Patriots’ Preseason Schedule Includes Heavy Dose of NFC Opponents

Tom Brady, Ryan MallettThe NFL’s preseason schedule has officially been released, and the Patriots will have a heavy dose of the NFC to start their year.

The Patriots will face four NFC opponents over the four-week preseason slate, which includes games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and their annual showdown with NFC East foe New York Giants. They will travel to Philadelphia and Detroit, but the Bucs and Giants will come to Foxboro for a visit.

The Patriots do have a history of running joint practices with one of their preseason opponents, as they did with the Saints last year. Bill Belichick has a longstanding friendship with Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano, which might make them a candidate for some joint sessions. Then again, the Patriots and Bucs are scheduled to play during the regular season, which might make Belichick less inclined to join forces.

The game against the Bucs is the only one with a set date for the time being, primarily because it’s slated to be nationally televised on FOX.

Check out the Patriots entire preseason schedule below.

Week 1 – at Philadelphia Eagles

Week 2 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8 p.m. on FOX)

Week 3 – at Detroit Lions

Week 4 – New York Giants

The Patriots do know their regular season opponents for the 2013 season, which include the Bengals, Broncos, Browns, Bucs, Falcons, Panthers, Ravens, Saints and Texans along with their normal AFC East rotation. The regular season schedule won’t be released until April 16.

Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

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