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NFL season kicks off with Super Bowl champion Chiefs hosting Lions; Rodgers on MNF

By ROB MAADDI (AP Pro Football Writer)

Patrick Mahomes and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will kick off the 2023 season against the upstart Detroit Lions in a matchup of high-powered offenses while Aaron Rodgers will make his New York Jets debut on “Monday Night Football” against the Buffalo Bills.

Coming off their second championship in four seasons, the Chiefs will host the Lions on Sept. 7 on “Thursday Night Football.” The Lions finished 9-8 last season after a 1-6 start and knocked Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers out of the playoffs with a 20-16 victory at Lambeau Field in the final regular-season game.

Mahomes, the two-time NFL MVP, lead the Chiefs to a 38-35 comeback win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.

Fans will get their first look at Rodgers in his new green-and-white No. 8 Jets jersey when New York hosts Josh Allen and the Bills in an AFC East battle on Sept. 11, according to early details released Thursday on this year’s NFL schedule.

The NFL will release the full schedule on Thursday night.

Other games revealed Thursday include a rematch of the NFC championship game in Week 13. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will host the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 3. The Eagles knocked quarterback Brock Purdy out of the conference title game on their way to a dominant 31-7 win. Purdy had elbow surgery in the offseason but should be ready by the time the teams meet again.

Mahomes and the Chiefs will host AFC West rival Las Vegas in the early game on Christmas Day and the Dallas Cowboys will visit San Francisco on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 5.

The New England Patriots also announced seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady will be honored at the team’s home opener. Brady, who led the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles, retired in February after spending the last three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars will become the first NFL team to play two international games in the same season when they spend back-to-back weeks in London this year.

The Jaguars will host the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 1 and visit the Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 8. The Jaguars were set to play two designated home games in London in 2020 but the pandemic canceled those plans.

The NFL also announced dates for three other international games. The Tennessee Titans will host the Baltimore Ravens at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 15. The Chiefs will host the Miami Dolphins in Germany at Eintracht Frankfurt Stadium on Nov. 5. The New England Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 12, also in Frankfurt.

The league also revealed Wednesday that Rodgers and the Jets will host the Dolphins in the first Black Friday game on Nov. 24. The Eagles will host the New York Giants on Christmas Day and the Chiefs will host Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in a rematch of the AFC championship game in Week 17.

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