Patriots Regular Season Drawing Near

Preseason football means New England’s regular season schedule is right around the corner. With an array of primetime spots and tough opponents, here are a few important things to note from the upcoming schedule:



Opening Game: The Patriots will start the season on the road for the fourth straight season. New England will travel to Miami for a matchup against the Dolphins.

It’s the eighth time the division rivals have played one another on opening day. The last time New England played a home opener was in 2010 when they beat the Bengals 38-24. The team will not play at home until Week 3 against the Raiders. If the Patriots beat the Dolphins, they will tie Miami for the second-longest streak in history with 11 consecutive opening days wins. The current record is held by Dallas whose streak extends to 17 wins.

Primetime:

The Patriots will play five prime-time games, two of which will be at home. New England will be featured in the following nationally televised match ups:

Week 4 at the Chiefs, Week 5 versus the Bengals, Week 7 versus the Jets, Week 11 at the Colts and Week 14 at the Chargers. While the Broncos and Packer’s games are not prime-time, they will both be shown as the Featured Game of the Week. With the recent revelation by the league, flex games could start as early as Week 5 which could potentially affect the team’s Sunday night meetings against both Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

Strength of schedule:

New England’s upcoming schedule is reported to be the tenth most difficult in the league. Last season, New England’s upcoming opponents had a combined percentage of .516 wins. The Raiders, Broncos and Rams are said to have the toughest schedules while Colts, Titans and Texans are ranked with the easiest.

Rivalries to watch out for:

Brady versus Manning continues to be a high profile event as the pair will face each other for the 16th time on November 2nd. While the Patriots have home field advantage, the Broncos will have ten days to prepare for the matchup, coming off a Thursday night game the week prior. Last year’s Brady/Manning matchup was ranked the ninth most viewed among NFL games of 2013 with 26.5 million viewers. Four Patriots games were listed in the top spots in terms of viewership last season, all having more than 20 million viewers.

With Revis now a member of the Patriots and the Jets player signings of Eric Decker and Chris Johnson, the Thursday night matchup against the Jets could turn out to be a thrilling game to watch.

Brandon Spikes’ offseason prediction of two Bills wins over New England will make an interesting storyline for both upcoming divisional meetings. The Patriots, however, have only lost against the Bills twice in the last thirteen seasons.

Newswire assembled by Patriots Insider contributor AnneMarie Blanco (Ablanco on the forums). Look for more updates from AnneMarie here at Patriots Insider throughout the offseason.



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