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2012 New England Patriots Schedule: A Few Things To Consider

With the much anticipated NFL schedule finally released, every fan in the country has had some time now to pour over their team's road to potential glory. Upon looking at the New England Patriots schedule, a couple things jump out. Let's dive right in.

- Three of the last four games are played at home. Granted, two of those contests are against very good teams in Houston and San Francisco, but you have to like the home games late in the year. Not to mention, all three of the opponents (Miami being the other) are warm weather teams coming into Foxboro in December. Advantage Patriots.

- October 7th will bring Peyton Manning and Tom Brady back together, this time with Manning in a Denver uniform. It will be interesting to see how the Broncos and their new quarterback will be playing at this point. Will Manning be back to his old ways or a shell of himself? We'll find out Week Five.

- New England has the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL. The Patriots are only playing four teams that made the playoffs in 2011 (Ravens, Broncos, Texans and 49ers). The rest of their slate shapes up very nicely, especially the middle portion including a stretch of at Seattle, New York, at St. Louis, Buffalo, and Indianapolis. Not a bad time to get fat.

-The bye week is smack dab in the middle of the season, Week Nine. Couldn't ask for a better time off.

For more on the Patriots, be sure to check out our blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston for all the latest news and updates.