Patriots host Steelers in NFL season opener on Thursday

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The 2015 season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kick-off game. The opener on Thursday, September 10 on NBC (8:30 PM ET) will feature the Super Bowl champion NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS hosting the PITTSBURGH STEELERS at Gillette Stadium.

Thursday’s matchup features two of the NFL’s three winningest teams over past 10 seasons (2005-14). New England (122-38, .763) has the best regular-season winning percentage during that span, while Pittsburgh ranks third (101-59, .631). The Patriots and Steelers combined for 15 playoff berths, six AFC Championship wins and three Super Bowl titles over the past decade.

The Patriots have a 15-1 regular-season record at Gillette Stadium over the past two seasons. New England quarterback TOM BRADY has an 11-2 career record (.846) in season openers, the highest winning percentage among Super Bowl-era quarterbacks (minimum 10 starts).

Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK is 13-7 (.650) on Kickoff Weekend and his 13 wins are the most among active head coaches. Belichick is one of only three active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games and own an opening weekend winning percentage above .500.

“We have to move on pretty quickly to get to Pittsburgh,” says Belichick. “We feel like we have improved over the course of the preseason, but we will find out for sure during Kickoff Weekend.”

Entering his 21st season as an NFL head coach, Belichick has amassed 233 wins, the fourth-most total victories by a head coach in league history.