Preview: Patriots take familiar 'favorite' label into 2017 season

The 2017 NFL season begins this week with some old faces in new places, a second team in LA and relaxed touchdown celebration rules, but one thing that has not changed is the New England Patriots' status as Super Bowl favorites. The reigning champion Patriots, who host the season opener on Thursday against Kansas City, are powered by 40-year-old Tom Brady who has shown no signs of slowing down despite being well beyond the age when quarterbacks generally lose a step. Brady's close friend and trusted receiver Julian Edelman is out for the season with an ACL tear but wideout Brandin Cooks, acquired from the New Orleans Saints in March, and tight end Rob Gronkowski are just a taste of his many passing options.