The last game the New England Patriots played saw them come back from a 25-point deficit to win their fifth world championship. The Super Bowl took place more than two months ago but the Patriots are still a long way from once again stepping on a football field; especially when it comes to playing a competitive game.
Today, we received a bit clearer picture as the league released its 2017 preseason schedule – and the Patriots will play the following games:
Week 1 (August 10-14): vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 2 (August 17-21): at Houston Texans
Week 3 (August 24-27): at Detroit Lions
Week 4 (August 31-September 1): vs. New York Giants
New England will kick off its preseason at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars before traveling to Houston to play the Texans. As has been the case in the past, the team’s first two preseason games will likely be used for joint practice sessions with the opponents. The Patriots joining forces with other teams during the preseason has become an annual tradition.
According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, New England head coach Bill Belichick has already started working with Texans head coach and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien to organize joint sessions. They would take place in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where New England and the New Orleans Saints practiced together in 2015.
After the first two weeks of preseason and potentially joint practices, the defending world champions will travel west to play at the Detroit Lions – a game in which starters typically see most of their preseason playing time. The Lions, who are led by general manager and former New England director of pro scouting Bob Quinn, last were on the Patriots’ preseason schedule in 2013.
While New England and Detroit meet rarely during preseason, the team’s fourth opponent is a familiar foe for the Patriots: the New York Giants. The two teams have closed out the preseason every year since 2005 and will do so again in 2017.