Friday September 11th, 2015

New England Patriots fans welcomed football back Thursday night after a lengthy off-season marred by fallout from Deflategate and Tom Brady’s suspension and subsequent appeal.

With the Patriots hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium, fans showed up early to celebrate the return of regular-season action. The game opened with the expected excitement: Steelers kicker Josh Scobee missed two of three field-goal attempts, more headset issues affected an opponent at Gillette Stadium and Tom Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for the first two touchdowns of the NFL season.

After all that, the Patriots led the Steelers 14–3 at halftime.

Naturally, social media was full of fan tributes to the return of football. Check out some of the best from Foxborough​ below.


Kessler and De Smith really are doing a victory lap

A photo posted by @benvolin on


Kess-ler! Kess-ler!

A video posted by @benvolin on


Jeffrey Kessler is the most popular man here

A photo posted by @benvolin on


And there it is, the new banner hanging proudly

A photo posted by @benvolin on


Brady and Kraft embrace at the end of warmups

A photo posted by @benvolin on

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