PRIME TIME IN PRESEASON

The Colts will play the Philadelphia Eagles at Lucas Oil Stadium in a prime-time, nationally-televised preseason game next season. The NFL on Monday afternoon announced its 2009 preseason schedule.

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Colts to Play Philadelphia Eagles in Nationally-Televised Preseason Game
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will spend the first two weeks of the 2009 preseason at home.

And in one of those weeks, they will be featured on television to kick off the NFL's nationally-televised schedule for the weekend.

The NFL, a week after announcing several national television games for opening weekend and Thanksgiving weekend, on Monday announced its 2009 preseason schedule, a schedule that will include the Colts being featured in one prime-time, nationally-televised game.

That game:

An August 20 match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Thursday night game will be televised on FOX.

It will be the second consecutive season a Colts home preseason game in the new, state-of-the-art stadium will be featured on national television. Last season, the NFL Network televised a game against the Buffalo Bills that was the first NFL game played in the retractable-roof facility.

The Colts open the preseason with a home game against the Minnesota Vikings that will be played the week/weekend of August 13-17. The Colts beat the Vikings, 18-15, last September in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, a memorable game in which Indianapolis rallied from a 15-0 second-half deficit.

The Colts last played the Eagles in the 2006 regular season, a game in which running back Joseph Addai – then a rookie – rushed for four touchdowns.

The Colts also had a memorable game against the Eagles in 2002, a game in which the Colts won in Philadelphia, 35-13, with defensive end Dwight Freeney registering a sack and three forced fumbles in his first NFL start.

The Colts last played the Vikings in the preseason in 2001 and are 4-5 against Minnesota all-time in the preseason. They last played the Eagles in the preseason in 1991 and are 9-9 against Philadelphia in the preseason.

Indianapolis will conclude the preseason with two road games, including one against a familiar preseason opponent: the Cincinnati Bengals. The Colts will visit Detroit the week/weekend of August 27-31, and will close the preseason at Cincinnati on September 3-4.

They are 13-6-1 against Detroit in the preseason with the last meeting coming in 2007.

The Colts have played the Bengals the last eight preseasons and have closed the preseason against Cincinnati in seven of those eight seasons. They are 6-11 against Cincinnati all-time in preseason.

In all, eleven preseason games will be televised nationally, with the league continuing its focus on one of its major themes for the 2009 season: the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American Football League.

Two franchises that were part of the AFL's inaugural 1960 season – the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans (then the Houston Oilers) – will play in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That game will be played on Sunday, August 9, and will be televised by NBC.

Also that weekend, Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The preseason also will feature a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, Aug. 13 (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET). The game will be played in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers beat the Cardinals, 27-23, in Super Bowl XLIII in February.

The rest of the regular-season schedule is expected to be announced in April.

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