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New England Patriots 2013 NFL Schedule Game-by-Game Breakdown

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A Closer Look at the New England Patriots 2013 Schedule

Melina Vestola-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, the NFL released the 2013 league schedule. A quick look at the New England Patriots schedule shows that the team will face some tough battles in the second half of the season.

The 2013 Patriots will be missing a few familiar faces in Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead and Patrick Chung. Newcomers Danny Amendola and Adrian Wilson will need to make an impact and fill the holes left by those who signed elsewhere. The offense should once again be the strong suit of the team and the defense will probably be the same old 'bend but don't break' kind.

The Patriots will take on each team in the NFC South, a division that is pretty tough and the AFC North, a division that features the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

There is no denying that the Patriots have taken advantage of being in a weak division for several years. Once again, the division looks ripe for the picking and the Patriots should have a good path to the playoffs. The New York Jets seem like they are completely lost and are still led by an inconsistent Mark Sanchez.

The Buffalo Bills have a new quarterback in Kevin Kolb, but after his disastrous stint in Arizona, that can't be all that encouraging for Bills fans. The Miami Dolphins seem to be the one team that might challenge New England.

The following is a game-by-game breakdown of the Patriots 2013 schedule along with an early prediction for the outcome of each contest.

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Week 1: at Buffalo Bills

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots were able to take care of the Bills both times they played last season, and I see that trend continuing. New England will be ready on opening day — they have won their last nine openers, and will win this game pretty easily.

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Week 2: vs. New York Jets

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are a mess and it is only a matter of time before they tell Rex Ryan to walk. The only possible problem I see is the fact the Patriots have just three days between games. It may not be a cakewalk, but it will be a win to bring them to 2-0.

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Week 3: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

This game intrigues me. I think the Patriots will have a tough time with the Bucs, but will pull it out in the end.

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Week 4: at Atlanta Falcons

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the Patriots' first loss of the season. The Falcons will win because they are at home and play so well in the regular season.

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Week 5: at Cincinnati Bengals

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Back in the day, seeing the Bengals on your schedule was a good thing because it usually meant a sure win. The Patriots will come up short for the second week in a row and fall to 3-2.

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Week 6: vs. New Orleans Saints

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints will come to town and the Patriots will take care of business. The Saints aren't as good as they were a few years back and are just a level below the Patriots.

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Week 7: at New York Jets

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Another meeting with the hapless Jets, and another win. The only question might be if the Jets will have a win by the time they reach this contest.

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Week 8: vs. Miami Dolphins

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots will take this game at home and end the first half of the season at 6-2.

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Week 9: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers seem to be a team in transition and that isn't a good thing when you are facing a team as good as New England. The Patriots will take a win here heading into their bye week.

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Week 10: Bye Week

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The bye week comes at a good time and the Patriots will need a break because the tough part of their schedule is on the horizon.

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Week 11: at Carolina Panthers

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Panthers have the good Cam Newton of 2011 or the struggling one from 2012? I think he is more the 2012 version and the Patriots will get a victory.

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Week 12: vs. Denver Broncos

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing anyone will be talking about prior to this game is Wes Welker coming back to Foxboro. It isn't often Peyton Manning takes a backseat, but he will have to here. I see a high-scoring game going Denver's way.

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Week 13: at Houston Texans

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Tough games in back-to-back weeks, and I think it will yield similar results. The Texans will run the ball well and run away with the game.

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Week 14: vs. Cleveland Browns

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns will come to town and get blown out. This should be an easy win for the Patriots as long as they stay focused.

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Week 15: at Miami Dolphins

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The two teams will be battling for the top spot in the division, and I think the Patriots will win this important game.

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Week 16: at Baltimore Ravens

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots will have a good hold on the division at this point and may just lose this game that they should win. I think the Ravens will be fighting for one of the last playoff spots and be hungry.

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Week 17: vs. Buffalo Bills

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots will close out the season with a win against their division foe as both teams are just playing out the string.