Monday Night Football: Patriots-Dolphins and Raiders-Broncos kick it off
Monday Night Football kicks off the 2011 season with the Dolphins hosting the Patriots and the Raiders facing the Broncos. ESPN recently announced an extension of their Monday Night Football television deal with the NFL, worth some $15 billion.
Monday Night Football begins its 42nd season tonight with an AFC East matchup between the defending division champ New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. There is a second Monday night AFC game this evening, featuring the Oakland Raiders at the Denver Broncos.
Last season, the Patriots defeated Miami twice on their way to the AFC East title. A possible stumbling block tonight for reigning NFL MVP Tom Brady and the New England offense will be starting tackle Sebastian Vollmer out of the lineup, due to injury.
Bill Belichick, entering his 12th season as Pats head coach, is looking for improvement from his defensive squad. Former Redskin Haynesworth, acquired in a trade during the offseason, is expected to help bolster the Patriots pass rush.
The Raiders will start former Redskin Jason Campbell under center. Oakland, by way of the supplemental draft earlier this summer, also has disgraced former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor on their roster. The NFL, however, suspended Pryor for the team's first five games for violating NCAA rules, though the penalty is under appeal.
Tonight's football doubleheader begins at 7 p.m. ET.