NFL's Week 1 Schedule: 16 Opening Week Games Kicks Off 2011 NFL Season

Week 1 on the NFL schedule is finally here. The Saints and Packers will kick things off on Thursday Night Football, followed by 13 games on Sunday and two Monday Night Football games.

The Green Bay Packers will host the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field for the first game on the Thursday night football schedule in the 2011 season. Thursday night football doesn't start its weekly schedule until November but it's become a tradition for the Super Bowl winner to host the first game the following year on the Week 1 schedule.

That means the 2011 Super Bowl champs (Green Bay) is hosting the 2010 Super Bowl champs (New Orleans) at 8:30 p.m. (ET) Thursday night.

There's a strong argument that the Saints-Packers game is the best on the schedule in Week 1 but there's another option, too. Looking at the 2011 NFL schedule, you could argue that the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers is the best game in Week 1. Many folks prefer elite defensive units going at each other rather than an offensive explosion, which is what Saints-Packers could be, so it's a matter of taste I suppose.

Either way, the first week of the NFL season is always the best. Almost every team's fan base can legitimately claim their team has a shot at making a playoff run. There's about a 50 percent playoff turnover rate every year so there will be open spots for January football.

Here's a look at the Week 1 schedule. Is the best game of the week Saints-Packers? Or is it Steelers-Ravens? Or another game?

While you're at it, check out the complete 2011 NFL schedule.

1:00 P.M. (ET)

Atlanta Falcons vs. Chicago Bears (FOX)

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans (CBS)

Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)

Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (CBS)

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (CBS)

Philadelphia Eagles vs. St. Louis Rams (FOX)

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (CBS)

Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX)

4:15 p.m. 

Minnesota Vikings vs. San Diego Chargers (FOX)

New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins (FOX)

Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals (FOX)

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers (FOX)

8:20 p.m. (Sunday Night Football)

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets (NBC)

7:00 p.m. (Monday Night Football)

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins (ESPN)

10:15 p.m. (Monday Night Football)

Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos (ESPN)

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