3 Biggest Upsets the Patriots Will Win on the 2024 Schedule

Who could the Patriots put on upset alert in 2024?
May 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo watches practice at
May 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo watches practice at / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 2

On Wednesday night, the NFL released the 2024 schedule in full, giving New England Patriots fans a first glimpse of what new head coach Jerod Mayo is up against in his first season.

At quick glance, there might not be a lot of room for optimism among Patriots Nation, as New England ranks in the top-10 in hardest strength of schedule and will also face the fourth-most travel of any team in the NFL this season. On the field, Patriots are coming off of a 4-13 season, will likely be starting a journeyman quarterback for the beginning of the year, and saw a tremendous amount of turnover amongst the coaching staff.

Ultimately, New England will have to arrive at a point where they block out all of that noise and play whistle to whistle. Even during last season's embarrassing campaign, the Patriots were competitive against some very good teams (and admittedly uncompetitive against some not very good teams). They took the defending NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles down to the red zone in the last minute, and pulled off a dramatic upset win against the Buffalo Bills. That's the unpredictability of the NFL and why we love sports.

Every week of the NFL season, there are several results that turn heads. The "any given Sunday" mantra rings true year in and year out in the league, and New England will be looking to embody that mindset as they enter the campaign with the odds stacked against them. Balancing the odds stacked against them and the unpredictability of the NFL, here are three games where the Patriots could put their opponent on upset alert in 2024.

Week 1: Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals

The Patriots will begin the Jerod Mayo in a Week 1 trip to Cincinnati to visit the Bengals on Sept. 8. Although the sportsbooks aren't putting a lot of faith in New England for Week 1 (the Patriots-Bengals game is currently the largest spread of the first week), there are a few reasons that could give New England fans hope heading in.

The good news: Joe Burrow has a losing record in September, compiling a 6-7-1 record. This is Burrow's worst month record-wise, and he also has his worst passer rating in September. He has not been a historically hot starter, leaving the door open for the Patriots to perhaps catch Cincinnati off-guard.

There are also no guarantees about how Burrow will return from his wrist injury, Week 1 will be his first regular season game action since Nov. 26, and New England fans will be hoping that he needs to shake off some rust there.

This matchup will also be the Bengals' first since 2019 without noted offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. Callahan was a hot name during the last hiring cycle and was ultimately named by the Tennessee Titans as their head coach. To be fair, head coach Zac Taylor has been the team's primary play caller, but could this addition wrinkle for Cincinnati aid the Patriots?

If one thing is certain about Week 1 in the NFL, it is the uncertainty. Could New England get Jerod Mayo his first win in his first game? There's a chance.