2011 NFL schedules posted

By Kevin Kelley -

The 2011 NFL schedule was released on Tuesday and has been posted. The regular season kicks off on Thursday, September 8 when the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints (8:30 p.m. ET – NBC).

On Sunday, August 7, the NFL preseason kicks off when the Chicago Bears face the St. Louis Rams in the Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio (8:00 p.m. ET – NBC).

From NFL.com:

The first Sunday features several high-profile games, including Indianapolis at Houston and Atlanta at Chicago. But much of the national focus will be on Washington and New York, the cities most affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Redskins and Giants kick off at 4:15 p.m. ET, with the Jets and Cowboys at 8:20 p.m. ET.

The Pittsburgh Steelers also will play on Sept. 11, visiting the Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh is just 80 miles from the site near Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2011.

New England travels to Miami, and Oakland visits Denver on the opening Monday night.

The final Sunday of the regular season falls on New Year’s Day, when all 16 scheduled games are between division rivals, enhancing the potential for playoff ramifications.

The regular season covers 17 weeks, with the opening round of the playoffs scheduled for Jan. 7-8, 2012, and the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis.

Among other schedule highlights, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Chicago Bears at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 23, one of two games outside the United States and the fifth consecutive year the NFL has played a regular-season game in suburban London.

The Buffalo Bills will play a game in Canada for the fourth consecutive season, playing host to the Redskins on Oct. 30 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The Bills have a deal with Rogers Communications through 2012 to play five regular-season games in Canada’s largest city.

The Thanksgiving Day games are Packers at Detroit, Miami at Dallas and San Francisco at Baltimore, with new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh facing Ravens coach John Harbaugh in the first meeting between sibling head coaches in NFL history.

The Packers play the Bears in the only Christmas Day game. There are 13 games scheduled for Dec. 24, including the Giants against the Jets.

The NFL will again use “flexible scheduling” for Weeks 10 through 15 and the final week of the regular season, allowing the league to move the start times for select games.

Listed below are direct links to the 2011 NFL schedules:

AFC Football SchedulesNFC Football Schedules
2011 Baltimore Ravens Schedule2011 Arizona Cardinals Schedule
2011 Buffalo Bills Schedule2011 Atlanta Falcons Schedule
2011 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule2011 Carolina Panthers Schedule
2011 Cleveland Browns Schedule2011 Chicago Bears Schedule
2011 Denver Broncos Schedule2011 Dallas Cowboys Schedule
2011 Houston Texans Schedule2011 Detroit Lions Schedule
2011 Indianapolis Colts Schedule2011 Green Bay Packers Schedule
2011 Jacksonville Jaguars Schedule2011 Minnesota Vikings Schedule
2011 Kansas City Chiefs Schedule2011 New Orleans Saints Schedule
2011 Miami Dolphins Schedule2011 New York Giants Schedule
2011 New England Patriots Schedule2011 Philadelphia Eagles Schedule
2011 New York Jets Schedule2011 San Francisco 49ers Schedule
2011 Oakland Raiders Schedule2011 Seattle Seahawks Schedule
2011 Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule2011 St. Louis Rams Schedule
2011 San Diego Chargers Schedule2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule
2011 Tennessee Titans Schedule2011 Washington Redskins Schedule