A Look at the New England Patriots Schedule

On Wednesday, May 15, the NFL revealed their schedule for the upcoming 2024 season at 8:00 PM. There is a lot to look forward to when it comes to this day besides every team making a funny video. It is a chance for fans, players, coaches, and front office members to see who they get to play, where they will meet, and when the show will begin. The New England Patriots have both an enticing and very challenging schedule ahead for this football team. They already play in one of the toughest divisions in the league, a stacked conference, and their NFC opponents are not ones to take lightly as well.

Now that the schedule is released, let’s take a look at who the Patriots get to play, and rank the strength of their opponents from easiest to hardest.

Ranking the England Patriots Schedule by Difficulty

#15: Week 15 @ Arizona Cardinals

Not only has it felt like forever since the Patriots lost to the Cardinals, but they haven’t lost a game in the state of Arizona since 1991. Of all the teams that New England has to face, the Arizona Cardinals are the least terrifying.

Their offense might be decent and their head coach Jonathan Gannon could have promise, but it is still a team that lacks depth at a lot of key positions. They nailed their first pick in the draft by taking the best player available Marvin Harrison Jr., but taking Darius Robinson with their second first-round pick did not solve their lack of a pass rush overnight. Even though both teams are trying to rebuild their teams from the ground up, New England can say that they have the consistent defense that the Cardinals have lacked over the last decade.

However, nobody knows what to expect from the Patriots offense, especially when they have not announced a starting quarterback at the moment. If Drake Maye is the guy by the middle of December, then this matchup would be even more exciting. This will be an enticing game that will not only determine which defense will step up to the plate, but which quarterback will make the least mistakes.

#14: Week 10 @ Chicago Bears

It was not that long ago when the Bears destroyed the Patriots in Gillette Stadium on Monday Night Football 33-14 in 2022. Little did anyone know that it would be the last time that Chicago would win a game that season. Two years later, Justin Fields is no longer the answer, but generational first-overall pick Caleb Williams is.

This team is literally in the same situation as they were in last year. Make as many moves as possible in the offseason, get the big names on both sides of the ball, and delude the fans into thinking that they can make the playoffs. However, once the season begins, the team completely stumbles out of the gate and does not even finish the year over 500. That could happen again in 2024, but the way for the Bears to stop that narrative is if Williams does end up being the next Patrick Mahomes.

If Drake Maye is the starter by this point, then it will be a good conversational piece for the media to discuss two of the first three quarterbacks drafted going up against one another. However, both the Bears and Patriots are in tough positions to make a surprise playoff push. Their divisions are tough, their offensive lines are not exactly sturdy, and Matt Eberflus is fighting for his job this season. Chicago would have to beat the Packers in a game before any talk of a winning season can be mentioned, and the Patriots are rebuilding for the first time in twenty years. This means that this will be an incredibly sloppy game and the quarterback that commits the most turnovers will be the one walking away with the loss.

#13: Week 9 @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans absolutely improved their roster this past offseason with a lot of key moves in both the draft and in free agency. They signed quality wide receiver Calvin Ridley to a huge four-year deal, traded for one of the best shutdown corners in the game L’Jarius Sneed, and they improved their offensive line by drafting JC Latham with their first-round pick.

On paper, this team should be a surprise team to make the Wild Card. They hired the bright offensive mind Brian Callahan to be the new head coach and help Will Levis develop to be a quality starter in his second year. Although the running game will look incredibly different without Derrick Henry, they still have a dangerous receiving tandem of Ridley and DeAndre Hopkins that can help Levis flourish. Not to mention that Tennessee has always had one of the most consistent front sevens in the league.

So why are the Titans this easy of an opponent for the Patriots? That is simple: the season has not even started yet. There is an old saying that you have to see things before you can believe them for yourself. Even though the Titans made a lot of great additions that can make them a playoff contender, it has to really unfold together for that notion to be true. With a brand new coaching staff in place, it is going to take time for the Titans to reach their full potential. Maybe it will come in Week 9 against the Patriots, but it is too early to crown them as anything until the season is underway.

#12: Week 7 @ Jacksonville Jaguars

It has been twelve years since the New England Patriots played a game in the wonderful city known as London. That was when they demolished the St. Louis Rams 45-7, a matchup where Sam Bradford was still the starting quarterback and Jeff Fisher was in his first year as the head coach. Fast forward to 2024 and that dynastic shine has completely rusted away.

Hopefully, this game against the Jaguars will be better than the last time the Patriots went up against an AFC South opponent on an international stage. Knowing that Bill Belichick, Mac Jones, and Bailey Zappe will no longer have a part in this, the odds are looking better. Jacksonville might have been the most frustrating team in the AFC last season because with all of the talent and success going their way, they still found a way to collapse and miss the playoffs entirely.

Heading into this season, they are a team with more questions than answers. Does Trevor Lawrence deserve to be the face of this franchise? Will Doug Pederson be the head coach after this season? Can the defense show a semblance of what they were in 2017? If there is a chance for the Patriots to get a convincing victory, it is against this football team. The Jaguars might have more talent, but they have lacked a good amount of discipline that will stay with New England, regardless of who their head coach is right now.

#11: Week 13 vs. Indianapolis Colts

There is no need to bring up the Patriots losing to the Colts in Germany last year unless any fan wants to relive any nightmares that they had after watching that atrocity. The good news is that they will have a chance to get their revenge, this time in the comforts of Gillette Stadium.

Indianapolis has not won a game in that stadium since Peyton Manning was their quarterback, and while Tom Brady is no longer in New England, nobody knows what to expect from Anthony Richardson. He is a guy with promise, but he is also coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, and the backup quarterback nearly led this team to the playoffs. Richardson has a lot to prove heading into his sophomore season, because if Gardner Minshew can do a serviceable job for the Colts, then similar success should be replicated by the fourth overall pick in the 2023 draft.

Even though the Patriots lost to this team the year before, their defense only gave up ten points and had a great chance of winning if their two quarterbacks did not throw three horrible interceptions that sealed the deal. With either Jacoby Brissett or Drake Maye, these types of mistakes are going to be avoided, and New England should be a way different team with more swagger and energy.

#10: Week 2 vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks are a weird team heading into the 2024 season. On one hand, Geno Smith has been a stable starting quarterback who has helped his team win games more than cost them a chance thanks to the level of talent around him. On the other hand, they are heading into the 2024 season with a new head coach and a new defensive identity.

Mike MacDonald is a rising coach with promise, but now that the Pete Carroll era is over, their future is looking pretty bleak. It is a roster that should be solid on paper, yet they always have trouble putting it together at the most opportune moments. Just look at last season. They had the right assemblage of talent on offense and a defense filled with playmakers, yet they missed the playoffs via tiebreaker at 9-8.

The Patriots know that they are not going to be able to slow down a highly potent Seattle offense, and vice versa, so that is what makes this matchup very interesting. The Seahawks are technically the better team, but they have fallen into traps like this before. The answer for pulling off the upset is very simple: do not give them any easy chances.

#9: Week 11 vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams shocked a lot of people by making the playoffs last season with a revamped offense and opportunistic defense, but now the expectations are that they should do the same in 2024.

Obviously, the success of this team will come down to their quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is the definition of inconsistent on a yearly basis. In 2021, he led the team to a Super Bowl championship and rid everyone of the narrative that he can never get it done when it truly matters. The next year, he is back being a turnover magnet that causes the Rams to fall apart at 5-12. This offense is too talented to not be a top-ten unit, and if Los Angeles does make it back to the playoffs, it will be because of them. Defensively, losing Raheem Morris and Aaron Donald will be huge holes to fill, but the development of some of their younger players paid off for them last year. It is even better that they drafted a couple more defensive linemen such as Braden Fiske and Jared Verse to pick up any remaining slack, but the secondary still leaves a lot to be desired.

The Patriots know that they are going to get a very difficult challenge with one of the best head coaches in football and a highly talented roster, but if Los Angeles reverts back to what they were in 2022, then New England has the pieces to make things very uncomfortable.

