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Patriots to open NFL season against Chiefs

The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will kick off the 2017 NFL season at home on Sept. 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs, ESPN reported on Thursday, citing multiple sources.

The league officially will release the entire schedule at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.

The game between the Chiefs and Patriots is the league's annual season kickoff game.

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.

New England is slated to play the Atlanta Falcons in a Super Bowl LI rematch this season, but the NFL is expected to hold that game for a Sunday night in October, ESPN reported.

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