FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The National Football League announced the 2013 regular season schedule tonight and the New England Patriots and their fans learned that the team will be featured in at least five nationally-televised games during the regular season, including a Thursday night game at Gillette Stadium against the New York Jets on Sept. 12 at 8:25 p.m. on NFL Network.
Last season, the Patriots traveled to face the Jets in a Thursday game on Thanksgiving night at MetLife Stadium and earned a 49-19 victory. Three of the last four Thursday games for the Patriots have been against the New York Jets, with a home game in 2008, the Thanksgiving night game in 2012 and this year's game on Sept. 12.
The Patriots will be featured in four other prime time games, including three NBC Sunday Night Football contests and one ESPN Monday Night Football game. On Sept. 29, the Patriots will make their season debut on NBC when they travel to face the NFC South champion and conference runner-up Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome at 8:30 p.m. The Patriots will play back-to-back games on national television when they travel to Carolina to face the Panthers on Monday Night Football on Nov. 18 at 8:40 p.m. followed by their second Sunday Night Football game when they host Denver on Nov. 24 at 8:30 p.m. The Patriots will also travel to face Baltimore in a rematch of the 2011 and 2012 AFC Championship Games in a Sunday night contest on Dec. 22 at 8:30 p.m. The two teams met last season in a Week 3 matchup on Sunday Night Football with Baltimore taking a 31-30 decision.
In addition to the five nationally-televised games, the Patriots will be the featured game of the week three times. New England will host New Orleans on Oct. 13 at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 3 at 4:25 p.m. on CBS and then travel to face the Houston Texans on Dec. 1 at 4:25 p.m. on CBS. The Houston game will be New England's only game played outside of the eastern time zone.
Six of the Patriots' 16 games will be against teams that finished with a winning percentage of .500 or better in 2012, including five playoff teams – Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston and Atlanta. The Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Houston games will be on the road.
While the Patriots will not play against Indianapolis, breaking a streak of 10 consecutive seasons in which the non-division teams have played, a new rivalry against a familiar foe will take place for the second straight season. QB Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will come to Gillette Stadium on Nov. 24 for a Sunday Night Football game.
The Patriots will play each of the other AFC East rivals twice and will play one game against each of the AFC North and NFC South teams. As the AFC East Champions, the Patriots will play the 2012 division winners of the AFC West (Denver) and the AFC South (Houston).
PATRIOTS 2013 SCHEDULE WEEK-BY-WEEK
New England will open a two-game home stretch when they host the New York Jets on the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football on Sept. 12 at 8:25 p.m. After staying at the confines of Gillette Stadium to face Tampa Bay on Sept. 22 at 1:00 p.m., the Patriots will return to national television when they travel to face Atlanta on Sunday night on Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m., followed by a trip to Cincinnati on Oct. 6. at 1:00 p.m.
The Patriots return home to face New Orleans on Oct. 13 in a late afternoon game before a rematch with the Jets on Oct. 20 at MetLife Stadium at 1:00 pm. Following the Jets game, the Patriots will not travel for almost an entire month. New England returns from the road game against the Jets and have their second two-game home stretch by hosting Miami on Oct. 27 at 1:00 p.m. and Pittsburgh on Nov. 3 at 4:25 p.m. and then will have a Bye Week on Nov. 10.
After the Bye Week, the Patriots will play in two straight nationally-televised games. New England will play their only Monday Night Football game when they face the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Nov. 18 at 8:40 p.m. and then return home to face Denver in a Sunday Night Football game on Nov. 24 at 8:30 p.m. Last season, the Patriots also had a two-game stretch on national television when they hosted Houston on Monday Night Football followed by a Sunday Night Football game against San Francisco.
Three of the final five games will be played on the road. The Patriots travel to Houston to face the AFC South Champions on Dec. 1 at 4:25 p.m., before returning to Gillette Stadium to play Cleveland on Dec. 8 at 1:00 p.m. The Patriots will be on the road against Miami on Dec. 15 at 1:00 p.m. followed by a trip to Baltimore for a Sunday Night game against the Ravens on Dec. 22 at 8:30 p.m. The Patriots will close out the regular season schedule at home for the fourth straight season when they host Buffalo on Dec. 29 at 1:00 p.m., the same team the Patriots the season with. It will mark the fifth time in team history that they will open and close the season against the same opponent and the first time it will occur since opening and closing the season against Buffalo in 2003. It has also happened in 1987 against Miami, 1981 against the Baltimore Colts and in 1974 against Miami.
2013 PATRIOTS PRESEASON SCHEDULE
|Friday, Aug. 9||at Philadelphia Eagles||7:30 p.m. ET||Patriots Preseason Network|
|Friday, Aug. 16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8:00 p.m. ET||FOX|
|Thursday, Aug. 22||at Detroit Lions||7:30 p.m. ET||Patriots Preseason Network|
|Thursday, Aug. 29||New York Giants||7:30 p.m. ET||Patriots Preseason Network|
2013 PATRIOTS REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
|Sunday, Sept. 8||at Buffalo Bills||1:00 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Thursday, Sept. 12||New York Jets||8:25 p.m. ET||NFL Network|
|Sunday, Sept. 22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 p.m. ET||FOX|
|Sunday, Sept 29||at Atlanta Falcons||8:30 p.m. ET||NBC|
|Sunday, Oct. 6||at Cincinnati Bengals||1:00 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||New Orleans Saints||4:25 p.m. ET||FOX|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||at New York Jets||1:00 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Sunday, Oct. 27||Miami Dolphins||1:00 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Sunday, Nov. 3||Pittsburgh Steelers||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Sunday, Nov. 10||BYE WEEK|
|Monday, Nov. 18||at Carolina Panthers||8:40 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|Sunday, Nov. 24||Denver Broncos||8:30 p.m. ET||NBC*|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||at Houston Texans||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS*|
|Sunday, Dec. 8||Cleveland Browns||1:00 p.m. ET||CBS*|
|Sunday, Dec. 15||at Miami Dolphins||1:00 p.m. ET||CBS*|
|Sunday, Dec. 22||at Baltimore Ravens||8:30 p.m. ET||NBC*|
|Sunday, Dec. 29||Buffalo Bills||1:00 p.m. ET||CBS*|
*- Game time and network subject to possible flexible scheduling adjustment.
Bold indicates nationally televised games.
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