FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The National Football League tonight announced the 2018 regular-season schedule and the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots will play in five nationally-televised games, including three Sunday night games, one Thursday night game and one Monday night game. All five prime-time games will be played in a seven-week stretch, including three in a five-week period at home under the lights.
The three prime-time games played at Gillette Stadium will be a Thursday night game on Oct. 4 against the Indianapolis Colts, a Sunday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 14 and another Sunday night tilt against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 4. The Patriots other prime-time games are at Detroit on Sept. 23 in a Sunday night matchup, and at Buffalo on Monday Night Football on Oct. 29.
After opening the season at home against the Houston Texans on Sept. 9, the Patriots will be on the road for two straight games with a rematch of the AFC Championship Game when they travel to Jacksonville on Sept. 16. The Patriots then begin the stretch of five prime-time games in a seven week period when they travel to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday night on Sept. 23. It will mark the 14th time that Bill Belichick will square off against a former coordinator from his staff in Matt Patricia, with Belichick owning a 9-4 career record in such games. After returning home for the first AFC East matchup of the year with the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 30, the Patriots will host Indianapolis on Thursday night on Oct. 4 followed by a Sunday Night Football game against Kansas City at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 14. The Patriots will face the Bears in Chicago on Oct. 21 and then square off in back-to-back prime-time games with a Monday Night Football game at Buffalo on Oct. 29 and a Sunday Night Football game at home against Green Bay on Nov. 4. While New England has faced Buffalo three times in Monday Night games, this year's Monday game will be the first in Buffalo. The Patriots hosted the Bills on Monday Night Football in 1995, 2009 and 2015.
The Patriots and Tennessee Titans will play on Nov. 11 in Nashville. The game will mark the 10th time since 1990 that a head coach will face one of his former players when Bill Belichick leads the Patriots against former Patriots LB Mike Vrabel, the new head coach of the Titans.
After the Bye Week on Nov. 18, the Patriots will be on the road for three of the next four weeks with a road game at the New York Jets on Nov. 25, a home game against Minnesota on Dec. 2 and then back-to-back road games at Miami on Dec. 9 and at Pittsburgh on Dec. 16.
For the second straight season, the Patriots will close out the regular season with the same four opponents with games at Miami and at Pittsburgh followed by two consecutive home games against AFC East opponents with games against the Bills on Dec. 23 and the Jets on Dec. 30. The Patriots own the best divisional record in regular-season play with an 81-23 record since the beginning of 2001 and have gone 17 straight seasons without being swept by a division opponent, extending the longest such streak since 1970.
In addition to playing each of the other AFC East opponents twice, the Patriots will play one game against each of the AFC South and NFC North teams. As the first-place team in the AFC East, the Patriots will play the first-place team of the AFC West (Kansas City) and AFC North (Pittsburgh).
2018 PATRIOTS PRESEASON SCHEDULE
|Thu., Aug. 9||Washington Redskins||7:30 p.m. ET||WBZ and Patriots Preseason Network|
|Thu., Aug. 16||Philadelphia Eagles||7:30 p.m. ET||WBZ and Patriots Preseason Network|
|Fri., Aug. 24||@ Carolina Panthers||7:30 p.m. ET||WBZ and Patriots Preseason Network|
|Thu., Aug. 30||@ New York Giants||7:00 p.m. ET||WBZ and Patriots Preseason Network|
2018 PATRIOTS REGULAR SEASON
|Sun., Sept. 9||Houston Texans||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS|
|Sun., Sept. 16||@ Jacksonville Jaguars||4:25 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS|
|**Sun., Sept. 23**||**@ Detroit Lions**||**8:20 p.m. ET**||**NBC Boston**||**NBC**|
|Sun., Sept. 30||Miami Dolphins||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS|
|**Thu., Oct. 4**||**Indianapolis Colts**||**8:20 p.m. ET**||**WFXT**||**FOX/NFL Network**|
|**Sun., Oct. 14**||**Kansas City Chiefs**||**8:20 p.m. ET**||**NBC Boston**||**NBC***|
|Sun., Oct. 21||@ Chicago Bears||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS*|
|**Mon., Oct. 29**||**@ Buffalo Bills**||**8:15 p.m. ET**||**WCVB**||**ESPN**|
|**Sun., Nov. 4**||**Green Bay Packers**||**8:20 p.m. ET**||**NBC Boston**||**NBC***|
|Sun., Nov. 11||@ Tennessee Titans||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS*|
|Sun., Nov. 18||BYE WEEK|
|Sun., Nov. 25||@ New York Jets||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS*|
|Sun., Dec. 2||Minnesota Vikings||4:25 p.m. ET||WFXT||FOX*|
|Sun., Dec. 9||@ Miami Dolphins||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS*|
|Sun., Dec. 16||@ Pittsburgh Steelers||4:25 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS*|
|Sun., Dec. 23||Buffalo Bills||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS*|
|Sun., Dec. 30||New York Jets||1:00 p.m. ET||WBZ||CBS*|
*-Game time and network subject to possible flexible scheduling adjustment.
Bold indicates nationally televised games