Patriots’ preseason opponents announced

The NFL has released the slate of 2012 preseason games, and there are some familiar teams among the Patriots’ four exhibition opponents. Only the date of the second game is definite, as it will be on ESPN.

Week 1 – Aug. 9-13
New Orleans at New England
* If Bill Parcells decides to take the Saints up on their offer to fill in while Sean Payton is suspended, we’ll see Parcells and Bill Belichick on opposite sidelines once again.

Week 2 – Aug. 20
Philadelphia at New England, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
* The Eagles and New England are frequent trade partners on draft weekend and also met last year in the regular season.

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Week 3 – Aug. 23-26
New England at Tampa Bay
* Belichick will see his friend Greg Schiano, the Buccaneers’ first-year head coach and former Rutgers coach. It will be interesting to see if the two decide to have some joint practices in the days leading up to the game.

Week 4 – Aug. 29-30
New England at N.Y. Giants
* This is the eighth straight year that the Pats and Giants will meet in the preseason finale.