The New England Patriots 2017 schedule has finally been released! Here we tell you just what to watch for in each game this season.
The NFL released their schedule Thursday night, and now fans can really get excited. Though the season is still a long way away, fans can now purchase tickets to must-see games across the league.
The New England Patriots have known their opponents for the upcoming season since they were announced in January.
The Patriots will take on their AFC East rivals the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins twice each. They’ll also clash with the NFC South and AFC West. New England will take on the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs at home, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Dever Broncos on the road.
New England’s game against the Raiders will be played in Mexico City.
Tom Brady, Brandin Cooks, and the Patriots will also face two additional 2016 AFC Division winners in 2017. The Houston Texans will come play in Foxboro and the Patriots will hit the road to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Week 1: Thursday, Sept. 7th vs Kansas City Chiefs at 8:30 PM on NBC
The Kansas City Chiefs had been the rumored Opening Night matchup for about a week now. Alex Smith and Travis “Baby Gronk” Kelce will lead the Chiefs offense into Foxboro as Tom Brady and the real-deal Gronk celebrate New England’s fifth Super Bowl win.
The banner will be revealed, and then the 2017 season will begin.
Many wanted to see the Atlanta Falcons here, but the NFL understandably will want to give them a home game in their brand new stadium to start the year.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17th @ New Orleans Saints at 1 PM on CBS
With a long week of practice, New England then hits the road to take on the Saints. Brandin Cooks will play in his first game against his former team.
Perhaps Malcolm Butler will be in New Orleans to cover Cooks if he’s dealt to the Saints before the season begins.
The Saints seem to be on the downward spiral, while New England will likely contend for another Super Bowl title. It will be interesting to see how potent New Orleans’ offense still is, and how the Patriots defense can slow them down.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24th vs Houston Texans at 1 PM on CBS
The Houston Texans put up a good fight in the playoffs against the Patriots in Foxboro. Now they return with a huge question mark at the QB position.
Houston will likely draft a QB early in the upcoming draft, so they may be the starter for this week three game at the end of September.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1st vs Carolina Panthers at 1 PM on FOX
Cam Newton brings his star-studded flashiness to Foxboro on the first day of October football. Fans will likely be anxious to get their hands on these tickets as everyone is always looking to see what Newton will do each Sunday.
The Patriots will aim to contain Newton, possibly with a newly drafted pass rusher or Kony Ealy (a former Panther).
Week 5: Thursday, Oct. 5th @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 8:25 PM on CBS/NFL Network/Amazon
The Patriots get their second primetime game of the season in week five down in Tampa Bay. Jameis Winston has continued to improve and is a solid QB with plenty of weapons around him.
Tampa Bay will have to find a way to slow down the new-look Patriots offense with Rex Burkhead leading the backfield.
New England may see a new color rush uniform for this one, or maybe they will keep last year’s version which some fans seemed to love.
The NFL will reportedly tinker with streaming NFL games live on Amazon.
Week 6: Sunday, October 15th @ New York Jets at 1 PM on CBS
In week six the Patriots get their first crack at an AFC East rival in the New York Jets.
The Jets are likely still not a playoff team, but they always seem to give the Patriots their best. New England knows this will be a hard-fought early season battle.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22nd vs Atlanta Falcons at 8:30 PM on NBC
This is what we have all been waiting for. The Super Bowl LI rematch will come in week 7 in primetime on NBC. Matt Ryan is still Matty Ice, and they still have Julio Jones. The Patriots have a modified new-look defense, so hopefully, Atlanta doesn’t get off to such a hot start.
Hopefully, both teams come in with 6-0 or at least 4-2 records. We want this to be a clash of top teams in the NFL.
I’d watch out for MANY Super Bowl LI replays on the big screens across the stadium.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29 vs Los Angeles Chargers at 1 PM on CBS
The midway point of the season is capped with a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers, who seem to be the cellar dwellers in the AFC West. This will be the second and final home AFC West opponent for New England.
Week 9: BYE
The Patriots are lined up with a perfect bye week, right in the middle of the season. Veterans like Tom Brady, Rob Ninkovich, and Dont’a Hightower will have plenty of time to rest ahead of their Sunday Night Football showdown with the Broncos.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12th @ Denver Broncos at 8:30 PM on NBC
No, there is no Manning-Brady game here, again. With Peyton retired, this doesn’t really feel like a rivalry anymore. Apparently, the NFL thinks it is still a huge draw as New England will play on NBC for the third time in 2017.
The Broncos still possess one of the league’s best pass rushing defenses, but a well rested Brady should be able to pull out a win. I’d expect this to be an extremely close game.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19th @ Oakland Raider in Mexico City at 4:25 PM on CBS
It’s been well-known for a while that the Patriots and Raiders will face off in Mexico City. New England may elect to stay out on the west coast following their game against the Broncos.
The team may look to practice in Colorado, California, or Mexico for the week leading up to this game against a rising AFC team.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26th vs Miami Dolphins at 1 PM on CBS
The Patriots dive into the AFC East-heavy portion of their schedule with a home game against the Dolphins. Miami cannot keep up with New England offensively.
It will be cold in late November, and this is when the Patriots play their best football.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3rd @ Buffalo Bills at 1 PM on CBS
The AFC East tour continues in Buffalo. It looks as though the Patriots will steal running back Mike Gillislee from the Bills, and he could have a huge game here.
That being said, Buffalo always seems to keep it close. I expect the win though.
Week 14: Monday, Dec. 11th @ Miami Dolphins at 8:30 PM on ESPN
Yet another primetime game for New England as they play the Dolphins for the second time in three weeks.
Oddly, I think Miami may take this one. The Dolphins seem to always steal a game from New England, and this year I think this is that game. On the road in the Miami warmth, the Patriots may have a late season stinker. Don’t panic, they’ll be perfect come playoff time.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17th @ Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:25 PM on CBS
Ben Roethlisberger is returning to Pittsburgh in what may be his last season in the NFL.
Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell will look to lead the Steelers to victory at home, but they won’t beat the Patriots. Newly acquired Stephon Gilmore will likely be one on one with AB. Brown will surely make some big plays, but I don’t think he will do enough.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24th vs Buffalo Bills at 1 PM on CBS
The holidays will not be too fun for Buffalo Bills fans. The Patriots will play on Christmas Eve for the second straight year at home.
Buffalo may be fighting for a wild card playoff spot in week 16, but New England shut slam the door shut on those plans.
Belichick and Brady are unstoppable in December, and that will continue here.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31st vs New York Jets at 1 PM on CBS
Week 17 will wrap up the regular season with a New Year’s Eve matchup against the Jets. This one could go either way. If the Patriots have already wrapped up home field advantage, this could be a game where starters get a lot of rest.
On the other end of the spectrum, if the Patriots are in a battle for the AFC’s top seed, this is one they’ll look to dominate in.
The Patriots have five primetime games this season, with three coming in the first half. New England fans have a love/hate with these games. For one, they’re tougher to stay awake for and some fans have to work early the next morning. On the other hand, there just seems to be more excitement when your team is playing under the lights.
The Patriots should again compete for a Lombardi trophy. 12-4 should be the absolute worst this team does with this schedule.
My season predictions post will be coming in late August, so look out for that!