Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair.
For the fourth straight season New England will open up on the road (at Miami, then at Minnesota), but will then spend three out of four weeks in October at home.
They will only play once on Thursday (Oct. 16), when they host the New York Jets four days after playing the Bills in Buffalo.
A perfectly placed bye week will also aid the Patriots this year. It comes in Week 10, one week after hosting the Denver Broncos, and one week before a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium to play the Colts.
The Patriots will play three straight divisional games to end the season, (vs. Miami, at Jets then vs. Bills) potentially meaning the AFC East will be up for grabs until the very end.
Overall their strength of schedule is 10th toughest (opponents had a combined .516 winning percentage last year), but most of the tougher matchups are home games.
The majority of Vegas odds-makers have set the Patriots season win total at 10.5, and their odds of winning the Super Bowl at 7-1.