The 2015 NFL schedule kicks off Thursday night with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. That means that even after the DeflateGate mess, which the NFL ultimately lost in court, the league wins by beginning its season with a marquee matchup featuring New England quarterback Tom Brady vs. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger owns a 106-52 regular-season record (.671) as a starter and is one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to win at least 100 of his first 150 starts. Brady enters his 16th year with a 160-47 (.773) record -- the best winning percentage of any NFL quarterback in the Super Bowl era with at least 100 starts.
Had the NFL's four-game DeflateGate suspension of Brady not been overturned just a week ago, the Patriots would be playing this game without him.
Here is all the basic information about Thursday's game.
Who: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA.
Game time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC
Online Streaming: NFL Game Pass
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Radio: Westwood One -- Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Ross Tucker (Field reporter); SIRIUS -- 88 (WW1), 83 (Pit), 93 (NE). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (Pit), 226 (NE).
Referee: Carl Cheffers
Odds: Patriots -6.5
Jesse's pick vs. the spread: Steelers | Complete Week 1 predictions vs. the spread