BOSTON (CBS) — When the NFL releases every team’s schedule, fans tend to look mostly at the slate of games for their favorite teams. But in some instances, you have to look at other teams’ schedules to get the full scope of the local team’s schedule.

And in the case of the Patriots, there is one interesting quirk that does not work in their favor. New England will be facing three teams that are coming off their bye weeks in the upcoming season.

ESPN found that interesting wrinkle in the Patriots’ schedule, noting that they have the worst net rest differential in 2021.

That’s obviously not a term that many people were familiar with before this moment, but it shows that when it comes to feeling fresh on Sundays, the Patriots will be at a disadvantage compared to their opponent.

One of those opponents coming off a bye, though, will be the Colts in Week 15. That one isn’t really a disadvantage for the Patriots, as they also have a Week 14 bye and should therefore be able to get their rest before kickoff.

The other two opponents coming off bye weeks are the Jets in Week 7 and the Chargers in Week 8. The Patriots won both games against the Jets last year, and they shut out the Chargers 45-0 in Los Angeles.

Very interestingly, this happened to the Patriots in 2019, too. They hosted the Browns and the Ravens in consecutive weeks, after those AFC North teams were coming off their respective byes. The Patriots beat the Browns, 27-13, but lost to the Ravens, 37-20. Later that year, the Patriots and Eagles were both coming off their byes when they met in Philadelphia in Week 11; the Patriots won that game, 17-10.

CBSBoston.com Staff