Patriots schedule 2024: Game-by-game predictions, toughest stretch, opponents,

The New England PatriotsĀ are embarking on a new era in the franchise’s history and are hoping to turn the tide in the process. Bill Belichick and Mac Jones are out, and Jerod Mayo and Drake Maye are in. It’s been a seismic offseason for the Patriots and this new regime is now tasked with getting them back on a winning trajectory after a 4-13 season in 2023.

With the NFL releasing its full schedule for the 2024 regular season, it’s time to see what the road ahead for this group looks like. Already, we knew that the upcoming year was going to be a daunting one with Sharp Football Analysis noting that New England has the second-toughest schedule in the league based on their opponent’s projected win totals. That likely reflects why the team’s current win total at FanDuel Sportsbook sits at just 5.5 games.

Below, we’ll comb through the entire 18-game slate for New England, highlight key games, the club’s toughest stretch, and finally go game-by-game to predict how this season will shake out.

Full 2024 schedule

Key schedule observations

  • Patriots will be playing an international game for the second season in a row when they head to London to face the Jaguars.
  • No bye week after the London game.
  • Tough road gauntlet out of the gate (three of the first four games away from Foxborough).
  • Late-season matchups with the Buffalo Bills (Week 16 and Week 18).
  • Latest possible bye week.
  • No games currently slated in the “Sunday Night Football” or “Monday Night Football” windows.

Toughest stretch

  • Week 1 at Bengals
  • Week 2 vs. Seahawks
  • Week 3 at Jets
  • Week 4 at 49ers

Right out of the shoot the Patriots are in for it. In the first month, they’ll be on the road for three of their four games, and none of those road matchups provide any relief. One of those games (Week 3 vs. Jets) also is a short week with the game being played in the “Thursday Night Football” window. Cincinnati, New York, and San Francisco are all viable Super Bowl contenders when healthy, which is simply not where the Patriots are at currently. Even hosting Seattle at Gillette Stadium for the home opener in Week 2 will be a challenge. While Geno Smith doesn’t have the ceiling as the other quarterbacks they’ll face in the opening month, he’s more than capable of besting either Brissett or Maye.

Five must-see matchups

Patriots vs. Jaguars (Week 7) — One of the newsworthy nuggets from the schedule release is that the Patriots will be going aboard in 2024. They’ll head to Wembley Stadium in London to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. That international setting and 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff will be a novelty for fans and should provide the team with a chance of pulling off the upset. While he’s not starting for Jacksonville, there’s also the Mac Jones storyline in this head-to-head as well after the former first-round pick was traded by the Patriots to the Jags this offseason.

Patriots at Bears (Week 10) — While plenty of notable quarterbacks will be squaring up against the Patriots in 2024, this game in Chicago will garner particular interest. So long as Drake Maye can secure the starting job by this point in the year, two of the top quarterbacks drafted this spring will go toe-to-toe. No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams has already been named the Bears starter and Maye — the third overall pick — will get a chance to flash his potential against one of his classmates.

Patriots at Jets (Week 3) — The Patriots — along with most of the NFL — didn’t get a chance to see Aaron Rodgers as a member of the Jets last season after he suffered a torn Achilles in Week 1. Rodgers appears on track to be ready for the start of the year, which sets the stage for this “Thursday Night Football” matchup against the future Hall of Fame quarterback. On top of the matchup against a division rival, this is also the only primetime game currently on New England’s schedule.

Patriots vs. Texans (Week 6) — This might not be the most competitive game given that some like the Texans to possibly come out of the AFC as a sleeper, but it’s an intriguing matchup for the Patriots. Houston represents exactly what New England should be striving for. They hired DeMeco Ryans last year and drafted C.J. Stroud inside the top three of the 2023 draft, and enjoyed instant success. While that’s easier said than done, getting an up-close look at that template couldn’t hurt.

