Patriots officially will open season on Sunday night, not Thursday

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The NFL has made a decision to break away from tradition this year, with the Super Bowl champions not hosting the season opener.

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will continue the oldest rivalry in the NFL by opening the league's 100th season.

Shortly following, it was finalized by the league that the season-opener is set in stone. At Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the Packers later in the season will host the 200th edition of the grudge match.

The Packers hold a 97-95-6 series advantage, including playoffs, but did not retake the series lead until they beat the Bears in Week 4 of the 2017 season.

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It will be the 200th meeting between the NFC North rivals since 1921, when the Bears were the Chicago Staleys.

It's nice timing too, with the Packers rebooting a bit over the last two years and now looking to take advantage of the final years of Aaron Rodgers' career by adding Matt LaFleur as their new head coach. Defending Super Bowl champs are 8-2 in their last 10 season openers.

The NFL's 100th season will open with the 199th meeting between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.

For the Patriots, they will open up their title defense on Sunday night, also on NBC as the first game in the network's "Sunday Night Football" package.

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