However, things will be very different this year.
There will be no fans in most stadiums to start the year, and you may not see some of your favorite players in costume due to the pandemic.
With most of the teams playing today, here’s what you need to know with the NFL first Sunday.
Teams will have the phrases “It Takes Everyone” and “An End to Racism” painted in the end zones of each team throughout the season.
The NFL will play the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Goodell said a number of players told him voting was the number one issue that mattered to them, which helped spur NFL Votes, a voting initiative the league launched in July.
It is a league and non-partisan initiative that Goodell said “supports and encourages civic engagement and the vote of fans, players, legends and club and league staff.”
The initiative will focus on three key parts of the electoral process: voter education, registration and activation. Educational programs were conducted with players from all 32 teams, and Goodell said the league encouraged teams to offer their stadiums as polling centers.
Players will be wearing those decals throughout the season.
The leaders begin the defense of the title
The Kansas City Chiefs began their Super Bowl title defense on Thursday by waxing the Houston Texans 34-20.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked sharper than ever and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will only support one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league.
The Chiefs appear not to have missed a beat and are favorites to win it all again this year and repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Tom Brady in Tampa Bay
Quarterback Tom Brady rocked the football world when he decided to leave the New England Patriots and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent.
With the Buccaneers, Brady will likely have the most talented arsenal of weapons surrounding him on offense. All pro players Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two of the most talented receivers I’ve ever played with, and Rob Gronkowski has come out of retirement to join Brady.
While 43-year-old Brady has shown signs of decline in recent years, he is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time and could lead the Buccaneers to their first playoff win since the team won the Super Bowl in 2003.
Patriots without Brady
With Brady in Tampa Bay, the Patriots have hired quarterback Cam Newton to take his place.
This is a new era for the Patriots without Brady in the center. The team will show a completely different attack as Newton is a mobile quarterback.
While the Patriots have had a number of star players who have given up playing this season due to Covid-19 concerns, it’s hard to rule out coach Bill Belichick.
Can the NFL finish the season?
There were some doubts that the NFL would be able to kick off its season as planned due to the pandemic, but the league was able to get through retirement and start the season as planned on Thursday night.
While the league plans to run the season as scheduled, things could change rapidly with thousands of new coronavirus cases still reported in the United States.
“We expect to have positive cases,” Sills said. “No matter how careful we try to be and how many protocols we have in place, we know this disease remains endemic in our societies and communities and is highly contagious.”
An outbreak could easily force the NFL to change its plans, and the league may have no choice but to close the season if a major outbreak occurs.
Jill Martin, David Close, Kevin Dotson, Leah Asmelash, and CNN’s Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.