(July 27, 2011 – Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)
Monday Night Football returns for its 42nd season tonight with a double-header. First, New England squares off with Miami at 7 ET, then Oakland and Denver meet in the Mile High city at 10:15 ET.
The first game will be littered with familiar faces in new places. The Patriots’ offseason acquisitions included two of the most controversial names in the game–receiver Chad Ochocinco and tackle Albert Haynesworth. The Dolphins also added some big names, running back Reggie Bush and linebacker Kevin Burnett, during free agency. The 2010 Patriots had the league’s best record at 14-2 and were the AFC East Division champions. The Dolphins, while promising in the first fourteen weeks of the season, dropped their final three games, falling to 7-9 and missing the playoffs.
While the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos added some new players to their teams, the new faces for both are on the sidelines. Hue Jackson of the Raiders and John Fox of the Broncos are both coaching their first games for their respective teams. Fox, previously with Carolina, has compiled a head coaching record of 78-74 overall, and a trip to the 2004 Superbowl after winning the 2003 NFC Championship. Jackson is entering his first season as a head coach at any level. Last year, he served as Raiders Offensive Coordinator under previous Head Coach Tom Cable.
Now that you are caught up on tonight’s games and their story lines, the only question left to ask is (throwback alert)…
What are you most looking forward to this NFL season?