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New England Patriots to Host Kansas City Chiefs in N.F.L. Opener

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Tom Brady (12) and the New England Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in a playoff game in January 2016. The Patriots will host the Chiefs in the N.F.L.’s first game of the 2017 season.

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Steven Senne/Associated Press

One of the spoils of being champion: The New England Patriots will kick off the N.F.L. season on Sept. 7 by hosting the Kansas City Chiefs.

New England earned that honor with its record comeback to beat Atlanta in the Super Bowl. Its opening opponent in a Thursday night game won the A.F.C. West last season. The Falcons visit Chicago in their first game.

The rest of the opening weekend will feature what seems like a yearly occurrence, with Dallas hosting the Giants on Sunday night. They finished one-two in the N.F.C. East in 2016.

On Monday night, New Orleans is at Minnesota, followed by the Chargers, in their first game representing Los Angeles since 1960, at Denver.

Five games will be held abroad, beginning with Baltimore vs. Jacksonville in London on Sept. 24. The next week, Miami will play New Orleans there. In Week 7, the Rams play the Cardinals in London, followed the next week by Minnesota vs. Cleveland.

New England is the visitor against Oakland at Mexico City on Nov. 19.

Thanksgiving’s traditional games will have Minnesota at Detroit and the Chargers at Dallas. In prime time, the Redskins will be home for the Giants.

Christmas weekend will be busy. Two Saturday matches have Indianapolis at Baltimore in late afternoon, and Minnesota at Green Bay at night on Dec. 23. Most of the rest of the schedule will be played on Dec. 24. On Christmas Day, Pittsburgh will go to Houston in a late-afternoon matchup, followed by Oakland at Philadelphia.

The Falcons are scheduled to open their new stadium in an N.F.C. championship rematch with Green Bay on Sunday night in Week 2. Atlanta has five prime-time games, the same as New England. A Super Bowl rematch will be played Sunday night, Oct. 22.

StubHub Center, the new and temporary home of the Chargers, will have its first regular-season contest in Week 2 when Miami visits.

Every team except Cleveland and Jacksonville will get prime-time exposure. Neither of those clubs has a Thursday game, either. It’s the first time since the league went to a full season of Thursday night football that any clubs have been omitted.

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Racquel Smith, the widow of the former Saints lineman Will Smith, leaving a New Orleans courthouse. Will Smith’s killer, Cardell Hayes, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

EX-LINEMAN’S KILLER SENTENCED The man who killed the retired New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Will Smith and wounded his wife after crashing his sport utility vehicle into Smith’s car last year was…

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