Editor's Note: Compete against Niners Nation writers in our week 1 fantasy football league on FanDuel. First place wins $100 and the top 20 win cash. Join now!
Welcome back, football! The 2015 NFL season gets under way Thursday evening as the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. The game kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT on NBC.
The Thursday Night Football kickoff game is always a big deal, but it is even more so this year given the matchup. The Patriots and Steelers could be a playoff preview, but more importantly, Tom Brady is playing. The Deflategate stuff is behind us to some extent (minus a few court appeals), and Brady is playing. His four-game suspension was vacated, and the appeals process is going to take long enough that I imagine he plays all 16 games this season.
This game is worth tracking for 49ers fans because San Francisco travels to face the Steelers next week. The Steelers will be without Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant due to suspensions, and Maurkice Pounce is sidelined on the injured return with return designation list. None of them will play next week, so it will be interesting to see how the Steelers handle that in Week 1.
I will be posting picks against the spread over the weekend, but for tonight's game, I'll go on record with the Patriots covering the touchdown spread. I think the Steelers will be dangerous this season, but this first game without three notable pieces could make for tough sledding against a Patriots team that has to be out for blood this season.
Here is everything you need to know about tonight's game
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
Game time: 5:30 PM PST
Date: Thursday, September 10
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Location: Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, MA
Live on NBC Sports Live Extra
Replay on NFL Game Rewind
Steelers +7.5 (-110)
Patriots -7.5 (-110)