Updated strength of schedule ranking is great news for the Patriots

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages

With the 2024 NFL season schedules set to be released on Wednesday, most of the discussion about how teams will fare has been based on multiple outlets' strength of schedule rankings, which are not definitive nor the same.

In recent years, the Patriots have dealt with bad luck in those rankings, as they have been deemed to have some of the most difficult schedules in the entire league. Last season, they were ranked third, according to their opponent's 2022 win percentage, and it looked like they were facing the same fate for this upcoming season.

Last month, Fox Sports' Warren Sharp had the Patriots with the second-hardest strength of schedule, making the season outlook a little less exciting for some fans.

However, the latest SOS rankings released by the NFL are dramatically different, which could be good news for New England.

The NFL ranks the Patriots strength of schedule 10th for the 2024 season

Despite the fact that determining the strength of schedules is not an exact science, seeing an updated ranking that moves the Patriots further down the list takes a little bit of worry out of the season ahead, especially under the new regime.

The NFL has them tied in 10th place, which isn't great but is much better than where they were, according to other outlets.

Of course, in the long run, this won't mean much, and the Patriots are more in control of how their season progresses than what this model says.

We already know they'll be facing six 2023 playoff teams and likely playing the Jaguars in London, so there will definitely be obstacles to make the season more difficult. And hopefully, the way their schedule is constructed won't add to those challenges even more.

The 2024 season will be quite the test for Jerod Mayo as a first-time head coach, with a staff made up of several newcomers. Besides that pressure, he's also the head coach after Bill Belichick, which comes with an entirely different kind of stress than the typical new coach.

After a mediocre free agency and solid draft, the Patriots have made the right strides to be a better team than they were just one year ago. Hopefully, we'll see the fruits of that labor, and they'll overcome a potentially incredibly challenging docket of opponents.

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