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Patriots scheduled to face Jags, Giants, Bucs and Lions in 2011 preseason

04.12.11 at 4:16 pm ET
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Detroit coach Jim Schwartz and Patriots coach Bill Belichick go back many years. (AP)

Despite the labor uncertainty, the NFL announced the 2011 preseason schedule on Tuesday, and the Patriots will host Jacksonville the weekend of Aug. 11-15 and the New York Giants on the weekend of Sept. 1-2. In addition, they will travel to face Tampa Bay on Aug. 20 and Detroit on Aug. 27, with the game against the Lions set to start at 8 p.m. and be broadcast nationally on CBS. (The dates and times for the rest of the games will be announced at a later date.)

Here are a few quick notes on the preseason slate:

• It wouldn’t be a Patriots’ preseason if the Giants weren’t involved. Someone in the NFL offices loves setting up this meeting every summer — this will mark the seventh straight time and 10th time in 11 preseasons the Patriots will meet New York.

•The most important preseason game of the four is always the third one, and this one will involve the Lions. The nationally-televised contest against Detroit will provide local football fans with the opportunity to see a pair of talented young players in quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh. In addition, considering the depth of the friendship between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Lions coach Jim Schwartz — and the fact that New England held scrimmages with New Orleans and Atlanta in the days leading up to their preseason games last summer — it’s not crazy to think the Patriots and Lions could meet for a series of scrimmages in the days leading up to this game.

•The preseason opener is also the weekend of the Patriots’ annual alumni reunion. Starting in August of 2009, the summer after The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon opened, the Patriots began a new tradition of hosting their alumni at that opening game. This year will mark the third consecutive season that past Patriots will return to Foxborough to visit The Hall.

•For the whole preseason schedule, click here.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Jim Schwartz, Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh
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