The National Football League opens the 2015 season Thursday, and fans can watch the game live online when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to New England to take on the Super Bowl Champion Patriots in a game that will feature New England future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady on the field and under center — a prospect that appeared in doubt until last Thursday.
With Brady suspended by the league for four games as a result of the so-called “Deflategate” affair, for most of the offseason it appeared that Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would be the starting quarterback against Ben Roethlisberger and the AFC North Division Champion Steelers.
But a federal judge threw out the suspension last Thursday, clearing the way for Brady to take the field on Thursday.
To find out how to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots NFL 2015 season opener live online, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, September 10, 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Shortly after the judge’s decision, the Steelers went from a three-point underdog in the game at the Las Vegas sports books, to a seven-point underdog.
The Steelers will be trying to overcome a suspension of one of their own star players, running back Le’veon Bell, who was slapped with a three-game ban for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The suspension resulted from an arrest in August of last year in which Bell was charged with marijuana possession and driving under the influence. In February, he received a sentence of 15-months probation.
In July, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell trimmed Bell’s suspension from three games to two, leaving the third-year runner unavailable to play against the Patriots.
The Patriots open a season in which they will attempt to become the first NFL team to win back-to-back Super Bowl championships since the same New England franchise accomplished the feat in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
The Thursday night game will also mark the first time since 2010 that the Patriots have opened their season at home.
Watch the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots NFL 2015 season opening game live online via NBC Sports Live Extra by clicking on this link. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, September 10. Streaming video is also available on mobile devices by downloading the NBC Sports Live Extra app.
[Image: Jim Rogash / Getty Images]