Quickie thoughts on the schedule:
- On paper the Patriots have a chance to start and finish the season strong.
- Patriots catch a break by opening the season with a night game – not a day game – at Miami, which is brutally hot in September.
- Patriots will be coming off a west coast trip to Oakland before the first matchup with the Jets (10/19 at Gillette Stadium).
- The middle part of the schedule is very tough on paper with the Jets and Cowboys – both at home – before the Oct. 23 bye week. Then following the bye the Patriots play at Pittsburgh, vs. Giants, at Jets, vs. Chiefs, at Eagles and vs. Colts.
- Final month is very favorable on paper with road games at Redskins and Broncos, and home games to finish up against the Dolphins and Bills.
- No Thursday night games.
- Only four 1 p.m. games and the two at home don’t come until the final two weeks, and they could be flexed to Sunday Night Football.
- Only two short weeks – after the opener and following the trip to Denver (12/18) — and only by a day.
Overall, it seems like a fair and balanced schedule and one that a coach will like since it cuts down quirks in the schedule that can upset the normal flow of things.