You know, the Brady who supposedly hasn't committed to playing in 2018?
We know exactly what he'll be doing that first NFL Sunday. He'll be firing passes to receivers against the Houston Texans.
Brady isn't quitting the game after losing a Super Bowl. That's not him.
So he will be there on opening day. He's also why New England games are always must-see TV.
That's why I have three Patriots games among my top-10 games for the.
The schedule was released Thursday night – the official kickoff to rush-your-life-away day – and there are a lot of interesting games. But for my money, I mostly go with the marquee games, featuring the best teams.
There's about five months until that first NFL Sunday. I bet Tom Brady can hardly wait.
49ers at Vikings (Week 1)
This will be the first game for Kirk Cousins as the starter for the Vikings, which makes it noteworthy. But it also will be the first for Jimmy Garoppolo opening a season as a full-time starter. They are the two highest-paid quarterbacks in the league, which adds even more intrigue. Oh, by the way, Garoppolo has never lost a start.
This is the return of Jon Gruden to the coaching sidelines. He will be facing the Rams, a team that many consider to be a Super Bowl contender. Can Gruden get the Raiders back to being a contender after an off year in 2017 for this Oakland team? What about Derek Carr?
Patriots at Jaguars (Week 2)
This will be a rematch of the AFC Championship Game, which was won by the Pats. Jacksonville led by 10 in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hold the lead. They did a nice job on Brady and the New England offense for most of that game. One more footnote: Jaguars safety Barry Church knocked Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski from the game with a head hit in the second quarter.
Vikings at Eagles (Week 5)
This is a rematch of the NFC Championship Game, which was won by the Eagles in blowout fashion. Only this time, the Vikings will come to town with Kirk Cousins as the quarterback. The Eagles will likely have Carson Wentz back under center. Nick Foles carved up the Vikings defense in the title game, so they will be looking to get even here.
Eagles at Jaguars (Week 8 at London)
This was almost the Super Bowl last February, but the Jaguars couldn't hold a lead in the title game against the Patriots. This will be the Eagles' first trip to England to play a game, while the Jaguars make an annual trip there. The treat will be watching the Eagles offense against that Jaguars defense.
Saints at Vikings (Week 8)
This is the rematch of the Vikings miraculous playoff victory against the Saints last January. The Saints lost when Stefon Diggs had a catch-and-run for a touchdown on the game's final play. Saints safety Marcus Williams blew the tackle on the play – whiffing – so that will be the focus of this one during the week leading up to it.
Packers at Rams (Week 8)
The Rams have spent the off-season loading up their defense, and this is the reason why. When you face a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, you have to be ready to play coverage and rush the passer. With Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh up front and Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters on the corners, the Rams have the defensive players to match up. What they don't have are edge rushers, which could be a problem with Rodgers' ability to get outside the pocket.
Packers at Patriots (Week 9)
This game will match the NFL's two best quarterbacks in a battle that could be a Super Bowl preview. Aaron Rodgers has just one start against Tom Brady and the Patriots in his career, that coming in 2014, a game won by the Packers at home. Rodgers has never started a game in New England. This will be fun. PS: It's my early Super pick again.
Eagles at Saints (Week 11)
The Saints thought they were going to Philadelphia to play the Eagles last year in the NFC title game, but they had those hopes dashed by Minnesota's miracle touchdown on the final play of their loss to the Vikings. Now they get that chance, and this one matches two of the best offensive play callers in the NFL in Sean Payton and Doug Pederson. Let's see the scoreboard light up.
Patriots at Steelers (Week 15)
Anytime these two get together, it's always a treat – even if the Pats seemingly own the Steelers. Last season, the Steelers appeared to beat the Pats when Jesse James caught what should have been the game-winning touchdown. But the call was reversed on replay, which led to the Patriots winning and getting the top seed in the playoffs. The rule has been changed, and that James play would have been a touchdown now, but it still has to sting the Steelers, who haven't been able to get past the Patriots' dominance in the series with Brady.