The New England Patriots will open the 2023 season against defending NFC champion Philadelphia on Sept. 10, and it will be more than just a season opener.

The Patriots will honor now-retired quarterback Tom Brady at the game.

“I invited him back to come here and be with us at the opening game and let the fans in New England thank him for the great service he gave us for over 20 years,” Patriots CEO Robert Kraft said.

Brady announced his retirement earlier this offseason.

The 45-year-old is recognized as the greatest quarterback of all time, a seven-time Super Bowl champion who spent 20 seasons in New England and powered the greatest dynasty in NFL history. Brady finished playing three seasons in Tampa Bay, and won a seventh Super Bowl.

“The greatest player, the greatest career. A great, great person. It was such an opportunity and an honor for me to coach Tom,” Coach Bill Belichick said. “I guess it’s gotta end at some point. But it’s the greatest one ever.”


The announcement coincided with the NFL revealing the full 2023 season schedule.

After a Sunday night Week 2 matchup with Miami, New England’s first road game will be in Week 3 against New York Jets and their new star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
A Week 4 trip to Dallas and Week 5 at home against the Saints lead up to a Week 6 showdown in Las Vegas against former New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

It will also be a chance to avenge one of the most embarrassing losses in franchise history. Last year, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had his worst game of the season against McDaniels, throwing for 112 yards with no touchdowns. Even worse was how it ended – on a failed hook-and ladder-play with Chandler Jones intercepting Jakobi Meyers and then running over Jones for a walk-off win.

Games against Buffalo, at Miami and against Washington follow. Earlier this week, the NFL announced that the Patriots would play the Colts in Frankfurt, Germany, on Nov. 12, one of five international games this season.

A Week 11 bye follows. It’s a well-timed bye week for New England. Not too early in the calendar, not too late, and it comes on the heels of international travel and jumping six hours ahead.

The Patriots play at Pittsburgh to open Week 14 on Thursday, Dec. 7. That’s followed by a Monday matchup with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in Foxborough.


The opener against the Eagles, however, is a challenging matchup in Week 1, especially with festivities being planned to honor Brady.

Philadelphia was one of the best teams in the NFL last season with a dominant defense and an outstanding offense led by quarterback Jalen Hurts and receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

In other highlights around the league, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will kick off the 2023 season against the upstart Detroit Lions in a matchup of high-powered offenses, and Rodgers will make his 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, led 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 matchup on Sept. 11.

Other games revealed Thursday include a rematch of the NFC championship game in Week 13. 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.

Other highlights include:

• Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars will become the first team to play two international games in the same season with back-to-back weeks in London.


The Jaguars will host the Falcons at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 1 and visit the Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 8.

Along with the Patriots-Colts game in Germany, Tennessee will host Baltimore in London and the Chiefs will host the Dolphins in Germany.

• 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.

• The Patriots preseason opener is on Thursday, Aug. 10 against the Houston Texans. They’ll then head on the road to take on the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans in their final two preseason matchups. Those dates haven’t been announced yet.

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