3 exciting matchups the Patriots could open the 2024 season with 

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots
Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots / Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/GettyImages

A new era has begun in New England with Jerod Mayo replacing Bill Belichick, which will inevitably be big shoes for the new head coach to fill. A winning start would immediately take some pressure off the new and inexperienced staff and get the team back on a successful path.

Mayo’s predecessor won 16 of his 23 opening games in New England, so even the pressure to hit the ground running is high. A favorable Week 1 matchup would give the new regime the best chance to alleviate the tension and set the tone for the rest of the season.

But while we know who the 2024 opponents will be, we don’t yet know the schedule. So, who could Mayo’s Patriots play in Week 1? 

3 exciting matchups the Patriots could open the 2024 season with 

Colts vs. Patriots

The Colts and Patriots have a storied rivalry, but both have seen lean times recently. Everyone knows the Patriots haven’t won the AFC East since 2019, but the Colts last won their division in 2014 and who could forget that season?

Both teams could be poised to emerge from the doldrums, though.  

With Anthony Richardson having Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco to help guide him alongside Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs, and Adonai Mitchell, the Colts' offense should be entertaining, if not unstoppable. 

Matchups like Christian Gonzalez vs. Downs and Jahlani Tavai vs. Taylor will be worth watching, too. Don’t forget the popcorn. 

On the other side of the ball, if Alex Van Pelt wants to open his offense up, Javon Baker could line up against Kenny Moore. Moore allowed 73.8% of passes to be completed and conceded five touchdown receptions in 2023. Baker will be chomping at the bit.

Patriots @ Titans

A trip to Nashville is always exciting, right?

A potential quarterback matchup of Will Levis and Drake Maye would be even more exciting. It might bring that feeling for the wrong reasons, but it’ll still be fun to watch. Both quarterbacks give you the impression that even they aren’t sure what they will do next, which makes for some jaw-dropping plays combined with some absolute head-in-hands moments.  

The Patriots and Titans have new head coaches in 2024, too. While Jerod Mayo was the inside linebackers coach in New England between 2019 and 2023, new Titans supremo Brian Callahan was the Bengals offensive coordinator. Both are first-time head coaches, so that’s an added element as well. 

The Titans loaded up on wide receivers this off-season, adding Tyler Boyd and Calvin Ridley to a room that already included DeAndre Hopkins, Kyle Phillips, and Treylon Burks. With Derrick Henry becoming a Raven, the Titans signed Tony Pollard to replace him. So, the Titans' offense should still be a threat through the air and on the ground. 

Christian Barmore has a great chance to show he’s worth his $92 million contract extension against a physical Titans' run game. Last season, albeit with Henry leading the charge, they scored 16 touchdowns on the ground and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. Even with the Titans’ new personnel, the run game will still be the foundation of Tennessee’s game plan.

Rams vs. Patriots

The Rams don’t always travel well to the East Coast, but any offense with Matt Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, and Kyren Williams will be fun to watch. How the Patriots' defense stops an offense that scored 44 touchdowns in the 2023 regular season will be fun, too.  

Los Angeles focused on defense during the offseason, drafting four defensive players. Like the Patriots, Sean McVay and Les Snead acquired some potential superstars in Detroit. Jared Verse looks like he will bring the pass rush they lost when Aaron Donald retired, and Kamren Kinchens will be one of the most exciting defensive backs in the league in 2024. 

For the Patriots offense, Ja’Lynn Polk should get to line up opposite Darious Williams. Williams is four inches shorter than Polk and allowed 11.3 yards per completion last year. If the offensive line can protect the quarterback, the Patriots rookie could have a very productive game. 

More Patriots coverage: