BOSTON (CBS) – Football is still far away, but on Wednesday night the NFL schedule was officially announced. While fans have known who the opponents are for months, the exact order has not been known. The Patriots have five primetime games and a bye during week 10.
Here’s the schedule if you haven’t seen it (click here for more details):
Week 1, September 7: at Miami Dolphins
Week 2, September 14: at Minnesota Vikings
Week 3, September 21: vs. Oakland Raiders
Week 4, September 21 — Monday Night: at Kansas City Chiefs
Week 5, October 5 — Sunday Night: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 6, October 12: at Buffalo Bills
Week 7, October 16 — Thursday Night: vs. New York Jets
Week 8, October 26: vs. Chicago Bears
Week 9, November 2: vs. Denver Broncos
Week 10: BYE WEEK
Week 11, November 16 — Sunday Night: at Indianapolis Colts
Week 12, November 23: vs. Detroit Lions
Week 13, November 30: at Green Bay Packers
Week 14, December 7 — Sunday Night: at San Diego Chargers
Week 15, December 14: vs. Miami Dolphins
Week 16, December 21: at New York Jets
Week 17, December 28: vs. Buffalo Bills
When the Patriots signed cornerback Brandon Browner, the team knew they would be without him for the first four weeks due to a mandated four-game suspension from the league. The Patriots will open at Miami, travel to Minnesota, return home for the Raiders and then travel to Kansas City all without the former Seahawk.
Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak talked about the Patriots schedule, specifically those first four weeks with Browner, and how the Pats would fare without one of their biggest free agent signings.
“It is the fact that the first four weeks of the year, where you don’t have Brandon Browner, you get [Ryan] Tannehill, [Christian] Ponder or [Matt] Cassel, [Matt] Schaub and Alex Smith,” Gresh said. “I think Minnesota is better than their record showed last year, but Oakland is putrid.”
“There’s no cake walks there, but let’s face it: without Brandon Browner you should be able to run the table in the month of September,” added Zolak.
For Zo, the lack of travel in the month of October and first half of November will set the stage for a gauntlet of games starting in Week 8 home against the Bears which could ultimately decide the season.
“Just get to the 30th of September,” Zo said. “That’s the way I look at it because you’re playing at Kansas City on that Monday-nighter. When I wake up that Tuesday that’s the 30th of September, and the next time I have to step on a plane is October 12th to Buffalo. Other than that, this team does not travel until the 16th of November. … And then you don’t go on the road until the week before Thanksgiving basically.
“And that’s pretty much the meat of the schedule, right around there, once you get back. And that’s a nice little rest coming off that bye, but that Chicago, Denver, Indy, Detroit, Green Bay stretch — if they survive that, they’re going to be in good shape.”
“The Patriots definitely got some scheduling breaks. No doubt,” concluded Gresh.
Listen below for the full discussion: