By Ray Hamill
We’re now officially less than one week away from the NFL season opener, and after a long drawn out preseason I’m pretty sure most of us are ready for some real football.
As usual, the season opener features the defending Super Bowl champions on a Thursday night nationally televised showdown.
That honor goes to the New England Patriots this year, who will host the Kansas City Chiefs in a matchup featuring a pair of teams with Super Bowl ambitions in 2017.
Just how much is left in the tank for Tom Brady remains to be seen, but as of yet there appears to be no slowing him down, and the Patriots are the AFC favorites once again.
The opening weekend of action, as usual, also features a pair of Monday night games.
First up, New Orleans will travel to Minnesota, followed by Denver hosting (wait for it) the Los Angeles Chargers (and that just doesn’t sound right.)
The Sunday night game, meanwhile, features the Giants and Cowboys in Dallas, a matchup between the two favorites in the NFC East.
Among the other key early matchups, Atlanta travels to Chicago as the Falcons bid to put the disappointment of their Super Bowl meltdown behind them.
In division games, the Jets are at the Bills, the Ravens at the Bengals, the Steelers at the Browns, the Jags at the Texans, and the Eagles at the Redskins.