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Patriots Had A Notable Schedule Request For The 2022 Season

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the field in Foxboro.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 03: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots notably have four consecutive night games scheduled in 2022. 

This stretch starts when travelling to Minnesota to face the Vikings on Thanksgiving evening. The following week, they'll host the Buffalo Bills on Amazon Prime's Thursday Night Football.

That's when the schedule gets even more interesting.

New England will get 11 days in between games to rest and make a lengthy road trip to Arizona for Monday Night Football in Week 14. The following week, the Patriots will face the Raiders in Las Vegas on Sunday Night Football.

At first glance, back-to-back games on the West coast -- with a shorter week in between -- seems like a nightmarish outcome. However, New England wanted to play these games consecutively.

According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, the Patriots requested playing those games back-to-back so they can avoid an extra cross-country trip from Massachusetts by staying out west.

NFL Vice President of Broadcasting Mike North explained to Reiss that the Patriots and Bills both playing on Thanksgiving presented the perfect opportunity to pair up the AFC East rivals for the following Thursday night. Those two nationals games "almost kind of locked themselves in Day 1." 

Accommodating New England's traveling request, which North said other teams made as well, led to a quirky late-season calendar.

"Every time you put a game on the board, you're limiting where you can put every other game on the board," North said. "Well, now you're limiting what you can do with the Patriots; if they're in Arizona one week, they have to be in Vegas the next week, or the previous week."

While the Patriots avoided two trips out west, they'll have to worry about getting home. The Patriots will travel from Vegas back to Foxborough on another short week to host the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday (Christmas Eve) in Week 16. 

Navigating this part of the schedule could be pivotal to Bill Belichick and Co. returning to the playoffs in 2022.