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Patriots preseason foes set

The following are the Patriots' preseason opponents in 2012:

Week 1: vs. Saints

Week 2: vs. Eagles (Monday, Aug. 20, ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)

Week 3: at Buccaneers

Week 4: at Giants (Aug. 29, according to NY reports)

The exact dates and/or times of the preseason games in Weeks 1, 3 and 4 are yet to be determined.

This opens the possibility of joint practices if there is interest, as the Patriots have done it before with the Saints. Also, Bill Belichick and first-year Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano are close. Ditto for Belichick and Eagles coach Andy Reid.

Furthermore, should Bill Parcells take over the Saints in Sean Payton's absence, that would add some intrigue to the preseason opener.

This marks the eighth straight year the Patriots and Giants meet in the preseason finale.

The full regular-season schedule is expected to be announced later this month.