Five Things to Watch: NFL Week 1

Five things I’ll be looking at in the first week of the 2017 NFL season:

1. How will Tom Brady play in the Patriots Thursday night opener against the Chiefs?

At age 40, Brady has shown no signings of slowing down in training camp. And if Brady is still Brady, they are three games – two home playoff games and the Super Bowl – away from a sixth Super Bowl title before they inflate their first football.

With Brady, they are a lock to make the playoffs again since they play in a division with the Jets, Bills and Dolphins. But sometimes aging quarterbacks can just suddenly fall off a cliff. Or decline slowly.

Brady will be under the microscope for any signs of slowing down all season. Oh, and the other thing about the opener is the reception the Patriots fans will give Roger Goodell. How many will wear the clown T-shirt that defensive coordinator Matt Patricia wore getting off the plane after the Super Bowl? What will their signs say?

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With Coughlin being Coughlin, Marrone already looks like a short-timer

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is facing an unusual dynamic this season that no NFL coach has ever faced.

He’s got Tom Coughlin as his boss.

Coughlin, who built the most successful NFL expansion team ever in his first tenure with the Jaguars, is back this year in a new role.

He’s the executive vice president of football operations, but he’s not the coach.

In his first stint with the Jaguars, Coughlin also ran the show, but he was the coach. So Coughlin couldn’t second-guess himself.

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Age will soon catch up even with the remarkably durable Tom Brady

When Gisele Bündchen married Tom Brady eight years ago, she said he told her he planned to play 10 more years.

The problem, she said, was that as the years passed, the number never went down. As recently as 2015, he was still saying he planned to play 10 more years.

Now Brady finally seems ready to concede 10 more years may be a bit unrealistic. He seems to be talking about five more years.

Brady turned 40 Thursday, and in his first press conference of training camp Friday, he was asked about Patriots owner Bob Kraft saying he could play until his 50s.

“I don’t think I’ve ever said the 50s,’’ Brady said. “Maybe once. You know, I just love doing it. Again, I’ve never thought about not playing, at least until my mid-40s, so that’s a pretty good goal in and of itself, and then we’ll see when I get there.’’

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Patriots’ Kraft should have advised his friend Trump to be wary of Putin

Patriots owner Bob Kraft apparently recently gave President Trump some tax-policy advice.

The two men have long been friends, and Trump told the Wall Street Journal that Kraft gave him the advice after a recent dinner.

“Donald, don’t worry about the rich people,’’ President Trump said Kraft told him. “Tax the rich people. You’ve got to take care of the people in the country. It was a very interesting statement. I feel the same way.’’

It remains to be seen if Trump really feels the same way.

But Kraft could have given Trump some advice on being wary when dealing with Vladimir Putin.

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