FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The National Football League tonight announced the 2019 regular-season schedule and the New England Patriots will begin the defense of their Super Bowl LIII Championship when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers in primetime on Sunday Night Football on Sept. 8. It will be the fourth time the Patriots will open the season against Pittsburgh and the third time they will open against the Steelers as defending Super Bowl champions. The Patriots hosted Pittsburgh in 2002 and 2015 following their Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XLIX titles. Both games resulted in New England victories.
The Patriots will play in a total of five nationally-televised games and are scheduled to be featured in the marquee matchup in four games that will air at the end of a double-header with kickoffs scheduled at 4:25 p.m. ET. The Patriots are scheduled to play a stretch of eight consecutive games that will either be played in primetime or at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Two of the five nationally televised games will be played at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots will play three primetime games in 24 days. After the Sunday Night Football opener against Pittsburgh, the Patriots will have back-to-back primetime games, starting with a Thursday Night game vs. the New York Giants on Oct. 10. The team will then travel to face the New York Jets 11 days later on Monday Night Football on Oct. 21 at MetLife Stadium. It will be the third time in Patriots history that the team will face the New York teams in consecutive weeks. In 1990, the Patriots closed out the season with games at the Jets (12/23/90) and home against the Giants (12/30/90). In 2011, the Patriots hosted the Giants (11/6/11) and then traveled to face the Jets (11/13/11).
After hosting the Cleveland Browns in a 4:25 p.m. game on Oct. 27, the Patriots will travel to Baltimore on Nov. 3 for a Sunday night matchup against the Ravens. The final scheduled primetime game will be Dec. 1 for a Sunday night game at the Houston Texans and the last scheduled 4:25 p.m. kickoff start will be a rematch of the 2018 AFC Championship Game when the Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 8. The Patriots and Texans will play for the fifth straight year in the regular season and for the sixth time overall, with New England holding a 5-0 edge in those meetings. In 2016, the teams met in the regular season and playoffs. The Patriots will play against the Chiefs in the regular season for the third straight year. In 2018, the Patriots and Chiefs met twice – a 43-40 victory at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 14 and a 37-31 overtime win at Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game that sent New England to its third straight Super Bowl.
After opening against Pittsburgh, the Patriots will jump straight into AFC East play when they travel to play the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 15, followed by a home contest against the New York Jets on Sept. 22 and a road game at the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 29. New England is scheduled to play three consecutive division foes within the first four weeks of the season for the third time in the Bill Belichick era, with previous occurrences in 2001 and 2010.
New England will enjoy the bye week in Week 10 following a Sunday night game in Baltimore against the Ravens. The Patriots will have a November bye week for the seventh time in eight seasons. The Patriots will play two NFC East teams coming out of the bye with a Nov. 17 game at the Philadelphia Eagles followed by a Nov. 24 tilt at home against the Dallas Cowboys.
For the third straight season, the Patriots will close out the regular season with two home games against AFC East foes, vs. Buffalo and vs. Miami on Dec. 29. The Buffalo game will be played on either Saturday, Dec. 21 or Sunday, Dec. 22. The Patriots own the best divisional record in regular-season play with an 86-24 record since 2001 and have gone 18 straight seasons without being swept by a division opponent, the longest such streak in the NFL since 1970.
In addition to playing each AFC East opponent twice, the Patriots will play one game against each of the AFC North and NFC East teams. As the 2018 AFC East division winners, the Patriots will play the first-place team of the AFC West (Kansas City) and AFC South (Houston).
Published at Thu, 18 Apr 2019 01:20:00 +0000