The schedules for all 32 teams were released Thursday night. The Patriots will open their 2013 slate with a divisional tilt in Buffalo on Sept. 8 before returning to Gillette Stadium for a Thursday night matchup with the Jets.
It was initially speculated that the Patriots might travel to Baltimore for Week 2 (with the Ravens raising their championship banner prior to the game), but the Pats will instead need to wait until Week 16 to avenge their loss in last season’s AFC Championship Game.
A look a the full schedule suggests that the first half may be the easier one, as many of the team’s early-season opponents struggled in 2012. The Patriots make trips to Atlanta and Cincinnati in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively, but eight of their first 10 opponents finished below .500 last year.
The schedule kicks into gear in late November, though, as the home stretch includes a visit from Wes Welker, Peyton Manning and the Broncos; a trip to play the AFC South-champion Texans in Houston and a Sunday night matchup with the Ravens in the season’s penultimate week.
Here is New England’s full schedule:
Week 1: at Buffalo (Sept. 8)
Week 2: vs. Jets (Sept. 12)
Week 3: vs. Tampa Bay (Sept. 22)
Week 4: at Atlanta (Sept. 29)
Week 5: at Cincinnati (Oct. 6)
Week 6: vs. Saints (Oct. 13)
Week 7: at Jets (Oct. 20)
Week 8: vs. Miami (Oct. 27)
Week 9: vs. Pittsburgh (Nov. 3)
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: at Carolina (Nov. 18)
Week 12: vs. Denver (Nov. 24)
Week 13: at Houston (Dec. 1)
Week 14: vs. Cleveland (Dec. 8)
Week 15: at Miami (Dec. 15)
Week 16: at Baltimore (Dec. 22)
Week 17: vs. Buffalo (Dec. 29)
Home games in bold.