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2018 NFL schedule to be released later this week; let's take a look at the Patriots' opponents

The schedule will be released tomorrow.

New England Patriots v Denver Bronco Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

While most of the focus these days lies on the upcoming NFL draft, it will shift away from college players tomorrow night: As has been announced yesterday, the league will unveil its 2018 regular season schedule on Thursday at 8:00 pm ET. Teams already know their home and road opponents but by tomorrow, they will also know all the details of their upcoming campaigns – from prime time games to by weeks.

The New England Patriots will face the following teams this season:

Home opponents

Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

Road opponents

Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears

Without knowing the details just yet, there is still some information we can already draw from the Patriots' opponents:

  • The league likes to end the regular season with divisional matchups: Expect the Patriots to play either the Bills, Dolphins or Jets in week 17 – and possibly in week 16 as well.
  • Three of the Patriots' opponents will play games as part of the NFL's International Series this year: The Titans and Jaguars will play each other in London either in week 7 or week 8, while the Chiefs will play the Los Angeles Rams in Mexico City in week 12. The Patriots will naturally not play those three teams when they are playing abroad.
  • One year after playing in New Orleans, Denver and Mexico, the Patriots' longest road trips will be to Miami, Jacksonville and Nashville. Overall, the team will travel 11,218 miles (straight distance stadium-to-stadium) after being on the road for 14,975 miles last season. To get a feel for the difference: it is roughly the same as a trip from Boston to San Antonio, Texas and back.
  • A team is allowed to play a maximum of six primetime games and it would not be a surprise to see the Patriots come close once again (the team had five primetime matchups last year): Home games against the Chiefs, Packers and Vikings are candidates to be nationally televised, as are road contests against the Jaguars and Steelers. Other games like the ones against the Texans or Titans also could get primetime consideration.