FOXBORO, Mass. - For the first time in 16 years and just the second time in franchise history, the New England Patriots will play on Thanksgiving Day. The game will be played in Detroit against the Lions on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2000. In addition, the Patriots will also appear on two prime time Monday night games, traveling to New York to battle the Jets on Sept. 11 and again when they host the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 4. It is the third time in the last four years that the Patriots have been selected to appear on at least two Monday Night games and the fourth consecutive season that they have been featured in multiple prime time games.
Nine of the Patriots 16 games will be against 1999 playoff teams, including five of their first eight opponents. The only non-playoff teams the Patriots will face in the first half of the season will be against the New York Jets, both home (Oct. 15) and away (Sept. 11), and against the Broncos in Denver on Oct. 1.
The Patriots will host their first season opener in three years when they kickoff the regular season against the NFC Central division champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The following week, the Patriots will travel to New York to battle the Jets in their first of two Monday night games of the season. The Patriots return home Week 3 to play their second NFC Central division opponent in three weeks when they host the Minnesota Vikings. It will be their first of three 4:00 p.m. (ET) starts. Six of the next seven games will be against their AFC East division rivals, including two games in three weeks against the division champion Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 8 and again on Oct. 22.
The Patriots will close out the final month of the regular season hosting Kansas City on Monday night, Dec. 4, before traveling to Chicago and Buffalo on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, respectively. The 2000 regular season finale will be played on Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24 when the Patriots host the Miami Dolphins. The last time the Patriots hosted the Dolphins in the season finale, Drew Bledsoe championed a 33-27 overtime victory as a rookie in 1993.
Two of their five nationally televised games this year will be played during the preseason. The Patriots will kickoff the 2000 season against the San Francisco 49ers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Monday, July 31. They host their first nationally televised game on Sunday, Aug. 20 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a warm-up for their season opener against the Bucs just two weeks later.