NEW YORK — Among the Patriots’ rewards for winning the Super Bowl is hosting the season opener.
This opposition this year is another team with championship pedigree: the Pittsburgh Steelers.
New England and Pittsburgh will begin the NFL season on Thursday night, Sept. 10 with a game matching quarterbacks with six Super Bowl rings and nine Super Bowl appearances: Tom Brady vs. Ben Roethlisberger.
Since Brady became New England’s starting quarterback in 2001, he is 6-3 against the Steelers — he missed the 2008 game while injured — including 2-0 in the playoffs.
Other prime-time matchups on opening weekend will have the New York Giants at Dallas on Sunday, Sept. 13; Philadelphia at Atlanta, followed by Minnesota at San Francisco in a Monday night doubleheader.
Both conference championship rematches will be Sunday night affairs: Seattle at Green Bay in Week 2, Patriots at Colts on Oct. 18.
Yet another Sunday game will be the latest Brady-Peyton Manning faceoff when the Patriots are at Denver on Nov. 29.
Three days earlier, the traditional Thanksgiving Day games will feature Detroit hosting the Eagles, followed by Carolina visiting the Cowboys. The holiday evening contest is a renewal of the NFL’s longest-running rivalry, with Chicago at Green Bay. The Packers reportedly will retire Brett Favre’s jersey that night.
“I think it’s great, and it will be great for our fans, the first time we’ve had a Thanksgiving night game here at Lambeau Field,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think it will definitely be a special night.”
The Packers also open the season at Chicago.
“Going to Chicago is always a big game,” McCarthy said. “Doing it Week 1 with a new (Bears) coaching staff brings some extra challenges, but we’re looking forward to starting off with the oldest rivalry in the National Football League.”
Three games in London will have the Jets against the host Dolphins at 9:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 4; Buffalo facing host Jacksonville on Oct. 25; and Detroit against host Kansas City on Nov. 1.
Among the most anticipated games is the first visit to MetLife Stadium by new Bills coach Rex Ryan to face his former club, the Jets. That occurs on Thursday night, Nov. 12.