Pa­tri­ots to open sea­son at home against Chiefs

Rome News-Tribune - - BASEBALL - By Barry Wilner Associated Press Pro Foot­ball Writer

One of the spoils of be­ing cham­pion: The New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots will kick off the NFL sea­son on Sept. 7 by host­ing the Kansas City Chiefs.

New Eng­land earned that honor with its record come­back to beat At­lanta in the Su­per Bowl. Its open­ing op­po­nent in a Thurs­day night game won the AFC West last sea­son.

The Fal­cons visit Chicago in their first game.

The rest of the open­ing week­end will fea­ture what seems like a yearly oc­cur­rence, with Dal­las host­ing the New York Giants on Sun­day night. They fin­ished 1-2 in the NFC East in 2016.

On Mon­day night, New Or­leans is at Min­nesota, fol­lowed by the Charg­ers, in their first game rep­re­sent­ing Los Angeles since 1960, at Den­ver.

Five games will be held abroad, begin­ning with Bal­ti­more vs. Jack­sonville in Lon­don on Sept. 24. The next week, Mi­ami hosts New Or­leans. In Week 7,

the Rams host the Cardinals, fol­lowed the next week by Min­nesota vs. Cleve­land.

New Eng­land is the vis­i­tor against Oakland at Mex­ico City on Nov. 19.

Thanks­giv­ing’s tra­di­tional games will have Min­nesota at Detroit and the Charg­ers at Dal­las. In prime time, the Red­skins will be home for the Giants.

Christ­mas week­end will be busy. Two Sat­ur­day matches have Indianapolis at Bal­ti­more in late af­ter­noon, Min­nesota at Green Bay at night on Dec. 23. Most of the rest of the sched­ule will be played on Dec. 24, with no night game.

On Christ­mas Day, Pitts­burgh will go to Houston in a late-af­ter­noon matchup, fol­lowed by Oakland at Philadel­phia.

The sea­son ends when 2017 does, on Dec. 31.

The Fal­cons are sched­uled to open their new sta­dium in an NFC cham­pi­onship re­match with Green Bay on Sun­day night in Week 2.

At­lanta has five prime­time games, the same num­ber as New Eng­land. The Su­per Bowl re­match comes Sun­day night, Oct. 22.

StubHub Cen­ter, the new and tem­po­rary home of the Charg­ers, will have its first reg­u­lar-sea­son con­test in Week 2 when Mi­ami vis­its.

Ev­ery team ex­cept Cleve­land and Jack­sonville will get prime-time ex­po­sure. Nei­ther of those clubs has a Thurs­day game, ei­ther. It’s the first time since the league went to a full sea­son of Thurs­day night foot­ball that any clubs have been omit­ted.

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