ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football," the most successful and longest-running primetime sports series in television history, will kick off its 36th season as the two-time defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, host the Oakland Raiders and new receiver Randy Moss on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET, it was announced jointly today (March 21) by ABC and the NFL.
ABC Sports bookends the NFL kickoff weekend with the first of 16 consecutive Monday night games on Monday, Sept. 12 at 9 p.m. ET when the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles travel to Atlanta to take on Michael Vick and the defending NFC South champion Falcons in a rematch of the NFC Championship game, which the Eagles won 27-10.
Under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots have become a dynasty, winning the last two Super Bowls and three in the last four years. Two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady leads the Patriots, as they host the Oakland Raiders, who have retooled their offense this off-season by trading for WR Randy Moss, the most dynamic wide receiver in the NFL, and by signing former Jets RB LaMont Jordan.
In the first Monday game, Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens and the defending NFC champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, travel to Atlanta to take on Michael Vick and the Falcons. The Eagles, who have been to four straight NFC Championship games, finally broke through and made it to the Super Bowl last season by defeating the Falcons 27-10 in the NFC Championship Game. It was a great turnaround season for the Falcons, who went from 5-11 in 2003 to 11-5 last season.
The remainder of the 2005 "Monday Night Football" schedule will be announced at a later date.
During this past season, "Monday Night Football" finished in the Top 10 (6th) among all primetime shows on network television for the 15th consecutive season among households, viewers and all key adult and men demographics. In fact, once again it finished first in the key male demographics.