Patriots' Strength of Schedule in 2024 Could Lead to Another Top-3 Pick

Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) is
Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) is / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

For New England Patriots fans looking for signs of optimism, look away now. After a 4-13 2023 season, the road doesn't look like it is about to get any easier for the Patriots. Per Sharp Analytics, the Patriots have the second-hardest schedule heading into the 2024 season. Sharp Analytics uses projected win totals from Vegas oddsmakers to project strength of schedule.

While we do know New England's opponents for their 2024 campaign, the NFL has not officially announced a date for when they will release their 2024 slate. Past schedules have typically been released in early May, which provides a ballpark time frame.

Outside of their six divisional games, the Patriots are paired up with the NFC West and AFC South. Their opponents went exactly .500 in 2023, finishing 19-19. Of their 14 unique opponents, five of those teams made the playoffs last season. Some underachieving teams from 2023 should also have a more positive outlook for 2024. The Jets will have Aaron Rodgers back, the Bears made some significant moves this offseason and will expectedly have Caleb Williams under center, and Anthony Richardson will return for the Indianapolis Colts at quarterback after missing the final 13 games following a promising four game start to his career.

The improved AFC East competition over the past few years hasn't been friendly for the Patriots. The Bills have solidified themselves in the annual Super Bowl conversation (albeit while typically underperforming in the playoffs) and the Miami Dolphins' explosive offense turned heads last season. The New York Jets are a wild card, especially with Aaron Rodgers coming off of a torn Achilles at 40 years old, but he will undeniably provide better quarterback play than Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle last season.

Picking third in April 25's NFL Draft, the Patriots could very well find themselves towards the top of the 2025 draft order with their daunting strength of schedule.

Oddsmakers have the Patriots' 2024 win total over/under set at 5.5 wins, with the under sitting as a pretty significant -142 favorite.

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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.