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Packers Open 2005 In Detroit


Favre hopes to celebrate with his teammates in Detroit at the start and finish of the 2005 season.

The Packers will open their defense of their back-to-back-to-back NFC North Division titles on the road in the building where they hope to finish the 2005 season, Detroit's Ford Field - which is the site of Super Bowl XL next February.

Although the Packers and Lions have met in the season opener 11 times previously, the 2005 game will mark just the second time the Lions have hosted the game, with the Packers winning the 1978 opener at the Pontiac Silverdome.

The Pack will open their Lambeau Field schedule a week later, hosting the Cleveland Browns in the home opener for the first time since they kicked off the 1953 season in Milwaukee. The two teams met in the opening game of the 1972 season, as the Packers spoiled the Browns home opener in that year.

The league's schedule-makers have given the Packers a mid-season test for 2005, sending them on the road for five games in a seven-week span following a Week 6 bye. The Packers will hope to duplicate their fine form away from Green Bay that they sported in 2004, finishing with a 6-2 mark in games outside of Wisconsin.

In a contrast to the finish of the 2004 campaign, the Packers will be at home in Green Bay for the holidays this season as they close out with a pair of Lambeau Field contests on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

The December 25 clash against the Chicago Bears will be a late-afternoon kickoff, giving the kids plenty of time to unwrap their newest gear from the Packers Pro Shop before settling in for the game, which will mark the first time the Packers have played on Christmas Day in their 88th year of competition.

The Packers will follow up the next Sunday by hosting the Seattle Seahawks in their regular season finale to ring in 2006 on January 1. General Manager Ted Thompson will welcome his former team to Green Bay, led by Mike Holmgren in a re-match of the NFC Wild Card Game from the 2003 season.

Three of the Packers' final four games in 2005 will be played at home at Lambeau Field, a traditional late-season home-field advantage for the Pack.

The Packers will be playing under the bright lights of ABC's Monday Night Football three times in the upcoming season.

The Packers will line up against the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, and Minnesota Vikings on the weekly nationally-televised showcase game in 2005. This will mark the third straight season and the eighth time in team history that the Pack has played in the maximum amount of Monday Night contests.

Last season, the Packers were 2-1 on MNF, opening the season with a 24-14 victory at Carolina, a 48-27 loss at home to the Tennessee Titans, and a 45-17 shellacking of the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field, raising Green Bay's record to 9-3 on Monday nights under Head Coach Mike Sherman.

Additionally, the Packers will host the Lions in an ESPN Sunday Night telecast in December. The Packers were victorious in their lone Sunday night outing in 2004, besting the Houston Texans 16-13 in Texas.

As exemplified by the four primetime night appearances, Brett Favre and the Packers are one of the biggest television drawing cards in the NFL today. Along those lines, eight of the final nine games on the Green Bay schedule in 2005 will be broadcast nationally. For those reasons, just five of the team's 16 games will have kick off at noon (CT) on a Sunday.

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