Marc Bertrand and Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub have released a leaked schedule of the New England Patriots 2017 season and I just have to say that it looks ridiculous. Seriously. Here it is:
Week 1: vs Kansas City Chiefs (Thursday Night)
Week 2: @ New Orleans Saints
Week 3: vs Houston Texans
Week 4: vs Carolina Panthers
Week 5: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thursday Night)
Week 6: @ New York Jets
Week 7: vs Atlanta Falcons (Sunday Night)
Week 8: vs Los Angeles Chargers
Week 9: Bye Week
Week 10: @ Denver Broncos (Sunday Night)
Week 11: @ Oakland Raiders (Mexico City)
Week 12: vs Miami Dolphins
Week 13: @ Buffalo Bills
Week 14: @ Miami Dolphins (Monday Night)
Week 15: @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 16: vs Buffalo Bills
Week 17: vs New York Jets
So leading into the week 9 bye with two straight home games sounds lovely, as does closing out the season (and the holidays) with two straight home games. Almost everything else is crazy.
1. How are you not putting Tom Brady vs Drew Brees (with possible Brandin Cooks and Malcolm Butler revenge games!) or Tom Brady vs Ben Roethlisberger in prime time (the AFC Championship Game rematch!), while giving the Miami Freaking Dolphins a Monday Night spot?
2. The Patriots leave the bye week with five of their next six games on the road. That is absurd, especially when they include three playoff teams (Raiders, Dolphins, Steelers) and the Super Bowl 50 champion Broncos.
3. Who scheduled back-to-back high altitude games with the Broncos at Mile High and the Raiders at Mexico City? This could be a span of time where the Patriots go on a two-week road trip and don’t return to New England, just to stay acclimated to the altitude.
4. How did the Patriots end up finishing their season with five of their final six games against divisional opponents, sandwiching a Steelers game? And that includes two Dolphins games in three weeks. That’s an ugly way to (not) spread out divisional games.
5. The league is doing everything to make it so this stacked Patriots roster can’t clinch the division or conference too early. Three of the first five games are against NFC teams with lesser importance. Every game after week 7 is against an AFC opponent that could determine playoff seeding.
The Steelers and Raiders are the two biggest challengers to the Patriots in the AFC and then there are five games against the AFC East- and those represent the final seven games of the year. These will be the most significant games of the Patriots season.
We’ll see if this is actually the Patriots schedule at 8:00 PM EST. It aligns with some of the leaked reports by other teams. What do you think of this schedule? Don’t forget, you can get tickets from our partners at StubHub.