Patriots at Titans (Week 9) — I’ll be curious to see if there’s any bad blood between the Patriots and Titans wide receiver Calvin Ridley. New England aggressively pursued the veteran in free agency this offseason, but ultimately lost out to Tennessee. Even if there aren’t any direct fireworks, how Ridley performs in this game will certainly set up plenty of storylines. This is also a winnable game on what is overall a tough schedule.

Game-by-game predictions

Here is a quick game-by-game prediction with short reasoning behind the prediction:

  • Week 1 at Bengals: Loss — This is a tough draw out of the gate as the Bengals are a legit Super Bowl contender with Joe Burrow healthy. New England isn’t close to this tier at this stage. — (0-1)
  • Week 2 vs. Seahawks: Loss — I think New England could be spunky in this game, but Seattle has dynamic players on offense and a defensive-minded head coach in Mike MacDonald that should negate any true threat of an upset. — (0-2)
  • Week 3 at Jets: Loss — So long as Aaron Rodgers doesn’t go down with another injury, the Jets are far more talented than the Patriots almost at every level. Defense could give Maye/Brissett fits. — (0-3)
  • Week 4 at 49ers: Loss — San Francisco was playing in the Super Bowl last season and arguably has the best top-to-bottom roster in the league. This could be an ugly one. — (0-4)
  • Week 5 vs. Dolphins: Loss — Tua Tagovailoa has routinely given the Patriots fits and I don’t expect that to change here. Miami is one of the fastest offenses in the league and New England just doesn’t have the horses to keep up just yet. — (0-5)
  • Week 6 vs. Texans: Loss — If everything goes right for the Patriots in 2024, they’ll hope to replicate what the Texans did last year with DeMeco Ryans and C.J. Stroud. Judging by where these rosters are at now, however, Houston has more top-end upside. — (0-6)
  • Week 7 vs. Jaguars (in London): Win — What’s this? A win? … in London? Yup! At this stage of the season and having just gone through a gauntlet of opponents, getting out of the U.S. could do Jerod Mayo and this team a world of good. That translates into an upset across the pond against the Jags. — (1-6)
  • Week 8 vs. Jets: Loss — Again, so long as the Jets have Rodgers running the show on offense, they are a tough matchup for the Patriots. Even putting Rodgers aside, New York’s defense is arguably their greatest strength. — (1-7)
  • Week 9 at Titans: Win — This could be another spot where the Patriots could come out with a win. Tennessee surrounded Will Levis with loads of talent this offseason, but it remains to be seen if the second-year QB can put all the pieces together. If he’s suffering from a sophomore slump, New England can strike in Nashville. — (2-7)
  • Week 10 at Bears: Loss — By this point in the year, I could see Caleb Williams getting into a groove. Chicago’s defense also was great down the stretch in 2023 and could be in for a strong year in 2024, which isn’t great news for the Patriots. — (2-8)
  • Week 11 vs. Rams: Loss — Sean McVay vs. a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback feels about as lopsided as it gets. — (2-9)
  • Week 12 at Dolphins: Loss — The AFC East is as daunting as it’s been in recent memory and the Dolphins should be in the thick of a playoff race when the Patriots come to town, so there will be no letting up. — (2-10)
  • Week 13 vs. Colts: Win — Similar to New England, Indy is transitioning with a young quarterback and by the way that Anthony Richardson played last year it’s not a guarantee he’s healthy for this game. Even if he is, I like the Patriots chances at home. — (3-10)
  • Week 14: BYE
  • Week 15 at. Cardinals: Win — New England will be fresh after a much-needed bye week, which gives them an advantage over Arizona, who will be coming off a divisional matchup with the Seahawks. — (4-10)
  • Week 16 at Bills: Loss — Buffalo arrives late in the season this year. With the Bills possibly still vying for playoff positioning, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. — (4-11)
  • Week 17 vs. Chargers: Loss — Jim Harbaugh will have the Chargers playing hard from wire to wire, and Justin Herbert is a clear mismatch over Drake Maye at this point in the rookie’s career. — (4-12)
  • Week 18 vs. Bills: Win — Could get lucky here with the Bills having nothing to play for and enter the offseason on a winning note. — (5-12)

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