New England Patriots

Jan 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) celebrates the victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt Dolloff,

(UPDATE: It appears that John Clayton’s report may be wrong. Nick Underhill at reports that the Saints are opening their season in against the Bucs. So someone’s wrong. Apologies for aggregating what appears to be inaccurate information.)

The 2020 NFL schedule is expected to start with all inter-conference games. That means the Patriots will get the NFC West out of the gate.

As described by veteran NFL reporter John Clayton in a new radio interview, the 2020 season is expected to feature entirely inter-conference games for the first four weeks. The Patriots’ NFC rotation lands on the NFC West this year, so it’s going to be challenging out of the gate for the new-look Pats.

Reminder: the Patriots play the 49ers and Cardinals at Gillette Stadium, and have to hit the road to face the Seahawks and Rams. At least two of these games should be a significant test for Bill Belichick and whoever gets the nod at quarterback to start the season.

We’re about 24 hours away from every NFL fanbase knowing every game. Considering how little we have left in the sports world right now, schedule night qualifies as a major event. Check out the three-hour NFL schedule reveal when it airs on the NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET.

Matt Dolloff is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at