Worst-case schedule scenarios that could set the Patriots up to fail in 2024

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

With the Patriots' 2024 season schedule expected to be announced in the next week, it's easy to think about what would be the most ideal schedule for them to have given where the team is currently in their rebuild.

With so many changes happening this offseason, like an entirely new staff and a roster to nearly match, it's hard to gauge how exactly they'll fare no matter what their schedule ends up looking like.

However, based on everything we know and looking back on previous seasons, it is easy to come up with a schedule that wouldn't be favorable, especially for an inevitably crucial season like this upcoming year.

Worst-case schedule scenarios that could set the Patriots up to fail in 2024

1. Getting a super early bye week

The best week to get a bye seems to be more subjective than anything, but it seems more than fair to believe being given a bye in Week 5 is not desirable for any team in the NFL.

The first month of the regular season is considered an extension of the preseason for most, as teams are yet to really get into a groove and play their best football. To be working toward that only to then have to take a week off a month into the season feels like a sure way to derail the strides a team was making.

Because the Patriots will have a lot on their plate in 2024, particularly for new head coach Jerod Mayo, the ideal bye would be midseason. It would allow them to reflect upon the first half of the year, adjust what needs fixing and come into the more competitive part of the season better than ever.

Anything too early, like the Week 5 bye the Patriots had in 2020, or too late, like a Week 14 bye in 2021, would be a disaster.

2. Ending the season @ Dolphins

At this point, it doesn't really matter when the Patriots have to travel to Miami to play the Dolphins, we already know it's going to be a tough game no matter what. It was the same story during the Tom Brady era and if anything, has gotten a bit worse in his absence.

Now that they have become the second-place team in the division behind the Bills, the Dolphins are an even tougher matchup. Because of how weird games seem to go when the Patriots travel to South Beach, it wouldn't be great to see a late season game there in 2024.

A loss in Miami could be a determining factor of the Patriots ' postseason fate, if we're thinking optimistically, of course. Or it could be what separates them from a great draft pick to a mediocre one, which also isn't ideal.

3. Back-to-back away games against teams on opposite coasts

Playing back-to-back away games is never easy, no matter what teams are involved. But when the first opponent is in the Northeast, and the next is on the West Coast, it makes for a long two weeks of traveling, inevitably taking a toll on the players.

Other than the jet lag and exhaustion that comes from traveling anyway, being out of their normal routine and away from family can be significant factors for a player's game to be impacted.

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