CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The countdown is officially on to the NFL season and the very first game is set for Thursday right here on 22News.

The Patriots will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, September 10, to open the season. It’s a hot ticket already, the hottest by average price league-wide, and likely due to the scheduled pre-game festivities.

Tom Brady is set to be officially honored by the team for the first time since he retired. He visited as an opponent in 2021 but has not had his official celebration at Gillette Stadium yet. Currently, there are not a lot of specifics available on what that celebration will be.

As for football, there are lots of new things to keep an eye on. Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien will try to pick up the pieces after a frustrating season of play-calling last year. The team is hoping for a re-invigorated effort from Mac Jones.

Rhamondre Stevenson will hopefully adjust to a more significant role alongside newcomer Ezekiel Elliot. Tight End Mike Gesicki will hopefully be good to go as a premiere pass-catcher after dislocating his shoulder in camp.

The final unknown on offense, the line has been beleaguered by injuries in the pre-season and without a sure-fire starting five for Week 1 against the top-rated defensive line in the league. The defense will take the field for the first time without Devin McCourty since 2010. Rookies Christian Gonzalez and Keion White will look to get involved right away, among the 12 total rookies to make the final roster.

That all adds up to a 4.5-point spread favoring Philly. They’ll settle that score with a 4:25 p.m. kickoff from Gillette Stadium.

The season kicks off Thursday night with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs against the new and improved Detroit Lions, right here on 22News. Kick-off time is scheduled for 8:20 p.m.

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in March 1953 providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.