Patriots will open 2019 season on Sept. 8 on Sunday Night Football

Their opponent will be announced later this spring when the full schedule is released.

Tom Brady Super Bowl LIII
Tom Brady celebrates the Patriots' fourth quarter touchdown in Super Bowl LIII. –Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

PHOENIX — Patriots fans can put Sunday, Sept. 8 on their calendars as the date New England begins its title defense, but it won’t be the first game of the 2019 NFL season.

The Super Bowl champions typically play in the league’s season-opening game, but the NFL announced Monday at its annual meetings that it is doing things a little differently to start its 100th season.

The Packers and Bears will play each other in the season opener on Thursday, Sept. 5 in Chicago, and the Patriots will play their opening game on Sunday Night Football in Foxborough against an opponent to be determined. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. on NBC, which will also broadcast the season opener on Thursday in Chicago.

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The Browns, Cowboys, and Chiefs are good candidates to be the Patriots’ opponent in Week 1, but that’s just guesswork. That opponent will be announced later this spring when the full schedule is released.

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