By: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
March 21, 2005

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The NFL announced the opening weekend nationally televised games on Monday, and the Patriots will host Randy Moss and the Oakland Raiders in a Thursday night game on September 8th to open the season.

This game will mark the first time that Oakland has returned to New England since the teams' memorable 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff "blizzard" game.

While many of those players are no longer with the Raiders, one interesting sidebar will be the return of Raiders defensive lineman Warren Sapp, who gave the Patriots 'No Chance' in Superbowl XXXVIII with Russ Hochstein filling in on the Patriots offensive line. Should the Pats beat Oakland, New England fans may expect to see Sapp head off to retirement, after the defensive lineman said at the time he'd call it a career if the Patriots ever beat him.

"I've already whooped up on [the Patriots] every time they've seen me," said Sapp at the time. "I say the day they beat me is the day I retire because I'm no longer able to play this game like I should."

Meanwhile on Sunday, September 11, the FOX national doubleheader game at 4:15 PM ET will feature the Dallas Cowboys at the San Diego Chargers, while the Sunday night primetime game (8:30 PM ET) on ESPN will be the Indianapolis Colts visiting the Baltimore Ravens.

The September 12th Monday night opener will be a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game, with the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Atlanta Falcons.


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