SBD/April 17, 2017/Franchises

K.C. Masterpiece: Patriots Likely Hosting Chiefs For "TNF" Season Opener

The Patriots' Sept. 7 opener at Gillette Stadium will "almost certainly be against the Chiefs," according to Ben Volin of the BOSTON GLOBE. A Super Bowl rematch with the Falcons was "an option, but they are likely to open the season at home" on "SNF" to debut Mercedes-Benz Stadium (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/16). In Massachusetts, Kevin Duffy notes the Chiefs "make the most sense" as the opponent for the season opener. The NFL "does not want to make a habit out of Super Bowl rematches on opening night, which would rule out the Falcons." The Panthers are slated to play at Gillette Stadium this season, but they played the Broncos "in the Thursday night opener a year ago." The NFL likely "wouldn't make them play on the road against the defending Super Bowl champs in consecutive seasons" (MASSLIVE.com, 4/17). NBCSN’s Rob Guerrera said, “I understand wanting to open the season at home because you're the NFC champs or AFC champs. ... But from my perspective as a fan, give me the Super Bowl rematch. ‘Oh great, the Patriots are going to open against Alex Smith in primetime? Awesome, I can't wait for that 13-10 game.’ No, give me the Super Bowl rematch, give me Matt Ryan. As a fan, I want to see that more than anything else” (“PFT,” NBCSN, 4/17).

THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR: ESPN.com's Mike Reiss noted Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Jaguars Exec VP/Football Operations Tom Coughlin are "talking about joining forces on the practice field." With the Patriots due to host the Jaguars in the '17 preseason opener, the teams have been "discussing the possibility of Jacksonville coming to town a few days early for joint practices" (ESPN.com, 4/16).
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