5 Patriots-centric things to do during New England's bye weekend


6 rings: 2023 State of the Patriots Address

Following every Patriots game, I drop my 5 immediate thoughts column here on WEEI.com to sum up what happened in the contest.

This Sunday, however, New England is off to to keep the train going, here are five ways to spend your Patriots bye-weekend:

5 - Go see the Gillette Stadium Lighthouse

On a normal game day, the new ‘Lighthouse’ at Gillette Stadium is closed to the public, only allowing access to the ‘Keeper of the Light’ and select exclusive members. However, on a normal day, it’s open to the public.

For just $5, you can take the journey to the top and take in the 360-degree observation deck, with sweet views of the entire stadium and glimpses of the Boston and Providence skylines.

I went up their last month and admittedly, it’s pretty cool.

Here are the hours of operation:

Sunday - Thursday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

4 - Watch Patriots Super Bowl highlights

The likely reason that you’re a) a fan of this team and b) still checked in despite the 2-8 results this season, is because of the six Super Bowl championships the Patriots won from 2001-2018.

Why not relive it this weekend when there’s no New England football to indulge?

The NFL Network has access to all six highlight reels on their YouTube channel. Here are the links:

- Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots vs. Rams (2001-02)

- Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots vs. Panthers (2003-04)

- Super Bowl XXXIX: Patriots vs. Eagles (2004-05)

- Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots vs. Seahawks (2014-15)

- Super Bowl LI: Patriots vs. Falcons (2016-17)

3 - Take in the top college prospects

As I’m sure you’re well aware, if the season ended today, the Patriots would hold the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

What this means is, they’ll get their shot at one of college footballs top three prospects in USC quarterback Caleb Williams, UNC quarterback Drake Maye, and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. Here’s when (and on what channel) each of them play on Saturday:

- USC: vs. UCLA, 3:30 p.m. on ABC
- UNC: at Clemson, 3:30 p.m on ESPN
- Ohio State: vs. Minn., 4:00 p.m. on BTN

All three are on at just about the same time, so get ready to channel surf.

2 - Scoreboard watch across the NFL

The only thing standing in New England’s way of the third overall pick? Other teams across the league, of course.

Currently, the two teams ahead of them on the draft board are the 1-9 Panthers (who give their pick to the Chicago Bears) and the 2-8 New York Giants. Just behind them? The 2-8 Arizona Cardinals and the 3-7 Bears.

To help the Patriots’ cause, the idea is of course to root for all four teams to win. Here’s when, and who, each play this weekend:

- Panthers: vs. Cowboys, 1 p.m. on FOX
- Giants: at Commanders, 1 p.m. on FOX
- Cardinals: at Texans, 1 p.m. on CBS
- Bears: at Lions, 1 p.m. on FOX

1 - Check out the trailer for ‘The Dynasty: New England Patriots’

If you can spare just over :30 seconds of your weekend, you need to be sure to take a look at the trailer of Apple TV+ and Front Office Sports’ newest project.

Titled ‘The Dynasty: New England Patriots’ and debuting on February 16, 2024, the 10-part docuseries will take you through the franchise’s 20+ year dynasty commanded by owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Together, the trio led the Patriots to 17 AFC East titles, 10 AFC Championship games, and six Super Bowls together before the departure of Brady to Tampa Bay in 2019.

“These are the two titanic figures of this franchise," a VO narrates over two still shots of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick getting ready for their sit-down interviews. "But they are two alphas, and a collision was inevitable."

"We were coming near the end," says team owner Robert Kraft. "And I was just trying to hold it together the best I could."

You can watch the full teaser here.

Make sure to follow Mike on Twitter @mikekadlick, and follow @WEEI for the latest up-to-date Patriots and Boston sports news!

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images