Donovan McNabb will make his first visit to Philadelphia as an opponent on Oct. 3, three weeks after the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints open the National Football League season against the Minnesota Vikings.
Quarterback McNabb was traded by the Eagles to the division-rival Washington Redskins for two draft picks on April 4 after spending 11 seasons in Philadelphia.
The Saints will host the Vikings, who might still have Brett Favre as quarterback if he decides not to retire, in the opening game on Sept. 9. All other teams, except the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, start their season three days later.
The New York Giants will host the Carolina Panthers in the first game in the new $1.6 billion stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Panthers defeated New York 41-9 on Dec. 27 in the Giants’ last game in their old stadium.
“We have an opportunity to open at home in our brand new stadium, which is very exciting,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said in a story on the team’s Web site.
The Jets, who will share the 82,500-seat stadium with the Giants, will host the Ravens in a Monday Night Football game the following day, Sept. 13.
The battle of the San Francisco Bay area will be held Oct. 17 when the Oakland Raiders visit the San Francisco 49ers.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who in 2009 won his record fourth NFL Most Valuable Player Award, will face his brother -- Eli Manning of the Giants -- in a game at Indianapolis on Sept. 19.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who might be missing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger if he is suspended for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, will open at home against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 12, followed by road games at Tennessee and Tampa Bay and a home game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers have a bye in the league’s fifth week of play.
The Steelers announced yesterday that they had reacquired quarterback Byron Leftwich from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. Leftwich, 30, who played for the Steelers in 2008 and has seven seasons of NFL experience, could provide insurance for Pittsburgh if Roethlisberger is suspended.
The final weekend of the season will feature all intra-division games, an effort by the NFL to make those matchups more meaningful. Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed concern last season about teams that had already clinched playoff spots resting key players in the final week of the season.
“We’ll see what the impact is as we go through the next season, but we think that’s a positive development in keeping the integrity of the game in those late-season games,” Goodell said yesterday in an interview on ESPN Radio.
There will be two games played outside the U.S. in 2010: San Francisco and the Denver Broncos will meet in London on Oct. 31 and the Chicago Bears will play the Buffalo Bills in Toronto on Nov. 7.
The London trip will contribute toward the 49ers traveling a league-high 33,264 miles to games in 2010. The Cincinnati Bengals will travel the least, 5,992 miles, of the 32 teams.
There will be three Thanksgiving Day games, with the Saints playing at the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots visiting the Detroit Lions, and the Jets hosting a night game against the Bengals.