Last Updated: 21/04/17 9:01am
Tom Brady will begin his quest for a sixth Super Bowl title in the season opener against Kansas City in September
Super Bowl 51 champions New England Patriots will kick off week one of the NFL season against Kansas City in Thursday Night Football.
Teams may only just be returning to the voluntary offseason practice schedules but with the major drama of free agency behind them and the NFL Draft a week away, all eyes were on Thursday’s announcement.
And as is tradition, it is the defending champions who get the season underway as Gillette Stadium hosts the Chiefs on Thursday September 7 – a match you will be able to see live on Sky Sports.
New England produced a record-breaking comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime having at one point trailed 28-3, with victory clinching a fifth Super Bowl for the franchise.
The repeat of Super Bowl 51 will be in week seven when Atlanta visit Foxboro, and the Falcons begin life in their new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Week 2 when they face Green Bay in a repeat of last season’s NFC championship game.
Atlanta will attempt to get over their nightmare in Houston when they travel to the Chicago Bears for their opener, while other week-one highlights include the seemingly traditional NFC East clash between New York and Dallas with the Cowboys hosting on Sunday night.
The Chargers, now representing the city of Los Angeles for the first time since 1960, travel to Super Bowl 50 winners Denver on Monday night after New Orleans’ trip to Minnesota.
The Chargers will play their first game at their temporary new home the StubHub Center in Week 2 when Miami are the visitors.
Five games will be held outside the United States, beginning with Baltimore and Jacksonville on September 24 and New Orleans at Miami, with both games scheduled for 2.30pm starts at Wembley Stadium.
Two more matches are slated for Twickenham Stadium. In Week 7, the LA Rams host Arizona, followed the next week by Minnesota against Cleveland, as three teams – the Ravens, Browns and Cardinals – prepare to make their London debut.
Mexico City will also host a game for the second successive season when New England are the designated away team against Oakland on November 19.
Cleveland and Jacksonville become the first sides to not have prime-time exposure since the league introduced a full season of Thursday Night Football live games.
Thanksgiving’s traditional three games will start with Minnesota at Detroit in the NFC North, followed by the Chargers at Dallas, while the prime-time game will see the Redskins hosts the Giants.
Two Saturday matches have been scheduled for a busy Christmas week with Indianapolis at Baltimore and Minnesota at Green Bay on December 23, with 12 games taking place on December 24.
Pittsburgh go to Houston on Christmas Day followed later in the day by Oakland at Philadelphia. The curtain comes down on the season on December 31 when all 16 Week 17 fixtures are played.
Thursday Chiefs @ New England Patriots Sunday New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Rams Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys Monday New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos
You can follow the NFL on Sky Sports throughout the off season, including the Draft next Friday morning from 1am and then when the action gets underway in September make Sky Sports your home for all the live action