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Ranking the Patriots schedule from least exciting games to most exciting games


The Patriots have some interesting matchups in 2024, even if they aren’t favored to win a single game.

Christian Gonzalez and the Patriots will face Tyreek Hill and the Dolphins twice in 2024. Matthew J. Lee/Globe team

The Patriots have now set dates to play teams in 2024.

The 2024 NFL regular season schedule was released Wednesday, with New England learning it will only have one prime-time game in the upcoming season. He will also travel to London in Week 7 to face the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Of course, the Patriots are hoping the 2024 season tells a different story than 2023. The hiring of Jerod Mayo has brought some excitement to the upcoming season, as has the drafting of Drake Maye, although no one don’t know when he’ll make his first NFL start.

While we wait for the Patriots’ decision on when to start the No. 3 overall pick, let’s rank their 17 regular season games from least to most exciting.

17. Week 9 @ Tennessee Titans

Two of the worst teams in the AFC last year, the Titans and Patriots might be each other’s easiest opponents in 2024. Will Levis, who grew up a Patriots fan in New York England will have no experience returning home while the game in Nashville, but its added weaponry this offseason could serve as an interesting test for New England’s defense. Calvin Ridley signed with the Titans this offseason, reportedly rejecting the Patriots’ expensive offer. So the game could also serve as revenge for New England.

16. Week 13 vs. Indianapolis Colts

The meeting between the two teams in Germany might have been the worst game of the 2023 NFL season. There will, however, be different quarterbacks than those who played in the Colts’ 10-6 victory. Indianapolis will have Anthony Richardson back after a shoulder injury ended the 2022 fourth overall pick’s rookie season, showing promise to be one of the game’s best dual-threat quarterbacks over the course of of the four matches he played.

15. Week 2 vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Patriots have had some exciting opponents in their home opener in recent years, hosting the defending NFC champion Eagles last year and Lamar Jackson in 2022. this year certainly isn’t as exciting on paper, hosting Geno Smith and Mike Macdonald in its home opener. second game as head coach. Seattle has been decent the last two seasons, posting a winning record in each of the last two years and qualifying for the playoffs in 2022.

14. Week 17 vs. Los Angeles Chargers

If the Patriots-Colts game wasn’t the worst game of the 2023 NFL season, the Patriots-Chargers game was certainly in the mix. But there’s reason to think this game should be a little different. The Patriots probably won’t play Bailey Zappe. The Chargers aren’t playing the game in the Brandon Staley era, hiring Jim Harbaugh this past offseason. Harbaugh has overseen quick turnarounds at every stage of his coaching career, so it wouldn’t be a shock if he did the same with Justin Herbert and the team is fighting for a playoff spot before this match.

The only thing that might stay the same from last year’s battle is the weather. If this year’s December game once again features a rain shower and cold weather, bless all of you who will be in attendance at Gillette Stadium.

13. Week 11 vs. Los Angeles Rams

A rematch of Super Bowl LIII that features almost none of the main characters. The Patriots are down to a few players from their 2018 Super Bowl-winning team, while the Rams are also down to a few players from their 2018 team. But Sean McVay’s team has remained largely in contention since then , reaching the playoffs last year. Matthew Stafford showed he still has some juice left and Puka Nacua has already become one of the best receivers in the game after being a 2023 fifth-round pick.

12. Week 4 @ Miami Dolphins

The Patriots have always struggled in Miami, even struggling to come up with wins during the peak years of the dynasty era. But the last few games in South Florida have been slogs, with the Patriots losing by two or more scores in their last four road games against the Dolphins. There’s not much to suggest will change this year since Tua Tagovailoa (undefeated against the Patriots in his career) can still throw to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

11. Week 15 @ Arizona Cardinals

After the way 2023 has gone, it’s possible that the season-ending game between the Patriots and Cardinals will be a battle between two teams looking forward to the end of the season. But there is reasonable optimism in Arizona that the Cardinals could be decent in 2024. Kyler Murray is back in the mix, returning late last season after tearing his ACL the last time the Cardinals faced the Patriots. Marvin Harrison Jr. headlined the Cardinals’ 12-player draft class, which includes seven players selected in the first three rounds.

This is the Patriots’ first game after their bye week

But this game is moved up a few spots because it’s the Patriots’ first game after the bye week, a possible point when they elect to start Maye.

