PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers open their 80th season with a rematch. Kind of.
The Steelers will travel to Denver to start the 2012 regular season on Sept. 9 in a rematch of the Broncos' 29-23 overtime win in the wild card round of last year's playoffs.
Instead of facing Tim Tebow, however, Pittsburgh will take on a rebuilt Denver team featuring Peyton Manning in the first of five primetime games featuring the Steelers next fall.
Pittsburgh won't have to wait long to get a shot at Tebow. The Steelers host the New York Jets in the home opener on Sept. 16.
"There will be a lot of attention paid to Peyton Manning's first game with the Denver Broncos, so it'll be exciting to start out that way," Steelers president Art Rooney II said. "Then we have the New York Jets at home, which will be another exciting game, a repeat of the AFC Championship Game from a couple of years ago here at Heinz Field."
The game against the Jets is one of just two games the Steelers will play at home in the season's first seven weeks.
Steelers' 2012 schedule
Thursday, Aug. 9at Philadelphia7:30 p.m. (KDKA)
Sunday, Aug. 19INDIANAPOLIS8 p.m. (NBC)
Saturday, Aug. 25at Buffalo7 p.m. (KDKA)
Thursday, Aug. 30CAROLINA7:30 p.m. (KDKA)
Sunday, Sept. 9at Denver8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Sept. 16N.Y. Jets4:15 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Sept. 23at Oakland4:15 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Sept. 30Bye
Sunday, Oct. 7Philadelphia1 p.m. (FOX)
Thursday, Oct. 11at Tennessee8:20 p.m. (NFL)
Sunday, Oct. 21at Cincinnati8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Oct. 28Washington1 p.m. (FOX)
Sunday, Nov. 4at N.Y. Giants4:15 p.m. (CBS)
Monday, Nov. 12Kansas City8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, Nov. 18Baltimore8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Nov. 25at Cleveland1 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 2at Baltimore4:15 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 9San Diego1 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 16at Dallas4:15 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 23Cincinnati1 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 30Cleveland1 p.m. (CBS)
The team's bye week on Sept. 30 and a home date with cross-state rival Philadelphia break up road trips to Oakland (Sept. 23), Tennessee (Oct. 11) and Cincinnati (Oct. 21) loom, with the Titans game coming on a Thursday night.
The Steelers will host NFC East opponent Washington on Oct. 28 then travel to face the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants on Nov. 4.
Former Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley, now Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator, gets a chance to face his old team when the Chiefs visit on Monday Night Football on Nov. 12.
The Steelers play five of their final seven games against AFC North opponents, including two matchups with rival Baltimore in a three-week span. Pittsburgh hosts the Ravens on Nov. 18, with Baltimore getting the rematch on Dec. 2.