Patriots 2024 Rivals Finalized: Complete Roster Includes 49ers, Bengals
Their most disappointing season in three decades is finally over, which means the New England Patriots will soon begin the process of looking toward the future.
What that future will look like is anyone’s guess at this time — major changes from top to bottom could be in the cards for a team that finished with a 4-13 record and is out of the playoffs for the third time in its last four games. Years. Amid all the mystery surrounding the series, there are some things we know about 2024.
Among them is a list of opponents of the Patriots. The majority of this list was already known prior to the 17-3 loss to the New York Jets in the season finale, but the lone remaining opener has now been determined as well.
However, let’s take a quick look at what’s in store for New England next fall.
Enemies of the homeland
The Patriots will host their three AFC East rivals at Gillette Stadium in 2024, plus representatives from the AFC South (Texans, Colts) as well as the fourth-place team in the AFC West (Chargers).
Additionally, New England has the entire NFC West on its schedule. Two of those teams will visit Gillette Stadium for the first time in eight years. Both games against the Rams and Seahawks will, of course, be Super Bowl rematches: the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowls XXXVI and LIII — the latter being their last playoff win — and the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Unlike the 2023 season, the Patriots are not expected to sacrifice a home game for an international appearance next season.
Besides their annual trips to Orchard Park, Miami Gardens, and East Rutherford, the Patriots will also travel to Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Cincinnati, all of which are relatively moderate travel distances. However, the two NFC West games will be more challenging from that perspective: They will also travel to Arizona and San Francisco.
The eagle-eyed observer will now realize that the conference lineup looks exactly the same as it did in 2016. Of course, at the time, the 49ers were one of the worst teams in the NFL; Now, they are a powerhouse and a potential Super Bowl contender. On paper, and so far, they appear to be the toughest opponent on New England’s 2024 schedule.
Due to the NFL’s 17-game schedule, the Patriots will once again play more of a road game than a home game next season. That final game, which will see them face off against an NFC North team, was the final question mark on this slate. With the Bears sitting in fourth place in the division, they will have the honor of hosting New England in 2024.
Assuming the final regular-season matchup between the Bills and Dolphins doesn’t end in a tie, the Patriots’ 2024 opponents will have gone a combined 148-141 this season — a combined winning percentage of .512. For comparison, New England’s scheduled opponents are 0.540 heading into 2023.
While we know who the Patriots will face next season, a lot could change between now and September — for both their opponents and the Patriots as well. The full extent of these changes, at least when it comes to New England, remains uncertain yet.