#8: Week 17 vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Last year was the first time that the Chargers were able to beat the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium in close to twenty years, mainly because the Patriots’ offense was the definition of disastrous and the defense gave up in the end. They made Brandon Staley look like a defensive genius, but Los Angeles does not have to worry about that anymore, since they know that Jim Harbaugh can get this team to their ultimate destination.

Everyone is holding out hope that Justin Herbert can bounce back from injury, but this offense is dramatically different than the year before. Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen are no longer on the team. So many young and inexperienced players are expected to step up and help the Chargers return to respectability, especially when it comes to their wide receivers and defensive backs. There is no doubt that this is expected to be a down-to-the-wire matchup between two struggling football teams, but if Herbert really returns to full strength, then New England is in real trouble.

Jacoby Brissett and Drake Maye are not going to overpower one of the best quarterbacks in football in a high-scoring matchup, and the only way that they can is if the Chargers give up the football. History will say that the Patriots can win this game, but Jim Harbaugh loves to destroy bad narratives.

#7: Week 1 @ Cincinnati Bengals

On paper, the Bengals should absolutely crush the New England Patriots, especially in week one where Jacoby Brissett will take on a healthy Joe Burrow. However, Cincinnati has not done well in the last two opening weeks of the season.

To be fair, they were against division rivals, but the Bengals have not been able to avoid slow starts. Not to mention that their defense shockingly regressed last year, and with all of the moving pieces in their secondary along with a certain trade request by Trey Hendrickson, it could be another down year for this unit.

If the Patriots do pull off this upset, it will be a close finish, since Joe Burrow is one that nobody ever wants to count out with the game on the line. However, New England has the personnel to keep it toe-to-toe and do what the New York Giants did to the Tennessee Titans in 2022. Cincinnati should get the job done by any means necessary, but it would not be surprising if there was already a trap game to start out the new season.

#6: Weeks 3 and 8 vs. New York Jets

The Jets are easily going to be the biggest boom-or-bust team in the AFC, and their quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the biggest reason why. Coming off of a torn Achilles near the age of 40, nobody knows how he is going to bounce back from this injury. Either he will return to MVP form and lead the Jets to new heights, or he completely fall apart and give this team another miserable year.

If it is the latter, then Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas are going to be fired, and it could signal the end of a career for one of the best quarterbacks that this game has ever seen. It is not just Rodgers that needs to have a healthy season, but a lot of key contributors. Breece Hall suffered a torn ACL two years ago and it took a while for him to return to full strength, so he needs to avoid any setback. Mike Williams is a big receiver acquisition because he is a game-changer on the field, but he has suffered a plethora of injuries that held him back from his full potential, and he was not always the number one option when dealing with them.

Tyron Smith is a future Hall of Famer as a blindside blocker, but it has been forever since he has started every game in a regular season. The Jets already have one of the best defenses in football that has been wasted the last couple of years, so if this team is really going to make the playoffs, their offense has to be both healthy and efficient. That is saying a lot with Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator.

They are no longer the cakewalk opponent for the Patriots that they have been over the past twenty years. Their first matchup will be on Thursday Night Football in MetLife Stadium, and five weeks later, they will meet once again in Foxborough. If New York pulls off a sweep, then it will confirm that things have truly changed, because the Patriots have been their big bully for years. Ruining Bill Belichick’s final game was one thing, but to beat them twice in a season might as well be their Super Bowl victory.

#5: Week 6 vs. Houston Texans

It is pretty crazy that the Houston Texans have never won a football game in Gillette Stadium, but 2024 might be the year where that all changes. C.J. Stroud, DeMeco Ryans, and Will Anderson have successfully helped put this franchise back on the map to the respectable team that they were not too long ago.

Last year, they absolutely overachieved, but this is the season where they are expected to go to new heights. Their offense is absolutely loaded with the likes of Joe Mixon and Stefon Diggs joining Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and Dalton Schultz to solidify one of the most dangerous units in the league. Their defense is also well improved, now that Danielle Hunter will complement the reigning NFL Rookie of the Year in the front seven, but their secondary still has some questions that they need to answer themselves.

