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Analysis: Breaking Down the New England Patriots 2024 Schedule

A contest against the Jaguars in London and two trips to the west highlight the Patriots 2024 slate of regular season games.

The NFL released the full 2024 schedule on Wednesday evening as the Patriots and the other 31 teams now know how their fall campaigns will line up. While the opponents have been set since the regular season ended, we can now match up their order and times.

For the Patriots, they have one of the toughest opponent lists in the NFL this season based on 2023 win percentage, landing in a three-way tie for eighth hardest overall. The Pats will play five 2023 playoff teams, including NFC contenders San Francisco and the Rams, along with AFC East rivals Buffalo and Miami, and the AFC South champ Houston.

But even their other opponents will supply plenty of intrigue. From facing the Bengals in the season opener with Joe Burrow returning from a season-ending injury in 2023, to traveling to Chicago for an up-close look at first-overall pick Caleb Williams and his new group of weapons, there will be no easy weeks for New England.

The highlight of the Patriots 2024 schedule is another trip across the Atlantic Ocean to play in Europe for a second-straight season, while late-season matchups with the Bills, an extremely late bye week and just one primetime game are some other significant pieces of the puzzle.

Here are 10 quick-hit takeaways from New England's 2024 slate!

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1. London Calling – The Patriots will head to Europe for this second season in a row, traveling to London to take on the Jags in Week 7 at Webley Stadium. This will be the first time the Patriots have played in England since 2012 and they'll face a Jacksonville team that is quickly getting used to playing in their home away from home across the pond. Trevor Lawrence will be looking to lead his squad to a bounce-back season and new receivers Gabe Davis and rookie Brian Thomas should help provide a renewed boost. New Jags backup Mac Jones' presence could be a factor if the injury bug hits Lawrence. Mac vs. the Pats in London would add a fascinating new dynamic to the game.

2. Road Warriors: Part I – After opening on the road against the Bengals, the Patriots will have their home opener against the Seahawks before hitting the road again for a Thursday Night matchup with the Jets and then take their first trip across the country to face the 49ers. While the extended break following Thursday Night Football should help mitigate the impact of having three road games in the first four weeks, it's still a difficult proposition for a remade offense having to work out their early kinks in hostile environments.

3. Late Bye – The Patriots bye week comes as late as it possibly can this year, not until Week 14 which lands in early December. Many speculated a mid-season bye could be the right time for Drake Maye to make his debut but there's no obvious insertion point with this schedule. Perhaps things could be re-evaluated after the Week 7 game in London, with a home game against the Jets and then road games against two rebuilding teams Tennessee and Chicago making for a somewhat manageable trio of games. There's a lot of different ways things could go with injuries and performance always serving as great unknowns. No matter what happens at the quarterback position, the Patriots will be on a long three-month grind before they get a real weekend off.

4. Not Ready for Primetime: The Patriots are scheduled to play just one primetime game this season, the Week 3 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Jets. With the final two games still TBD and the new flex system, that could always change if the Patriots show a spark that keeps them in the contending conversation. But the initial schedule indicates that the NFL wants to see them prove it before putting them on the national stage.

5. Go West, Twice – In years past the Pats have been fortunate to group some of their west coast travel together but that is not the case this year with their games at the 49ers and Cardinals. Instead, New England will travel to California in September and Arizona in December after their bye week. There will be some long flights this year, both heading east and west, for the Patriots.

6. Road Warriors: Part II – With three of their first four on the road and two trips to California, the Patriots away schedule seems to be a bit challenging. It's even tougher when you consider that the team will play back-to-back road games three times this season. Ultimately that means they'll wrap things up with their final two games at home, but during the main part of the season the Pats will be flying all over the globe.

7. 11 at 1pm… at least – Aside from their TNF game against the Jets, the early morning London kickoff and the two 4pm hour starting times against the 49ers and Cardinals, the Patriots currently have their remaining 11 games listed with 1pm start times. That consistency should help their preparation and means there will be limited short weeks over the course of the 18-week season.

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Download the Printable Schedule

Download the printable 2024 Patriots Schedule.

8. Spending the Holidays with the Bills – Another strange twist to this year's schedule is that the Patriots won't see the Bills until Weeks 16 and 18, playing their divisional rivals in two of the last three games of the regular season. It's similar to 2021, when the two teams faced off in Weeks 13 and 16, with the Patriots stealing a win in what has become known as the "Wind Game" but then dropping a 33-21 contest in the rematch. This home-and-home series will set up an interesting dynamic if the Patriots can stay in the playoff hunt into late-December. If so, it will be just the Bills and Chargers standing in their way, two good teams that will hope to be jockeying for playoff positioning similarly.

9. Preseason Fun – While there's often not much intrigue surrounding preseason games, the Patriots will see the Commanders in Week 3 of the preseason with an 8pm kickoff. That could put rookie quarterbacks Jayden Daniels, selected second overall, against Drake Maye, selected third, in the national spotlight. The Pats will also see 2023 first overall pick Bryce Young in the first week of preseason, though it's always hard to project who will be playing in any of the August games.

10. No Easy Way Out – Any way it was ordered this was going to be a tough schedule for the 2024 Patriots. Along with five 2023 playoff teams, there is also a collection of other opponents that very well might've been in the playoffs if not for some catastrophic turns, like the Bengals, Chargers and Colts. But perhaps opportunity awaits if the young Patriots offense can find their stride and play complementary football to a defense that will welcome some major returns this season in Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez.

DISCLAIMER: The views and thoughts expressed in this article are those of the writer and don't necessarily reflect those of the organization. Read Full Disclaimer

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