Predicting the Patriots' Primetime Games Ahead of 2024 Schedule Release

Predicting which games from the New England Patriots' 2024 schedule could end up being selected for primetime this year.
Apr 26, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner (L) Robert Kraft and president
Apr 26, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner (L) Robert Kraft and president / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots opted to keep much of their core together this offseason, and instead focused on the draft as their primary avenue of making exciting new additions. Now with Drake Maye officially in the fold, fans are more than ready to see him take the field for the first time.

As the NFL prepares for its annual schedule release, New England will soon know when and where its 2024 campaign is starting.

Ahead of that, let's take a look at potential primetime games the Patriots could receive this year.

1. Chicago Bears (Road)

Scheduling these marquee matchups all comes down to marketing. Unfortunately for the Patriots, who just won four games, had no big-time free-agent additions, and just got rid of arguably the most recognizable coach in NFL history, this team is a bit of a hard sell to networks.

However, one thing New England has going for it is the arrival of a fresh-faced quarterback in No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye. Even if Maye ends up sitting for some (or even most) of the 2024 campaign, he'll be the biggest talking point around the team every week.

This sets up the opportunity for schedule makers to line up the Pats with other teams around the league who have young starting QBs to create matchups that center around the potential future of the NFL.

That makes the Patriots and Chicago Bears an attractive pairing. Chicago has its own new QB1 in Caleb Williams, who went two picks ahead of Maye. The conversation heading into this showdown is going to be about who made a mistake, and who possibly hit the jackpot with their choice of signal-caller.

As a result, fans around the country will be itching to tune in and see which gunslinger they need to worry about -- which is ripe for a ratings hit in primetime.

2. Houston Texans (Home)

Sticking with the theme of young quarterback bouts, C.J. Stroud presents what Patriots fans hope Maye will look like from the jump.

During his prolific rookie season, Stroud was the driving force behind the upstart Houston Texans making the playoffs, which signals a long and fruitful career to come for the former No. 2 pick.

Again, a matchup here would revolve around two possible faces of the league to come. If both Stroud and Maye go on to become dominant talents, this is the exact kind of game people will look back on and wish they watched.

The fact the Patriots and Texans have plenty of cross-franchise ties, and New England is looking for a similar turnaround, would just add to the intrigue of this primetime game candidate.

3. New York Jets (Road)

Once again, Maye leads the Pats' bid for a primetime selection here. But this time, it's a new vs. old angle schedule makers could opt for.

There is a ton of buzz around the Jets following a successful offseason, which puts them in prime position to vie for the AFC East title. The return of Aaron Rodgers after missing basically the entire 2023 campaign will lead to a ton of eyeballs as fans around the league see if the four-time MVP can come back strong post-Achilles tear.

With Rodgers being one of the last few senior QB stars, and Maye being one of the NFL's newest hopefuls at the position, this is undeniably an intriguing matchup. It'd be exciting to see how Maye responds opposite of a superstar, in primetime, on the road, and facing a division rival.

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