Chiefs at Patriots: Preview, prediction, odds and pick

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Chiefs at Patriots: Preview, prediction, odds and pick

Final regular-season record: 14-2.

On Thursday night they'll begin their defense of that title, opening the 2017 season against the Kansas City Chiefs. Don't forget they already have Brandin Cooks, who was an outstanding pass catcher during his time with New Orleans.

In years past, this would have been a lot toughWe to stomach.

The start of the NFL season usually brings hope to most of the teams and fans in the 32-team league. From roughly 2005 to 2015, no team was more popular to bet against than the Raiders, as the franchise suffered through a decade of futility with no winning seasons. En route to winning the Super Bowl, the Patriots went 16-3 against the spread, which tied the 1989 San Francisco 49ers as the best betting record in National Football League history. We're on to 2017, and the road to Minneapolis and Super Bowl LII starts tonight.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft presented Wagner with his gift bag before Thursday's game.

New England will be back on the field playing meaningful football for the first time since Super Bowl LI in February.

"I'm confident in what I do", he said. No, the Patriots won't go 19-0.

"Part of being a veteran player is really helping the younger guys with their learning curve and we're working hard to accomplish a lot of things".

But Bill Belichick doesn't dwell on past success, so we won't either.

The offense is juiced up, too, but it remains to be seen what the loss of Kyle Shanahan will mean, and my gut tells me it could be noticeable.

One of the players he singled out was cornerback Marcus Peters. However, the team came up short in the postseason, losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first playoff game. "He said, 'Yeah, we're going to make sure you have a memorable season because of all the sprints you guys are going to run". Going 12-4 and finishing atop the AFC West, the Chiefs had a first-round bye in last season's playoffs. The halftime show will be Bruno Mars and will be all about Prince. He would have won it last year had the commish not pilfered four games from him, and he has even more weapons to work with this year.

Fun Prediction: In a surprise move, Jimmy Garoppolo grabs the mic and also retires after Super Bowl LII, proclaiming that he's going back to school to be a hair stylist. He's projected as New England's slot receiver with Julian Edelman out for the season. New England also lost cornerback/return man Cyrus Jones to a torn ACL in the Patriots' final preseason contest.

"People wanted to trade for Jimmy, but we wouldn't", said Kraft.

Brady's ultra-talented slot receiver, he of that unreal catch in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons, sustained a non-contact ACL tear of his right knee in an August 25 preseason game. Specifically, we're going to see even more of Travis Kelce and way more of Tyreek Hill. Coming out of their mid-season bye, the Pats will play just one home game in a six week period. Bill Belichick and Reid have a close relationship, and they've faced off in big games before - including Super Bowl XXXIX.

The New England Patriots are like Tiger Woods in his prime.

The game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and will be televised by NBC (Channel 3 in Cleveland).

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