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Bill Belichick explains how the Patriots approach prime time games

Related: Report: Patriots QB Mac Jones expected to start against Bears

NFL: OCT 02 Patriots at Packers Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Three days of practice, personnel notices and injury reports, transaction windows, you name it — an NFL team’s in-season schedule looks more or less the same every week. There are some exceptions, of course, and the New England Patriots are in the middle of experiencing a disruption to their usual mode of operation.

After playing their previous six games on Sundays, after all, they will now appear on Monday Night Football: the Patriots will host the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium, which in turn changes their rhythm both this week and heading into next.

While the 2022 Patriots and especially their rookies have not yet experienced moving away from a Sunday-based schedule, the majority of players and coaches on the team are familiar with what it takes to get used to it. Last week, head coach Bill Belichick explained just that and how New England approaches prime time football.

“We always try to work backwards,” Belichick said. “Whenever the game is, then we try to make everything as much the same as we can, from that point, backward. Especially the last two days — the day before the game and then two days before the game. Travel, there’s always some variation, but generally that’s what we try to do. We have a little bit of a four o’clock routine and then eight o’clock, whatever that routine is.

“We generally do the same thing in most of those games. Again, travel could affect that, but in the, call it six hours before the game or so, we try to make that the same every week, as much as we can. So, that part of it is routine.”

The Patriots’ game against the Bears is scheduled to be kicked off at 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday, meaning that the team will move into its pre-game preparation phase at around 2 p.m. ET. For both road and home games this includes players arriving at the stadium, going through their acclimation process and eventually doing their warmup routine.

The name of the game for Belichick’s squad is adaptation, though. This is true both leading into the game versus Chicago and the following week’s contest against the New York Jets (which will again take place on a Sunday and thus a shorter preparation time).

“If there’s something that’s out of the routine, it’s earlier and then when we get into the end of the week, everybody kind of knows how much time they have for what they need to do to be ready to go,” he said. “Whether that’s meetings or treatment, or getting warmed up, or so forth. Try to work backwards.”