These contests loom as brightest dates on the league's 256-game regular-season schedule:
• San Diego at New England (Sunday, Sept. 16)
The last time we saw these squads LaDainian Tomlinson was steaming mad about some of the Patriots dancing at mid-field in San Diego after sending the Chargers home during the divisional playoffs. Now the Chargers look for payback as they travel to Foxborough after their would-be dream season was derailed by Brady, et al.
• N.Y. Giants vs. Miami in London (Sunday, Oct. 28)
The NFL is hoping to initiate legions of international consumers into its fan club when it sends the Giants and Dolphins across the pond to Wembley Stadium. Although it's costing the Dolphins and their fans a home game, the game and the week-long pigskin party it will bring to the Brits could become an annual showcase event.
• New England at Indianapolis (Sunday, Nov. 4)
The bitter memory for New England: Blowing a 21-3 lead over the Colts in the AFC championship game and watching Peyton Manning's gang gallop to a win in Super Bowl XLI. Now the Colts welcome the Patriots back to Indianapolis after three straight seasons of regular-season matchups in Foxborough.
• Indianapolis at Baltimore (Sunday, Dec. 9)
The Colts went back to Baltimore in last year's playoffs, to great fanfare, and broke the hearts of legions of Baltimore football fans — again. Under normal circumstances the Colts are unwelcome in Charm City. But as defending Super Bowl champions? The Ravens and their fans will be geeked up.
• Philadelphia at Dallas (Sunday, Dec. 16)
Both squads made the playoffs last season, and this Week 15 faceoff could punch a ticket for the NFC East crown and a bye in this year's postseason. For the Eagles, the Terrell Owens factor could still be motivation; and for the Cowboys, new coach Wade Phillips will be angling for the first playoff win of his career.
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