10. Week 3 @ San Francisco 49ers

New England will face the defending NFC champion for the second straight season. While each team finished on opposite ends of the standings in 2023, this game actually opened with the largest point spread for any game in the 2024 season on DraftKings Sportsbook, with the 49ers favored by 11.5 points . Still, a rare trip to the Bay Area against one of the game’s best makes him interesting enough to not be at the bottom of this list. A surprise Patriots win would also be huge in one of the first games of the Mayo era.

9. Week 16 @ Buffalo Bills

The Patriots won’t face the team that replaced them as the AFC East’s top dog until the penultimate week of the regular season. Highmark Stadium has also been primarily a house of horrors for them since Tom Brady left, losing four of their last five games there. The Bills also seem to be lacking the juice they’ve had as a contender in recent years, so maybe that could make this game a little more compelling.

8. Week 10 @ Chicago Bears

When the Patriots travel to Chicago, Caleb Williams will likely start for the Bears. We still don’t know if this will be a battle between two of the quarterbacks selected among the top three picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. If so, this would be one of the most interesting games of the Patriots season. But the uncertainty over Maye’s start causes this match to lose a few places. A trip to the Windy City against a surging Bears team makes this a top-10 matchup for the Patriots in 2024.

7. Week 8 vs. New York Jets

Aaron Rodgers’ first trip to New England as a member of the Jets will be around the middle of the season. The Jets ended their 15-game losing streak against the Patriots in last year’s regular season finale at Gillette, ending Bill Belichick’s time with the team. Since this is the Patriots’ first game after the trip to London, this could make sense as a possible spot for Maye to make his NFL debut.

6. Week 5 vs. Miami Dolphins

Although the Patriots haven’t beaten Tagovailoa during his career, they came close in their last two meetings against him in Foxborough. Last year’s home game against the Dolphins was one of the most exciting games of the season, losing 24-17. Christian Gonzalez showed he could hang with Hill in this game, however, allowing the Dolphins star to record just five receptions for 40 yards. With Gonzalez returning from injury and the Patriots playing at home, this game should be better than their Week 4 matchup against the Dolphins.

5. Week 7 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)

The Patriots’ trip to Europe this year should be better than last year’s. The Jaguars are hoping to return to the playoffs after missing out in 2023. Although Trevor Lawrence is one of the best quarterbacks in the game, this game would become more interesting from the Patriots’ perspective if Mac Jones ends up starting. New England traded its former starting quarterback to Jacksonville during the offseason. However, the Patriots making their first trip to London since 2012 and facing a formidable opponent are enough to put this game in the top five.

4. Week 1 @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Jerod Mayo era begins in Cincinnati as Joe Burrow returns from a wrist injury that kept him sidelined for the second half of last season. Although the Bengals have been one of the best teams in the AFC when Burrow has been healthy, they have had issues early in the season when he has been at quarterback. They lost their final two season openers and Burrow’s 6-7-1 record in September. Cincinnati’s high-powered offense also provides a good opening test for a New England defense that was among the best last year, even with Gonzalez and Matthew Judon out for most of the year.

3. Week 18 vs. Buffalo Bills

The Patriots could have the chance to play spoilsport in their final game of the regular season, hosting a Bills team that will likely contend for its fifth straight AFC East title in 2024. New England has beat Josh Allen at home last year, showing it’s possible even though he had his worst team in decades. Hell, maybe the Patriots have some things to do this season and are fighting for a playoff spot in this game.

Either way, getting a win here would be one of the biggest of the season and could be a good starting point, especially if Maye is involved in any way.

2. Week 3 @ New York Jets

New England’s only prime-time game comes early in the season, with a trip to East Rutherford for a short week for “Thursday Night Football.” This will also be the Patriots’ first meeting with Rodgers since joining the Jets last season. Since this is an early season game, both teams should be healthy, presenting a fun battle between the Jets and their revamped offense against the Patriots defense.

1. Week 6 vs. Houston Texans

CJ Stroud will make his first-ever trip to Foxborough in Week 6. One of the surprises of last season, the Texans are looking to take the next leap in their rise. They made several moves to help them get there, trading for Stefon Diggs and signing Danielle Hunter. It’s possible that the Texans are the best team the Patriots face at home this season and if Maye starts by Week 6, it could make for an interesting matchup with Stroud.


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