The NFL season is officially back. Thursday night fans will be gifted regular season football, and the first game of the season gives us a great match-up on both sides of the ball. The New England Patriots will begin their championship defense against the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams are solid on offense and defense, containing stars on both sides. But there will be rust, as both teams starters haven't played more than a half in the preseason. But the main thing is that NFL football is back, and both teams are looking to start the season undefeated.

Who will win the first game of the season?

Pieces missing

Even though it is week one of the NFL season, both teams are coming into the game with key pieces to their team missing. The Patriots will have to begin their title defense without their star receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman suffered a non-contact ACL tear in a preseason game on Aug. 25. Edelman is the person who made that unreal catch in the Super Bowl, allowing the Patriots to come back from that famous 28-3 deficit. Edelman was the projected slot receiver, but with his absence, Danny Amendola will need to step up in his place. Let's not forget they had Rob Gronkowski and acquired Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett.

The Chiefs will miss their starting running back Spencer Ware for this game and the entire regular season.

Ware suffered a torn PCL and damage to his LCL, which required surgery. Ware was the workhorse for The Chiefs last season, leading them in rushing last season. Ware was also a decent receiver out that backfield. The Chiefs will now rely on rookie Kareem Hunt. Hunt was a standout from Toledo and needs to put up similar stats in the NFL to prove his worth to the Chiefs.

Who has the edge?

In a game where both teams are talented on both sides of the ball, it will come down to the defensive units for both teams. Both offenses are going to put up points, but if either defense can stop the opposing offense once it could lead to a win. I'm giving the edge to the Chiefs, who have a complete defense.

They have one of the best defensive lines in football, a top tier line backing core, and the best ball-hawkers in the secondary. The Chiefs will find a way to get to Tom Brady and force him to make mistakes. The Patriots have a solid defense too, but the firepower the Chiefs have will be too much for them, and they will get burned early and often. The Chiefs will ruin the Patriots night, winning the game by the score of 31-20.