The schedule for the 2017 season is set to be announced this week, which means that we will find out which team will be visiting Gillette Stadium to play the Patriots in the first game of the season.
The Falcons are on New England’s home schedule this year, but it doesn’t look like the NFL will opt for a second straight Super Bowl rematch on the first Thursday of the season. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports that the opener will “almost certainly” involve the Chiefs coming to town.
The Chiefs went 12-4 last season and lost to the Steelers in the divisional round of the playoffs after winning the second seed in the conference as the AFC West champs. The Dolphins and Texans join the Falcons and Chiefs as the other 2016 playoff teams on the Patriots’ home slate, but it appears those games will also come later in the season.
The Falcons, per Volin, will likely be opening their new stadium on Sunday Night Football in Week One. The other three NFC South teams, Packers, Vikings, Bills, Dolphins and Cowboys are possible opponents.