While fans wait through mediation and the lockout, the NFL is proceeding with business as usual, announcing that the 2011 NFL regular season schedule will be released Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET. The unveiling will be carried on the NFL Network and NFL.com, as well as ESPN2.
The preseason schedule was released last week but Tuesday night will be the first time we get a look at the complete New England Patriots 2011 schedule.
We already know the Patriots' 2011 opponents, so it's just a matter of dates and times being filled in on Tuesday night, along with which teams are playing in the primetime games -- Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football, as well as Thanksgiving.
The Patriots will have their standard six games against the AFC East opponents -- one game at home and one road contest with the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. In 2011, New England's intraconference opponents are from the AFC West -- Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, at Denver Broncos and at Oakland Raiders -- and the interconference teams are from the NFC East -- Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, at Philadelphia Eagles and at Washington Redskins.
The last two slots are filled by a couple of AFC rivals with a game at the Pittsburgh Steelers and one hosting the Indianapolis Colts, their 12th meeting since 2002 (including the playoffs), tops for non-division foes.