The New England Patriots are set to start the defense of the championship on Thursday, September 7, when they host the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady is ready to lead the Patriots to their ninth straight home opener victory while leading the unveiling of the team’s Super Bowl LI championship banner.
But despite being called the greatest of all time, Brady is still expecting some nerves during opening night against the Chiefs. In a press conference after Monday’s practice (h/t ESPN), the 40-year-old quarterback admitted that he’s going to be nervous in the first game of the 2017 NFL season, but they are also very confident.
“There will definitely be nerves and being anxious, but that’s part of football. Once you get out there and get going, those things calm down. The opener, everyone is pretty amped up. We’re starting a marathon.”
Tom Brady having butterflies is a surprise since he is a 12-time Pro Bowl, two-time NFL MVP, four-time Super Bowl MVP and five-time Super Bowl champion. The Patriots are the favorites to win it all again this season, and there are even talks of Bill Belichick and Brady going for the perfect season. Belichick and Brady almost had the perfect season in 2007 but they lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
The great quarterback added that he is also excited for the unveiling of the Patriots’ 8,000-pound Super Bowl LI championship banner. Tom Brady is also looking forward to facing off against the Chiefs, and he knows that they need to play a great game on Thursday.
“The opener, everyone’s always pretty amped up for this one; been waiting a long time for this. Starting the season, I know they have a lot of events planned, probably all the families coming in. It’s a big game. An important one. We’re playing one of the best teams in the AFC. Last year, they were the second seed. They try to make this game big, they have good teams playing, and we know we’re going to have to play a great game in order to win.”
According to Patriots.com, the Patriots are 3-0 when playing in a Thursday opening game as the defending Super Bowl champions. New England is also the last NFL team to have a successful title defense when they won back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 2003 and 2004. This Patriots-Chiefs game is the first matchup between the teams since January 16, 2016.
Tom Brady and the Patriots triumphed against the Chiefs 27-20 in the 2016 AFC Divisional Playoffs at Gillette Stadium. However, the Patriots lost their last regular season game against Kansas City on September 24, 2014, by a score of 41-14.
Even though Tom Brady is 40-years-old and entering his 18th NFL season, the Patriots are better than ever. The loss of Julian Edelman caused some worries among Patriots fans, but they still have a stacked roster, per Sports Interaction. The Patriots acquired a couple of receiving options for Brady like wide receiver Brandin Cooks and tight end Dwayne Allen.
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