What others call an easy schedule is actually quite engaging. The Patriots play seeds 1 through 5 of this January's AFC playoffs, in the regular season. The only team we don't play is seed 6, Kansas City. Of the NFC playoff seeds, we play half of them (three teams). That means we meet 7 playoff teams (the 4 best AFC teams last year, period, and 3 of the best six NFC teams) in the REGULAR season. A few of these teams we will play not just once, but twice. (Jets twice, Indy possibly twice, Eagles once, Cowboys possibly twice, Giants once, Chargers possibly twice, Ravens once, Steelers possibly twice.) That's about 13 games of 19 against the best teams. A playoff schedule during the regular season. I included the Steelers in the above paragraph. They didn't make it to the playoffs, but they were the defending champions at the time, and we will play them at least once. Who else do we play? The remainder of the schedule includes the Bengals and Redskins, which their fans would not call easy. In fact, Miami, Buffalo, and the Browns are the only easy teams we play. We do not play San Francisco, Arizona, St Louis, Detroit, Jacksonville, Oakland, Vikings. Yes, our division schedule includes the Jets, but they were in the playoffs. We also had to play them three times last year, and they beat us once. Miami has shut us out in the past two years, and Buffalo has done so as well.