The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots meet Thursday night in Foxboro—marking the official start to the NFL's 2017 regular season.
It's the first time in franchise history that the Chiefs have been part of the NFL's opening game.
"We're excited because it gives us the chance to represent Chiefs Kingdom on the national stage," Chiefs' Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt explained. "It's going to be a great atmosphere for football. Foxboro is definitely a tough place to play, but I know our guys will be ready to go.
"All the offseason preparation is over, and it's time to play."
The game is one of a league-high six primetime games on the Chiefs' schedule this year, and because of the opponent, it's a good chance to find out exactly where the Chiefs stand.
The Patriots are coming off their fifth Super Bowl title in the past 17 years, and boast arguably the best head coach-quarterback combination in NFL history with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The two have combined for an overall record of 208-63.
While the game is being built up nationally and is obviously a big test for the Chiefs early in the season, Hunt stopped short of saying it means any more than any other single game.
"There's no doubt that we want to get off to a good start, and this will be a good test for our team," Hunt said. "Anytime you go up against the best teams in the league it's a chance to learn about your football team.
"Certainly, as the defending champs, the Patriots are one of the top teams in the league, and it will be a great test. But at the end of the day, it's just one of 16, and every week is a challenge in the NFL."
Over the past four years, the Chiefs have been a model of consistency under head coach Andy Reid, putting together four-straight winning seasons and an overall record of 43-21, which includes three trips to the playoffs and an AFC West title last year.
Since Reid took over before the 2013 season, which ended up being the greatest single-season turnaround in franchise history—going from two wins in 2012, to 11 wins in 2013—the Chiefs have built themselves into a team that earned the opportunity to play this game Thursday night.
"I believe in the leadership we have on this team," Hunt added. "Coach Reid and his staff and the guys in our locker room have shown that they can compete at a championship level. This is a talented group, and I can't wait to see what they have in store this season."