Report: Patriots to open with Chiefs Sept. 7

Report: Patriots to open with Chiefs Sept. 7

The Patriots will open the 2017 regular season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7. The NFL schedules will be announced at 8 p.m. Thursday night.

The Patriots will unveil their fifth Super Bowl championship banner and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to attend the game at Gillette Stadium, which will broadcast by NBC. 

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe was first to report that the Chiefs, who went 12-4 last season and won the AFC West, would be the opening night opponent. 

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported that Chiefs would be the opener as well.

There had been much speculation that the Falcons would be the opening night matchup in a Super Bowl LI rematch, but Volin reports they are likely to open their season at home on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" to debut their new stadium. 

The full NFL schedule will be announced tonight on NFL Network. 

Slater on how Goodell should be received Week 1: 'That's up to our fans'

Slater on how Goodell should be received Week 1: 'That's up to our fans'

FOXBORO -- When the Patriots host the NFL's opening game at Gillette Stadium in September, there will be one guest garnering more attention than any other. Roger Goodell, who has not been to a game in Foxboro since the AFC title game that sparked Deflategate, said during the league meetings last month that he planned to attend. 

How he'll be received has already been the subject of some speculation. He opted not to attend the AFC title game last season, instead traveling to Atlanta on consecutive weeks to watch playoff games hosted by the Falcons. 

While Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater is adept at having his finger on the pulse of the team's locker room, he spoke to reporters on Monday and said it was anyone's guess how the commissioner will be welcomed when he finally returns to New England.

"That's up to our fans, how they choose to receive him," Slater explained. "I think us as a team, we've moved on. We moved on a long time ago. We went out last year, took care of our business. Now it's up to us to take care of our business this year. We have a lot of important things to worry about. A lot of things that we need to do to get ourselves ready.

"How should he be received? I haven't given that a whole lot of thought. How will he be receieved? I'm not the one to ask that question. I think you should ask the good people of Foxboro how they want to receive him."

Of course whatever focus isn't paid to where Goodell will be sitting and what fans will be chanting in his direction will be paid to the fifth banner that will be unveiled prior to the game. How the Patriots came to acquire that thing is still almost unbelievable to Slater, who has re-watched the game multiple times since coming back from a 28-3 deficit against the Falcons in Houston. 

"I get nervous everytime I watch it like I don't know the outcome," Slater said. "Pretty unbelievable what we were able to accomplish. I'm very proud to have been a part of such a special team in 2016.

"It's pretty impressive. I haven't had the chance to really think about what the impact of that game will be on football and other sports moving forward, but it certainly one that none of us moving forward will soon forget. I think there's a great lesson to be learned about not quitting on your teammates, playing for one another, maintaining belief and trying to finish what you started. We defeinitely showed that during that game."

Curran: Goodell ‘tearing the scab off’ and coming to Foxboro

Curran: Goodell ‘tearing the scab off’ and coming to Foxboro

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he will be at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro for the New England Patriots regular-season opener and banner ceremony, and Tom Curran thinks it is a good thing for him to go.