Patriots announce preseason schedule ahead of title defense

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The exact dates and times of the games have not yet been determined.

The defending Superbowl Champions will open the preseason at home for the third straight season when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Houston will host the Super Bowl 51 champions for the Week 2 preseason game which will take place between August 17 through August 21.

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New England will kick off its preseason at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars before traveling to Houston to play the Texans. The Super Bowl took place more than two months ago but the Patriots are still a long way from once again stepping on a football field; especially when it comes to playing a competitive game.

The Patriots beat the Texans twice during the 2016 season, a 27-0 win in week three and then a 34-16 in the AFC Divisional playoff game. The last time these two teams met in the preseason was in 2011 at Gillette Stadium.

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The Patriots and Texans are hoping to schedule a series of joint practices ahead of their preseason matchup, according to ESPN.com's Mike Reiss. In Week 3, when most of the starters typically play, they'll travel to Detroit (Aug. 24-27) facing the Lions, who have things going in the right direction under former Patriots director of pro scouting Bob Quinn.

While New England and Detroit meet rarely during preseason, the team's fourth opponent is a familiar foe for the Patriots: the New York Giants.

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And lastly, the Patriots will host the New York Giants in week 4 of the preseason.

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