NFL preview: When does it start, who's going to win the Super Bowl and where can I watch it?

America's game returns next week

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The Independent Online

The National Football League returns to our screens next week - here's all you need to know.

When does it start?

The season kicks-off when Pittsburgh Steelers travel to the home of the Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, for Thursday Night Football next week. (UK time: 1.30am, Friday 11 Sept.).

There will be seven games at 6pm UK time on Sunday, and another five later that evening and into the night.

The first Monday Night Football of the season, of course, has back-to-back games. The Philadelphia Eagles visit the Atlanta Falcons (UK time: 00.10am, Tuesday 15 Sept.) before the San Francisco 49ers host Minnesota Vikings (3.20am).

Where can I watch it?

Game Pass, the NFL's subscription service, is your best bet for all access coverage online. On television there have been some changes to last season, with Channel 4 were unable to reach a new deal and will not show any action this season, while British Eurosport don't appear to be showing highlights this season.

Sky Sports will be your one stop shop, with 80 live fixtures during the season, including Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, RedZone and full coverage of the play-offs and the Super Bowl. There could be up to five live games in some weeks.

Who's playing at Wembley?

There are again three games in in the International Series in London; the New York Jets vs Miami Dolphis (4 October), the Buffalo Bills vs the Jacksonville Jaguars (25 October) and the Detroit Lions vs the Kansas City Chiefs (1 November).

The first and last games are officially sold out but tickets for the Bills vs Jags can still be bought.

Main news heading into the season

Unless your head has been buried in the sand for the last few months, you'll know that Tom Brady will miss four games because of 'Deflategate'. Oh, actually he won't (but maybe he might, depends when you are reading this).

Elsewhere there was the usual madness of free agency, with Eagles head coach/alchemist Chip Kelly making numerous moves that seem insane but could just work.

Jameis Winston was taken with the No 1 pick of the draft but has struggled in pre-season.

There were also numerous injuries (Jordy Nelson, Odell Beckham, LeSean McCoy and Dez Bryant the most notable) and fights during training camp.

A par for the course off-season, really.

Who's going to win it?

Far too early to say but the usual suspects, the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Patriots are the three favourites with the bookies. Andrew Luck and the Colts and Peyton Manning's Broncos should also be making deep post-season runs.

What can I expect from

We've got a more in-depth, team-by-team preview coming next week. Like last season, we will have weekly previews, match reports for the Thursday Night and Monday Night games, a general round-up of Sunday's action and analysis on a Tuesday.

We will also have live coverage of the International Series, Thanksgiving Day games and selected match-ups in the play-offs, as well as full coverage of the Super Bowl as well as news and tidbits every now and then.

We will also have an exclusive monthly column with a current NFL star.

Stay tuned!