On paper, this should look like a rout for the Houston Texans, but they definitely do not want to fall into the history trap. Whether it is a close game or a blowout, the Patriots never give up home-field advantage against this team, and it will not stop them this year. This is not guaranteeing a New England victory by any means necessary, so Houston could end that streak when they make the trip in October.

#4: Week 5 vs. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins present a lot of challenges that will give the Patriots a long afternoon. They have so much speed on the offense that can exhaust anybody on a given night, and while their defense is going through yet another identity change, it is still the type of unit that can match up well against New England’s inconsistent offense. But those are just obvious facts that really do not need to be mentioned.

Tua Tagovailoa has not lost to the Patriots as a starting quarterback, and to be quite honest, that zero is most likely going to stay in that loss column for a while longer. New England had their chances to end the streak last year in Gillette Stadium, but they made too many mistakes on both sides of the ball to get the job done. The Dolphins might not do well against tough competition, but they do as expected against vastly inferior opponents as well.

If this was 2017, then this would not even be a conversation. However, an era has ended in Foxboro, and Miami has narratives that they need to quash once and for all.

#3: Weeks 16 and 18 vs. Buffalo Bills

Ever since 2020, the Buffalo Bills have been nothing but the definition of agony for this football team. The Monday Night Football victory in 2021 and the game-winning drive from Mac Jones last year were fun victories to watch, but their defeats were the ones that everybody remembers most, including that Wild Card collapse that Patriots fans cry just thinking about.

However, the Bills have been blowing up their roster throughout this offseason. In the span of a few months, they let go of several of their key starters that helped this team establish division dominance. Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Mitch Morse, Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde will no longer be on this roster to help this team get over the hump. Essentially, Josh Allen and Sean McDermott are being asked to do what Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have done the last couple of seasons, which is proving all the doubters wrong. The only difference is that the Bills do not have the championship mentality or cache that the Kansas City Chiefs do in any way, shape, or form.

Given that these matchups will take place at the end of the year, it is not going to mean too much for Buffalo unless their season is on life support. The first game will take place in Buffalo, which should be an expected loss for the Patriots, but New England could play spoiler in their home stadium two weeks after. It really all depends on how both teams match up at the end of the year, yet at the end of the day, the Bills will still be the better team.

#2: Week 4 @ San Francisco 49ers

Any time that a team in a rebuilding stage is going up against the defending conference champion, nobody expects the underdog to pull off a resounding victory. It would be easy to point out the flaws with this roster, but the reality is that not only is it one of the most loaded in the NFL, but it is vastly superior to what New England will bring out.

The schedule makers should honestly be proud of themselves for scheduling this game earlier in the season just so that both teams can get it over with. This will cause a lot to believe that this should be the hardest game of the season for the Patriots this year, but everybody knows the one game that will be too hard to watch.

#1: Week 12 @ Miami Dolphins

Any Patriots fan will know that any time that the team has to play in Miami, it is an inevitable loss before the game has ever started. It might be a beautiful and bustling city that everybody dreams of visiting, but to New England, it is the definition of kryptonite. This has been a common theme ever since the Patriots came into existence in 1960. AJ Feeley, Joey Harrington, Jay Cutler, and Kenyan Drake can attest to that right away.

It was the city where the Miami Miracle happened. It was the stadium where a rookie Tua Tagovailoa eliminated the Patriots from the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. People will say that it is the heat and humidity that slows them down, and that is true, but the Dolphins are no longer that mediocre team that had their version of the Super Bowl one game a year. It does not matter if it is at the start of the year or at the very end, because Miami will always be that haunted vision in New England’s minds until the curse is officially lifted.


It is too early to predict how many games that the Patriots are going to win and lose this season, but the schedule release always calls for speculation and surprise. Who knows? Maybe they pull off some quality upsets against legitimate teams that make them a formidable squad. Otherwise, they might just stare in the face of an evaluation season and finish between five or six wins. Either way, New England does not have a lot of expectations heading into 2024. It is a chance for Jerod Mayo and Elliot Wolf to see where their greatest strengths and weaknesses lie, regardless of if they overachieve or dramatically regress.

Main Image:  Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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