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Preseason 2005 to include three NFC foes

The NFL released the matchups for the 2005 preseason on Wednesday and the schedule of games includes the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots hosting contests with the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants while taking to the road to face the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers.

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]()A trip to Cincinnati kicks off the preseason for New England on the weekend of Aug. 11-15, the team's second straight trip to Paul Brown Stadium for a preseason contest.

Week two of the preseason action has the Patriots hosting the Saints on Thursday, Aug. 18 at 8:00 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in front of a national television audience on FOX. New Orleans is the only 2005 preseason opponent that New England will also face during the 2005 regular season.

On the weekend of Aug. 25-29 the Patriots will be back on the road for a trip to Green Bay to take on the Packers and future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre at Lambeau Field.

A week later New England will put its final preseason preparations to wraps on the weekend of Sept. 1-2 against the Giants at Gillette Stadium, just a week before the team will likely host the NFL opener.

Aside from the predetermined nationally televised game with the Saints, the Patriots will announce the specific times and dates for the remaining three preseason contests at a later date.

The NFL also announced the league's 11 nationally televised games, including the Patriots meeting with the Saints. Ten of the 11 contests includes at least one 2004 NFL playoff team. The list includes a preseason opener between the Falcons and Colts in the American Bowl in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 5:00 a.m. on ESPN2. Another notable national TV game takes place two days later on Monday, Aug. 8 with the Pro Football Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Dolphins in Canton, Ohio at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

The preseason national TV schedule will conclude on Monday night Aug. 29 with a meeting between St. Louis and Detroit at Ford Field, the site of next February's Super Bowl XL.

For a look at the complete 2005 NFL preseason schedule visit NFL.com.

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