2021 NFL season: Patriots are only team facing this schedule challenge

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Patriots are only team facing this schedule challenge in 2021 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots have several difficult matchups on their 2021 NFL schedule, but that's not the only challenge facing them.

A bunch of the Patriots' opponents will have plenty of rest entering their matchup against Bill Belichick's team.

Here is a detailed explanation, via ESPN's Mike Reiss:

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Football Perspective actually concluded that the Patriots have the worst rest schedule of the 32 teams. Here is a summary of its breakdown:

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The Patriots don't have a bye themselves until Week 14. It's the last bye week on the schedule, and they are one of four teams taking a break at that time. That means 87.5 percent of the league will have already had a bye week by the time the Patriots get one.

NFL exec explains why Tom Brady vs. Patriots game is in Week 4

You could argue that a late-season bye week is a good development, especially for playoff-bound teams that badly need rest before January. That said, playing 13 straight games and going into December has the potential to be a real issue for the Patriots, especially if injuries become a huge factor for them.

It's one of several challenges Belichick and his coaching staff will have to navigate during the 2021 season.