Patriots announce preseason schedule, opponents

The quest for Super Bowl LI will kick off against the New Orleans Saints.

The Patriots’ four preseason games were announced Thursday, and though we don’t yet know the dates or times of those games, the early contests serve as the first competition for the Patriots as they try to return to the Super Bowl this season.

New England will host the first two games against the Saints and the Chicago Bears, then head on the road for games against the NFC champion Carolina Panthers as well as the New York Giants.

The Patriots and Giants are playing each other for the 12th consecutive preseason.

The rest of the schedule is set to be released later in the spring.

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