|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Patriots’ 2014 schedule has been announced! Let’s take a look:
|1||Sun., Sept. 7||at Miami||1 p.m.|
|2||Sun., Sept. 14||at Minnesota||1 p.m|
|3||Sun., Sept. 21||Oakland||1 p.m|
|4||Mon., Sept. 29||at Kansas City||8:30 p.m.|
|5||Sun., Oct. 5||Cincinnati||8:30 p.m.|
|6||Sun., Oct. 12||at Buffalo||1 p.m.|
|7||Thurs, Oct. 16||New York Jets||8:25 p.m.|
|8||Sun., Oct. 26||Chicago||1 p.m.|
|9||Sun., Nov. 2||Denver||4:25 p.m.|
|BYE WEEK||Sun., Nov. 9|
|10||Sun., Nov. 16||At Indianapolis||8:30 p.m.|
|11||Sun., Nov. 23||Detroit||1 p.m.|
|12||Sun., Nov. 30||at Green Bay||4:25 p.m.|
|13||Sun., Dec. 7||at San Diego||8:30 p.m.|
|14||Sun., Dec. 14||Miami||1 p.m.|
|15||Sun., Dec. 21||at New York Jets||1 p.m.|
|16||Sun., Dec. 28||Buffalo||1 p.m.|
The Patriots will open their season on the road in Miami against the Dolphins and will look for their 11th straight opening day victory. A home game at Gillette Stadium does not come until week 3, in which the Patriots will host the Oakland Raiders and will be looking to improve on its 11-1 home openers record.
The Patriots are scheduled to appear in five nationally-televised games this season with their first coming in their only Monday Night Football appearance on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 29. They then head home the following week in another prime-time showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Oct. 5. They will host divisional rivals the New York Jets in a Thursday Night Football match-up Oct. 16. This is the third straight season the Patriots and Jets will face each other on Thursday Night Football, with two consecutive victories going to the Patriots.
The final two prime-time showdowns occur after the bye week as the Patriots will return from their bye-week in a Sunday Night Showdown against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts and close out their prime-time appearances against the San Diego Chargers on the road. However, with flex-scheduling, they could appear in even more prime-time games this season.
However, the most anticipated match-up of the year does not come until week 9 as the Patriots host the 2013 AFC Champions the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 4:25 p.m. This will be a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game in which the Patriots got their behinds handed to them. Obviously, Brady v. Manning XVI will be a competitive, hard fought and entertaining battle between the two as always. Brady has a 10-5 edge over Manning, although Manning did send the Patriots packing in the post season last year. Luckily, the Patriots will head into a bye-week after this game because they will need that week to recuperate after what will be a physical game against the Broncos.
Other key match-ups to watch for include week 12 against the Lions and week 13 at Lambeau Field against the “bad man” Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
The Patriots will close out their season with their last three games against AFC East opponents. They will host the Dolphins, travel to the Jets for their final road game and conclude their season at home against the Buffalo Bills.
The Patriots’ 2014 opponents had a combined record of 131-123-2 in 2013. They are 10th on the NFL’s strength of schedule index and will play six games against 2013 playoff teams.