BOSTON (CBS) — Get ready for a lot of late nights early in the 2018 New England Patriots season.
The NFL released their full 2018 schedule Thursday night. The biggest takeaway from the 2018 slate: The Patriots will play in prime time five times over the first nine weeks of the season.
Here’s a look at the full schedule:
Week 1: Sunday, September 9 vs. Houston Texans, 1pm
Week 2: Sunday, September 16 @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 4:25pm
Week 3: Sunday, September 23 @ Detroit Lions, 8:20pm*
Week 4: Sunday, September 30 vs. Miami Dolphins, 1pm
Week 5: Thursday, October 4 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:20pm*
Week 6: Sunday, October 14 vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 8:20pm*
Week 7: Sunday, October 21 @ Chicago Bears, 1pm
Week 8: Monday, October 29 @ Buffalo Bills, 8:15pm*
Week 9: Sunday, November 4 vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20pm*
Week 10: Sunday, November 11 @ Tennessee Titans, 1pm
Week 11: Bye Week
Week 12: Sunday, November 25 @ New York Jets, 1pm
Week 13: Sunday, December 2 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 4:25pm
Week 14: Sunday, December 9 @ Miami Dolphins, 1pm
Week 15: Sunday, December 16 @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25pm
Week 16: Sunday, December 23 vs. Buffalo Bills, 1pm
Week 17: Sunday, December 30 vs. New York Jets, 1pm
Some quick notes about the 2018 schedule:
– The Patriots host the Texans to kick things off, opening the season with an afternoon game for the first time since 2014.
– The Patriots hit the road in Week 2 for an AFC Championship Game rematch with the Jaguars down in Jacksonville.
– Bill Belichick will take on his former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia in Week 3 when the Patriots visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football — their first prime-time game of the season.
– Danny Amendola returns to New England with the Miami Dolphins in Week 4.
– Four of New England’s prime time games come in a five-week span, so coffee sales in New England will likely skyrocket in October.
– Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will pay his first visit to Gillette Stadium on November 4 in a prime-time matchup with Tom Brady (we think).
– The Patriots get to see Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis in a Titans uniform when they visit Tennessee in Week 10.
– The Patriots will play three road games in four weeks after their bye, visiting the Jets, Dolphins and Steelers. Their lone home game in that stretch is an late-afternoon game against the Vikings.
– If you’re worried about all those late kickoffs early in the season, at least they’ll be getting underway a few minutes earlier than we’re used to. The NFL decided to move up their kickoff times for prime-time games this season, with Sunday Night Football getting underway 10 minutes earlier, Monday Night Football 15 minutes earlier, and Thursday Night Football five minutes earlier.
– For the second straight year, the Patriots will close out the regular season road games against the Dolphins and Steelers followed by home games against the Bills and Jets for the second straight year. New England went 3-1 during that stretch in 2017.
– As always, WBZ-TV is your official home for the New England Patriots. You can catch Patriots All Access every Friday night at 7pm during, Patriots GameDay Sunday mornings at 11:30am, and Patriots 5th Quarter after every game!