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NFL power rankings Week 1 roundup: Where do Patriots stand before 2019 season?

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL power rankings Week 1 roundup: Where do Patriots stand before 2019 season?

The New England Patriots find themselves in a familiar position entering the 2019 NFL season: defending Super Bowl champions.

The Pats will try to become the first team to repeat as champs since they accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004, and that journey begins Sunday night when New England hosts the rival Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. It will be the third time the Patriots have played against the Steelers at home in Week 1 after winning the Super Bowl, and Tom Brady and Co. won both of the previous two matchups.

The reigning champs will have plenty of competition for the Lombardi Trophy in 2019, beginning with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs, led by 2018 NFL MVP-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes, figure to be the toughest opponent for the Patriots on the way to Miami for Super Bowl LIV in February. Oddsmakers actually have pegged the Chiefs as the new favorite to win Super Bowl LIV, according to the latest betting lines.

Several teams in the NFC, including the New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, also pose a serious threat to the Patriots' chances of winning back-to-back titles.

Where do the Patriots stand enter Week 1 of the new season? Here's a roundup of the latest expert NFL power rankings:

Scott Bair, NBC Sports Bay Area: No. 1
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: No. 1
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: No. 2
MMQB Staff, Sports Illustated: No. 1
Nate Davis, USA TODAY: No. 1
NFL Staff, Bleacher Report: No. 1

Belichick makes encouraging comments on Demaryius Thomas>>>>

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Rob Gronkowski to make 'big announcement' on Tuesday

Rob Gronkowski to make 'big announcement' on Tuesday

Rob Gronkowski is making waves on social media once again.

On his Instagram story, the retired New England Patriots tight end told his followers that he had a "big announcement" planned for Tuesday afternoon. Gronkowski said that the announcement would take place on his Instagram page at 9 a.m. and would be "fun" and "wild" and "a good time".

You can see the video for yourself courtesy of NFL writer Dov Kleiman.

Gronkowski's video is cryptic in nature, so it will obviously lead to speculation regarding a potential return to the Patriots. That said, it's worth noting that Gronk has been adamant that he doesn't want to come out of retirement to play tight end for the team. So, it seems highly unlikely that he has had a last-minute change of heart.

Still, it's something to keep an eye on, especially since Gronk's deadline to come out of retirement and play again this season is Saturday, Nov. 30.

But again, more likely than not, this is just a savvy business decision by Gronkowski to essentially announce his intent to make an announcement to attract the attention of a larger audience.

The Patriots will continue to operate with Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson, and Ryan Izzo as their three-man unit at tight end. They'll have to hope that one of them can step up and give them some production at the tight end position, which has been a problem for the offense in 2019.

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Patriots vs. Eagles live stream: Watch NFL Week 11 game online

Patriots vs. Eagles live stream: Watch NFL Week 11 game online

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will meet at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday for the most-anticipated NFL game on the Week 11 slate.

Both teams are desperate for a win.

The Patriots have a slim 1-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens in the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed, while the Eagles are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East race.

This will be the first matchup between these teams since the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII back in February of 2018. Both rosters have changed quite a bit since that night in Minnesota, but several of the most pivotal players on both sides are still around, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady's offense could receive a boost Sunday with the potential pro debut of rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry. Harry was New England's first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and his addition into the offense should give the Pats another downfield receiving threat who can make tough catches in traffic. The Patriots suffered their first loss of the season to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, and they've had two weeks to prepare for the Eagles after enjoying a Week 10 bye.

Here’s how and when to watch Patriots vs. Eagles online. Be sure to also watch “Pregame Live” at 1 p.m. ET and “Postgame Live” at 7:30 p.m. ET, all on NBC Sports Boston. Michael Holley, Albert Breer, Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, Ted Johnson, D.J. Bean and former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel will break down the game from every angle.

When: Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4:25 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: FuboTV

NFL Week 11 picks against the spread>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.