By: Derek Havens
Bill Belichick and the Patriots got their first look at the 2014 NFL regular season schedule Wednesday night. (USA TODAY Images)
The New England Patriots 2014 regular season schedule was released on Wednesday night.
We knew the opponents, but as a fan and analyst it’s always exciting to see when the team you follow plays certain games. Here’s the schedule and some thoughts below. —
2014 Regular Season Schedule:
Week 1 — 9/7 New England at Miami – 1:00pm – CBS
Week 2 — 9/14 New England at Vikings – 1:00pm – CBS
Week 3 — 9/21 New England vs Oakland – 1:00pm – CBS
Week 4 — 9/29 New England at Kansas City – 8:30pm ESPN (Mon Night)
Week 5 — 10/05 New England vs Cincinnati – 8:30pm NBC
Week 6 — 10/12 New England at Buffalo – 1:00pm CBS
Week 7 — 10/16 New England vs NY Jets – 8:25pm CBS (Thurs)
Week 8 — 10/26 New England vs Chicago – 1:00pm FOX
Week 9 — 11/2 New England vs Denver – 4:25pm CBS
Week 10 — 11/9 – BYE WEEK
Week 11 — 11/16 New England at Indianapolis – 8:30pm NBC
Week 12 — 11/23 New England vs Detroit – 1:00pm FOX
Week 13 — 11/30 New England at Green Bay – 4:25pm CBS
Week 14 — 12/7 New England at San Diego – 8:30pm NBC
Week 15 — 12/14 New England vs Miami – 1:00pm CBS
Week 16 — 12/21 New England at NY Jets – 1:00pm CBS
Week 17 — 12/28 New England vs Buffalo – 1:00pm CBS
– Well Placed Bye Week: The first thing that caught my eye, a week ten bye for the Patriots. It’s always good to push the bye week until after the second-half of the season so guys can rest after a sufficient amount of games have been played.
– Starts Easy, Ends Tough: When you look over the schedule, the first few teams appear — on paper — to be relatively easy games for an expected contender like New England. Once you get to week nine — the premier matchup hosting the Denver Broncos — however, along with the seven games following the bye week are much tougher. A good way for the team to ramp up their competition level before a potential postseason run.
– Good Four Games For Browner to Miss: One of the biggest free agent acquisitions for the Patriots was cornerback, Brandon Browner. He’s suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season and the stretch looks manageable with him out of the lineup. Three-out-of-four contests are on the road, but the Patriots should be able to handle the opponents without Browner in the mix.
– November Looks Like the Toughest Month: If I had to pick the toughest month — granted, it’s still a long time before the season kicks off — November looks very challenging. The Pats host Denver before the bye week, then go on the road to face the Colts, host Detroit and then go to Green Bay for a showdown with the Packers. It seems like a stretch that could tell us if this team will be able to make a legitimate championship run.
– Nice Slate of Primetime Games: The NFL announced Wednesday morning that flex-scheduling will start in week five this year. This is actually big news because previously it was not until week 11 before networks could change who is playing primetime and who is not.
As it stands now, though, the Patriots have five primetime games. Week four at Kansas City on Monday Night Football, week five vs Cincinnati on Sunday Night Football, week seven vs the Jets on Thursday Night Football, week 11 at Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football and Week 14 at San Diego on Sunday Night Football. If all five stand, it will be a great slate of primetime contests.
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