011 NFL Schedule.

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