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Monday Night Football: Patriots-Dolphins and Raiders-Broncos kick it off

Monday Night Football kicks off the 2011 season with the Dolphins hosting the Patriots and the Raiders facing the Broncos. ESPN recently announced an extension of their Monday Night Football television deal with the NFL, worth some $15 billion.

Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, gestures before during an NFL pre season football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Thursday, Sept. 1, in Miami. The Dolphins host the Patriots as another season of Monday Night Football begins.

Hans Deryk/AP

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Monday Night Football begins its 42nd season tonight with an AFC East matchup between the defending division champ New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. There is a second Monday night AFC game this evening, featuring the Oakland Raiders at the Denver Broncos.

Monday marks the debut of new Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Newly acquired Pats defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is listed as 'questionable' due to illness.

The Dolphins also feature some new faces, including former Saints running back Reggie Bush.

Last season, the Patriots defeated Miami twice on their way to the AFC East title. A possible stumbling block tonight for reigning NFL MVP Tom Brady and the New England offense will be starting tackle Sebastian Vollmer out of the lineup, due to injury.

Bill Belichick, entering his 12th season as Pats head coach, is looking for improvement from his defensive squad. Former Redskin Haynesworth, acquired in a trade during the offseason, is expected to help bolster the Patriots pass rush.


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