FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots, the defending AFC champions, will open the 2012 season in Nashville, Tenn., against the Titans on Sept. 9, and will meet the rival New York Jets in New Jersey on Thanksgiving night.
The latter, on Nov. 22, will be the Patriots' fifth Thanksgiving game. New England last played on that holiday on Nov. 25, 2010 when the Patriots defeated the Detroit Lions, 45-24.
New England quarterback Tom Brady will play in his fourth Thanksgiving game.
"Oh man, that one's going to be a beauty, there's no doubt," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "It's a late-night one and our fans are going to be ready to roll. I know New England has a tremendous team and everything, so it's going to be a great challenge for us. ... I hope my wife's got the green bean casserole ready for after the game."
The Patriots close the season on Dec. 30 against the Miami Dolphins at home.
New England went 13-3 last season and won the AFC East. The Patriots defeated the Broncos and the Ravens in the playoffs, before falling to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.