Steelers open against Manning at Denver
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The Steelers will open their 80th season in the NFL the way they closed their previous one, only with a different twist when they play Peyton Manning and the Broncos Sept. 9 in Denver, an NBC "Sunday Night Football" broadcast.
That kickoff to the 2012 season will come eight months after the Broncos upset the Steelers Jan. 8 in the first round of the playoffs, 29-23, when Tim Tebow threw an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage in overtime.
Tebow won't get a chance to do it again because he was traded to the New York Jets after the Broncos signed Manning, who was released by the Indianapolis Colts. But the Jets visit Heinz Field in the second week of the season.
Peyton Manning will be the first of the two Manning brothers the Steelers will play next season. Eli Manning will lead the Super Bowl champion New York Giants against the Steelers Nov. 4 in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Steelers have five scheduled prime-time games, including the 8:20 p.m. opener at Denver, Oct. 11 (Thursday) at Tennessee, Oct. 21 (Sunday) at Cincinnati, and two at home -- Nov. 12 (Monday) against Kansas City and Nov. 18 (Sunday) vs. Baltimore.
Their off week comes in Week 4. Unlike last season, they play archrival Baltimore late in the year. In fact, they will play the Ravens twice in three weeks with a Dec. 2 game at Baltimore, and they will finish with AFC North Division teams Cincinnati and Cleveland at home, the third time in the past four seasons they will play the Browns in the season finale.
The Steelers could have more than five prime-time games because the NFL begins its flex scheduling in Week 11, with all Sunday games eligible to be switched to Sunday night on NBC.
First Published April 18, 2012 12:00 am