New England Patriots schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions

How the NFL schedule release has become a spectacle (4:12)

Mina Kimes discusses the NFL's regular-season schedule release and how it has become a showcase for the NFL media teams. (4:12)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots' 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Wednesday.

In a reminder that the Patriots have fallen to the lower levels of the league, they have just one prime-time game -- a Week 3 Thursday night road trip to face the New York Jets. That could always change later in the year with flex scheduling, of course, but the team doesn't currently have prime-time appeal.

In the best-case scenario for the Patriots, they will duplicate what the Houston Texans accomplished last season. The Texans had no prime-time games when the 2023 schedule was released but exploded behind quarterback C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. That reflects how quickly things can change in the NFL.

Here's what's in store for the Patriots:

Patriots 2024 regular-season schedule

Week 1: Sept. 8 at Cincinnati

Week 2: Sept. 15. vs. Seattle

Week 3: Sept. 19 at N.Y. Jets (TNF)

Week 4: Sept. 29 at San Francisco

Week 5: Oct. 6 vs. Miami

Week 6: Oct. 13 vs. Houston

Week 7: Oct. 20 at Jacksonville (Wembley Stadium, London)

Week 8: Oct. 27 vs. N.Y. Jets

Week 9: Nov. 3 at Tennessee

Week 10: Nov. 10 at Chicago

Week 11: Nov. 17 vs. L.A. Rams

Week 12: Nov. 24 at Miami

Week 13: Dec. 1 vs. Indianapolis

Week 14: BYE

Week 15: Dec. 15 at Arizona

Week 16: Dec. 22 at Buffalo

Week 17: Dec. 29 vs. L.A. Chargers

Week 18: Jan. 4 or 5 vs. Buffalo

Strength of schedule: .512 (tied for eighth-hardest)
Over/under: 4.5

Biggest takeaway

Welcome to the head-coaching ranks, Jerod Mayo. To earn your first career win in your first game, all you have to do is slow down Joe Burrow and the Bengals on their home turf -- a tough opening draw. Also, when the league announced Wednesday morning that the Patriots would be headed to London's Wembley Stadium to face the Jaguars in Week 7, one might have assumed that the team's bye week would be well-placed right after it. Instead, the bye doesn't come until Week 14 -- which feels quite late for a team with longshot playoff chances. And while the Patriots would have liked to have their road games against the 49ers and Cardinals paired up so they could stay out west, they instead will be making two cross-country treks in a season they are scheduled to travel 25,071 miles (fourth most of any team).

Revenge game

Let's go with Week 3 at the Jets. The last time the Patriots played a game, it was a 17-3 loss at home to the Jets in frigid conditions in what turned out to be former coach Bill Belichick's final game with the team. The Jets, playing without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, broke a 15-game losing streak against the Patriots, who would love to re-establish dominance in the series.

Bold prediction

Mayo will earn his first victory in Week 2 at home against the Seahawks, who are also under the direction of a new head coach in Mike Macdonald. Seattle used to struggle with 10 a.m. PT kickoffs but has reversed that trend in recent years. If the Patriots don't win that game, it could be several weeks before they secure their first victory based on the strength of opponents through the first six weeks.