Brady led a two-decade dynasty in New England, leading the Pats to six Super Bowl victories and 17 division titles. The G.O.A.T. announced his retirement — again– on Feb. 1. Assuming this one sticks, the home-opening celebration will likely be the first of many post-career honors for Brady in New England.
It will be Brady’s second return to Foxborough since leaving the Patriots after the 2019 season. The quarterback played against New England as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021, defeating his former team, 19-17.
While we await the announcement of the Week 1 matchup, we already know the Patriots will head to Frankfurt, Germany, in Week 10 to face the Indianapolis Colts.
Kraft is looking forward to his club being part of the enterprise of growing the NFL in Germany.
“It’s very exciting. My principal business in paper and packaging, my second office I set up in Humboldt, Germany and I got to go there a lot,” he said. “Believe it or not, I went to a game in Frankfurt in NFL Europe, and it gave me an exposure to see how great the Germans fans and how enthusiastic they are. They’re like great NFL fans in the dedicated regions of the country that care about football. So, we were really excited to have this opportunity. It started when we drafted our first player in 2009 (German-born Sebastian Vollmer) and he was really special. We had Jakob Johnson and Markus Kuhn come after that. We started broadcasting games back to Germany in 2016, and it really has made a big difference.”
The Patriots have a 3-0 record in International Games — two in London, one in Mexico City — with Brady at the helm (2009, 35-7 over Tampa Bay; 2012, 45-7 over St. Louis; 2017, 33-8 over Oakland).
“Well, we very much wanted to be in Germany, and we have had the good fortune of winning the three times that we played outside of America before,” Kraft noted. “I hope our defense holds up because the three games, each team scored less and in single digits. We’re privileged to be 3-0 and score 113 points and our rivals scored 22. So we like that differential and we hope that continues that good vibe.”
Between the Brady honoring and a Germany game, what we know of the Pats’ schedule thus far has generated good vibes in May. It’s now on Bill Belichick and his staff to keep them rolling into the fall.