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Patriots open preseason vs. Saints

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By PFW staff

How's this for a story line? The Patriots could open their preseason against former head coach Bill Parcells.

The NFL released the 2012 NFL preseason schedule Wednesday and the Patriots' Week One game will be in Foxborough against the Saints. New Orleans was punished heavily by the NFL for its bounty program and head coach Sean Payton is facing a one-year suspension. Bill Parcells is a rumored candidate to fill in for Payton  on an interim basis.

In Week Two, the Patriots have their sole nationally televsied game of the preseason when they host the Eagles on "Monday Night Football" on Aug. 20. Last regular season, the Patriots beat the Eagles 38-20.

The Patriots close their preseason with two road games, starting in Week Three in Tampa. The Pats beat the Buccaneers 31-14 in last year's preseason. This game will pit Bill Belichick against his good friend and Tampa's new head coach, Greg Schiano.

The Patriots' preseason finale will be a Super Bowl rematch in New York against the Giants. It marks the eighth consecutive season that the Patriots will play the Giants in the preseason.

The regular-season schedule will be released later this month.

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