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Game Preview: Chiefs at Patriots

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (0-0) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (0-0)
Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Gillette Stadium (65,878)

The New England Patriots will begin the defense of their Super Bowl LI Championship this week when they host the Kansas City Chiefs in primetime on Thursday night. The Patriots are the last team to defend their title after winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 2003 and 2004.

The NFL's Thursday Night Kickoff began in 2002, and the defending Super Bowl Champion has hosted every year since 2004. New England is 3-0 when playing in the Thursday Kickoff game as the defending Super Bowl Champion. The Patriots won the first two such contests. New England defeated Indianapolis, 27-24, on Sept. 9, 2004, and Oakland, 30-20, on Sept. 8, 2005, in Thursday games at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated Pittsburgh, 28-21, on Sept. 10, 2015. Overall, the Patriots are 4-0 all-time in season openers after winning the Super Bowl, including a 30-14 Monday Night Football win vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, 2002, the first regular season game at Gillette Stadium.

NFL KICKOFF WEEKEND & CHAMPIONSHIP MOMENT

This is the 16th consecutive Kickoff celebration to start the season and the 14th time the NFL has saluted the Super Bowl champions with the opening game in their stadium on a Thursday in primetime. As part of the Kickoff events leading up to Super Bowl XL 12 years ago, the NFL incorporated musical performances from Los Angeles (home to the first Super Bowl), Detroit (host of Super Bowl XL) and New England (which won Super Bowl XXXIX). Prior to Thursday's kickoff, the New England Patriots will celebrate their Super Bowl LI Championship with a special pregame ceremony. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 8 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Chiefs will meet for the first time since a 27-20 New England win the AFC Divisional Playoffs on Jan. 16, 2016 at Gillette Stadium. It will be the first regular season meeting since the Patriots suffered a 41-14 loss in a Monday Night Football game played at Kansas City on Sept. 29, 2014.

This week's game will be the third straight Prime-Time game between the two teams. The last two regular season meetings between the two have been played on Monday Night Football with the Patriots taking a 34-3 win at Gillette stadium on Nov. 21, 2011 and falling 41-14 at Arrowhead Stadium in the 2014 game.

Kansas City holds a 17-13-3 edge against New England, including an 11-3- 1 advantage in games played in Kansas City and a 5-1 record at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are 6-10-2 in games played at New England, including 0-3 at Gillette Stadium (0-4 including the postseason).

The two teams played twice a year from 1960 until the 1970 merger and two of the original American Football League teams.

SERIES BREAKDOWN

Home Record, 10-6-2

  • Record in Foxborough, 7-2-0
  • Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 4-2-0
  • Gillette Stadium, 3-0-0
  • Record in Boston, 3-4-2

Away Record, 3-11-1

  • Record in Kansas City, 2-9-1
  • Municipal Stadium, 1-4-1
  • Arrowhead Stadium, 1-5-0
  • Record in Dallas (Cotton Bowl), 1-2-0
  • Patriots vs. Chiefs since 1970 AFL-NFL merger, 8-8-0
  • Largest Margin of Victory, 10 pts (11/21/11)
  • Largest Margin of Defeat, 34 points (12/11/60)

Tale of the Tape

2016 Regular SeasonNew EnglandKansas City
Record14-212-4
Divisional Standings1st 1st
Total Yards Gained6,1805,488
Total Offense (Rank)386.3 (4)343.0 (20)
Rush Offense117.0 (7)109.3 (15)
Pass Offense269.3 (4)233.8 (19)
Points Per Game27.6 (3)24.3 (13)
Total Yards Allowed5,2235,896
Total Defense326.4 (8)368.5 (24)
Rush Defense88.6 (3t)121.1 (26)
Pass Defense237.9 (12)247.4 (18)
Points Allowed/Game15.6 (1)19.4 (7)
Possession Avg.31:1329:59
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost24/14832/174
Sacks Made/Yards34/22728/162
Passing TD/Int (off.)32/219/8
Passing TD/Int (def.)21/1323/18
Total Touchdowns5142
Penalties Against/Yards93/819109/848
Punts/Avg.72/44.776/45.1
Field Goals Made/Att.27/3231/35
Takeaway/Giveaway Ratio+12 (3)+16 (1t)

NEW ENGLAND TIES

The Patriots have opened the season against the Kansas City Chiefs three previous times and own a 2-1 record in those games.

MEMORABLE MATCHUPS

Tom Brady is slated to start against Kansas City for the seventh time in the regular season and for the eighth time overall. He is 4-2 all-time against the Chiefs in the regular season, including 3-0 at home against the Chiefs.

WESTERN UNION

The Patriots will play each of the four AFC West teams this season as part of the NFL's scheduling formula. In addition to opening the season against the Chiefs, the Patriots will host the L.A. Chargers (Oct. 29) and travel to play at Denver (Nov. 12) and then square off against Oakland in Mexico City (Nov. 19).

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by NBC and can be seen on NBC Boston - 10. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties with Cris Collisworth as the color analyst. Michele Tafoya will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Fred Gaudelli and directed by *Drew Esocoff.

NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One. Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason will call the game. Tony Boselli will report from the sidelines.

RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 40 stations can be found here. Play-by- play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

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