FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots' 2012 preseason opponents were announced today. The Patriots' preseason schedule will include a nationally televised home contest vs. Philadelphia, slated for Monday, Aug. 20 at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.
New England will open the preseason with a home game against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium during the first week of the preseason. The Patriots last opened the preseason at home against the Saints in 2010, when New Orleans was coming off its first Super Bowl victory.
New England will then host Philadelphia on Aug. 20 on Monday Night Football, followed by road games at Tampa Bay in Week 3 of the preseason and a rematch of Super Bowl XLVI when the Patriots close the 2012 preseason by squaring off with the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
The Patriots and Eagles have been frequent preseason opponents with 19 previous preseason matchups. The Patriots first-ever game at Gillette Stadium was on Aug. 17, 2002, a 16-15 win over the Eagles. The last preseason meeting came in 2009 when the Patriots opened the preseason with a 27-25 win at Philadelphia on Aug. 13, 2009. The Eagles Monday Night Football game will be the first in the preseason for the Patriots since opening 2000 when New England played San Francisco in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio on Monday, July 31, 2000, a 20-0 Patriots victory.
The Patriots will travel to Tampa Bay for the second straight season after beating the Buccaneers, 31-14, at Raymond James Stadium on Aug. 18, 2011. The Patriots and Giants will play each other in the preseason finale for the eighth straight season. Last season, the Giants beat the Patriots, 18-17, at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 1, 2011.
The specific dates and times of New England's games against New Orleans, Tampa Bay and the New York Giants will be announced at a later date.
2012 PATRIOTS PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Date Opponent Time TV Coverage
Week 1* New Orleans Saints TBA* Patriots Preseason Network
Aug. 20 Philadelphia Eagles 8:00 p.m. ESPN
Week 3* at Tampa Bay Buccaneers TBA* Patriots Preseason Network
Week 4* at New York Giants TBA* Patriots Preseason Network
*-Specific date and time TBA