Bloomberg’s Story on the Release of the 2008 NFL Schedule

The Buffalo Bills will play the Miami Dolphins in Toronto next season in one of two National Football League games scheduled outside the U.S.

The New Orleans Saints will also host the San Diego Chargers in London’s Wembley Stadium on Oct. 26, the second straight year that the most-watched sport on U.S. television will be played there. The Dolphins, who played the New York Giants in London last season, will visit the Bills in Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Dec. 7.

The game, one of the highlights from the NFL’s release of its yearly schedule, will be the first of five regular-season home games the Bills are playing in Toronto through 2012.

The Super Bowl-champion Giants open the regular season hosting division-rival Washington on Sept. 4, a game previously announced.

The Thursday night opener, which has included the reigning league champion each year since 2004, will begin at 7 p.m. New York time on NBC, the NFL said in a news release. The game was moved up 90 minutes from its traditional start because of a conflict with the Republican National Convention.

The Giants also are scheduled to play at least four games in prime-time, including road games against division opponents Philadelphia and Dallas.

“It’s a very, very challenging schedule,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said in a statement. “We begin the season against Washington, a division opponent, and face a big challenge with four of our last six games on the road.”

Super Bowl Rematch

The Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears, who met in the Super Bowl two seasons ago, will play Sept. 7 on NBC in the Colts’ new Lucas Oil Stadium.

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN will host a season-opening doubleheader the following night, with Minnesota playing at Green Bay and Denver visiting Oakland.

The network’s other games include the Giants at the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 13 and the New England Patriots playing the Denver Broncos on Oct. 20.

The Browns and Packers are each scheduled to play three times on Monday night, while five teams — the Broncos, Vikings, Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers — all play twice.

General Electric Co.’s NBC, which airs games on Sunday night, has six involving the Manning brothers, quarterbacks Peyton of the Colts and Eli of the Giants, the most valuable players from the past two Super Bowls.

NBC’s games also include three appearances by the Giants, three by the Dallas Cowboys and three by the Patriots.

Road Trip

The Patriots, who finished last season 18-1, host Kansas City in their season-opener. New England, which is 15-1 on the road in the past two seasons, plays four road games on the West Coast and three against defending division champions Indianapolis, San Diego and Seattle.

The league also scheduled three games on the Thanksgiving Day holiday for the third consecutive year. The Detroit Lions host the Tennessee Titans at 12:30 p.m. New York time, the Seahawks visit the Cowboys at 4:15 p.m. and the Eagles play Cleveland in Philadelphia at 8:15 p.m.

The Eagles’ game, scheduled to air on the league-owned NFL Network, marks the team’s first appearance on Thanksgiving Day since 1940. The NFL Network’s eight-game schedule, which features seven games on Thursday nights and one on Saturday, also includes the Cowboys’ final regular-season game at Texas Stadium before the team opens a new stadium in Arlington, Texas, next season.

The New York Jets open the season Sept. 7 at Miami and play the Dolphins again in the season finale, the first time they have started and finished with the same opponent. The Jets also play the Patriots in their New York opener for the third year in a row.

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