The NFL season crept closer to its starting line by announcing preseason opponents Thursday evening.

New England begins on the road in Philadelphia. The two teams played each other last year in a Monday Night Football matchup with the Eagles coming out on top, 27-17.

Next up for the Patriots is Tampa Bay. The home opener against Greg Schiano's squad will be played Friday, August 16.

That nationally televised game, airing on FOX, is the only one to get a date. As for when New England travels to Detroit in the third game, and hosts the Giants in the preseason finale (for the ninth straight time) -- we'll have to wait and see.