Patriots schedule 2017: New England will be tested, but not often

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The defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots have another very favorable schedule for 2017, and stop me if you've heard this before: 16-0 could happen.

Two. Drew Brees in week two, but the good news there is the Patriots open the season on Thursday night, so they get extra rest before playing an average team. Here's a breakdown of the Patriots' 2017 schedule in its entirety.

STAMFORD - NBC Sports announced Thursday its coverage plans for the 2017 National Football League season, a broadcast and digital campaign that will span from the opening game to the Super Bowl.

Following their date with the Chiefs, the Patriots will head south to New Orleans, Louisiana to face the New Orleans Saints.

The Stamford-based sportscaster will show a combined 28 regular season and postseason games - the most ever by an National Football League broadcast prime time TV partner. Tom Brady might still be sore from that game.

The Super Bowl LI rematch will come in the middle of the season, rather than the beginning. But the Patriots probably don't mind a few weeks of warm-ups before their grudge match against the team from which they stole the title. The Pats will also play at Tampa Bay on Thursday, Oct. 5 and at Denver on Sunday night, November 12. The annual road game against the Jets is always fun.

What's most interesting is that the Chiefs will also play the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, but none of those games will be in primetime.

Then comes a long road trip to Mexico City and a game against the Raiders, a fellow contender in the AFC.

Thursday, Aug. 31: New England vs.

The final month of the 2017 regular season for the Patriots is a Steelers sandwich with AFC East bread.

Thursday, Aug. 10: New England vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m.

The Broncos may still be figuring out their quarterback situation, but they still have one of the league's elite defenses and remain one of the Patriots' biggest conference rivals, despite missing the playoffs last season.

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