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Pats face Chiefs in NFL season kickoff

The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will kick off the 2017 NFL season at home Sept. 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs as the league released the regular-season schedule Thursday night.

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The game between the Chiefs and Patriots is the NFL's annual season kickoff game on a Thursday night.

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced at the league's owners meeting last month that he plans to attend the season opener. His appearance at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., would be his first since the Deflategate situation and the league's battle to uphold a four-game suspension of quarterback Tom Brady.

The Patriots also will host the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons in a Super Bowl rematch in a nationally televised night game Sunday, Oct. 22.

The Falcons open the season on the road against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Sept. 10. They will play their first game at new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Week 2, when they host the Green Bay Packers in a nationally televised night game on Sunday, Sept. 17. Atlanta beat Green Bay in last season's NFC Championship Game.

The Packers open their season at home against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 10. The nationally televised game that night will feature the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

The newly relocated Los Angeles Chargers' first home game at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., will be on Sept. 10 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Two games will be played Monday, Sept. 11, with the New Orleans Saints playing on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, followed by the relocated Chargers playing at Denver against the Broncos.

Later in the season, the Patriots will play the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City on Sunday, Nov. 19. The Raiders will play five prime-time games this year.

Four NFL games will be played in London during the 2017 season. The first one pits the Baltimore Ravens against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 24. The following week, the Miami Dolphins face the Saints. The Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals play their London game Oct. 22, and the Cleveland Browns face the Vikings on Sunday, Oct. 29, in England.

The Rams-Cardinals game will be a rare division contest played overseas.

The Raiders, who plan to move to Las Vegas in 2019 or 2020, play their home opener in Week 2 against the New York Jets on Sept. 17. Oakland closes the season with a road game against the Chargers on Dec. 31, a game at which the Raiders might have more fan support than the home team.

The Eagles visit the Rams on Dec. 10 in a showdown between the top two overall picks in the 2016 NFL Draft: Los Angeles' Jared Goff (No. 1) and Philadelphia's Carson Wentz (No. 2).

New Orleans plays at Green Bay on Oct. 22. The last time Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Saints quarterback Drew Brees met, they combined for 729 passing yards and four TD passes in a 44-23 New Orleans win in 2014. Two years earlier, they had a combined 765 passing yards and seven TDs passes in a 28-27 Green Bay victory.

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