New England Patriots

Ranking every opposing quarterback on Patriots' 2024 schedule

The Patriots will see several very good QBs during the 2024 regular season.

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The New England Patriots don't have an easy 2024 schedule, and one reason why is the quality of the quarterbacks their defense will have to play against.

The Patriots don't have to face three-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes or two-time NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, but many of the league's other top quarterbacks are featured on the Patriots' 17-game regular season schedule.

The slate includes two matchups versus Josh Allen, two versus Tua Tagovailoa and two versus Aaron Rodgers, as well as games against Joe Burrow, C.J. Stroud, Brock Purdy, Justin Herbert and Matthew Stafford, among others. The Patriots also will get a look at 2024 No. 1 overall draft pick Caleb Williams.

New England's defense has the potential to be a top 15 unit, especially with cornerback Christian Gonzalez and pass rusher Matthew Judon returning from injury.

But this group will face plenty of challenges in the upcoming season because of all the top-tier quarterbacks on the schedule.

Let's rank each of the 14 opposing quarterbacks the Patriots will play against in 2024.

14. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

Matchup week, location: Week 9 at Tennessee

The Titans were aggressive in bolstering their offense during the offseason. They outbid the Patriots and Jaguars to sign free agent wide receiver Calvin Ridley to a four-year deal with a max value of $92 million. Ridley and DeAndre Hopkins could form a pretty good 1-2 punch at wide receiver.

The Titans also signed ex-Cowboys running back Tony Pollard. Levis has exciting potential, and 2024 seems like the perfect time for him to make a significant leap in his development. And now he has real weapons at his disposal at the skill positions.

13. Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears

Matchup week, location: Week 10 at Chicago

Williams was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. He had a fantastic career at USC, including a Heisman Trophy-winning 2022 season. The Bears are not expected to be a playoff team in 2024, but the offense could be fun to watch with Williams targeting wideouts Rome Odunze (No. 9 pick in 2023) and D.J. Moore. Chicago also upgraded at running back by signing D'Andre Swift in free agency.

Highlights of the presumed #1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, USC quarterback Caleb Williams

12. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

Matchup week, location: Week 13 at New England

Richardson has enormous talent, especially as a dual-threat quarterback who can beat defenses through the air or on the ground. He scored seven total touchdowns (three passing, four rushing) in four games as a rookie before suffering a season-ending injury.

Avoiding too much contact and staying healthy consistently might be a tough task for him. But when Richardson is on the field, he poses plenty of challenges for defenses.

11. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Matchup week, location: Week 2 at New England

Smith's stats in 2023 weren't as impressive as his breakout 2022 campaign, but he's still a very competent quarterback who doesn't make a ton of mistakes. He actually decreased his interception total from 11 in 2022 to just nine in 2023.

Smith also benefits from having a couple good wide receivers to target, most notably D.K. Metcalf and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

10. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Matchup week, location: Week 15 at Arizona

Murray made his 2023 debut midseason after he fully recovered from an ACL tear suffered in 2022. When healthy, Murray is a top 15 quarterback who can rack up plenty of passing yards and make plays with his legs. The Cardinals also got him an upgrade at wide receiver after drafting Ohio State star Marvin Harrison Jr. with the No. 4 pick in the 2024 draft.

It should be noted, however, that Murray is 0-2 with zero touchdown passes in his career against the Patriots.

9. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Matchup week, location: Week 7 in London

Lawrence led the Jaguars to a playoff berth and a memorable AFC Wild Card Round comeback win in 2022. Both he and the Jaguars were unable to build on that success in 2023 as Jacksonville missed the playoffs.

Lawrence should be highly motivated for a bounce-back 2024 campaign. The last time the Patriots played the Jaguars was Week 16 of the 2021 season. Mac Jones led New England to a 50-10 victory, which clinched a playoff berth. That game seems like forever ago.

8. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets

Matchup week, location: Week 3 at New York, Week 8 at New England

Rodgers tore his Achilles early in his Jets debut last season and didn't play another snap. It was a tough setback for a Jets team that had so much hope after finally acquiring a top-tier quarterback.

Achilles injuries are hard to come back from, and Rodgers is 40 years old. But he did win two MVPs recently (2020 and 2021), and he's one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time. If healthy, Rodgers will still be a handful for the Patriots defense.

7. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Matchup week, location: Week 11 at New England

Stafford is always a tough matchup. He has loads of experience, a rocket arm and is one of the league's toughest quarterbacks. He also has some very good weapons on offense in the form of running back Kyren Williams, and wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. S

tafford hasn't played against the Patriots since 2018 when he was still the Lions' quarterback. He threw for 262 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 26-10 win in Week 3.

6. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

Matchup week, location: Week 4 at San Francisco

Purdy set career highs in completion percentage (69.4), passing yards (4,231) and passing touchdowns (31) in 2023, and he finished fourth in MVP voting as a result. He's a very good quarterback, and it helps that the 49ers offense is loaded with elite playmakers, most notably running back Christian McCaffrey and wideouts Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

5. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Matchup week, location: Week 17 at New England

Herbert is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. He has all the physical attributes scouts love. Despite all of that talent, Herbert has struggled in his career versus the Patriots. He is 1-2 with two touchdown passes and four interceptions in three career games. His only triumph came last season when the Chargers escaped Gillette Stadium with an ugly 6-0 victory.

4. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Matchup week, location: Week 5 at New England, Week 12 at Miami

Tagovailoa led the league with 4,624 passing yards and ranked No. 3 with a 69.3 completion percentage last season. He led the league's second-highest scoring offense at 29.3 points per game. Sure, it helps to have the league's best wide receiver duo in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but Tagovailoa took his game to another level in 2023.

He's also been a real thorn in the Patriots' side with a 6-0 career record against Miami's longtime rival.

3. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

Matchup week, location: Week 6 at New England

Stroud won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award after leading the Texans to the playoffs with 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 15 games last season. The former Ohio State star had six 300-yard games and eight games with multiple touchdown passes.

The Texans made a bold trade to acquire star wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the offseason, giving Stroud a legit No. 1 option in the passing attack.

2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Matchup week, location: Week 1 at Cincinnati

Burrow played just 10 games last season due to injury, but when healthy, he is easily a top-five quarterback. Few players have Burrow's combination of elite talent, football IQ and calmness in high-pressure moments.

Burrow has thrown for at least 4,400 yards and 34 touchdowns in both of his healthy seasons (2021 and 2022). He's very difficult to stop, especially when elite wideouts Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are healthy and on the field.

1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Matchup week, location: Week 16 at Buffalo, Week 18 at New England

Allen has dominated the Patriots of late, winning seven of the last nine head-to-head matchups since the beginning of 2020. He completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 4,306 yards with 29 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 2023.

Not only is Allen an elite passer, he's also difficult to tackle in the open field with his 6-foot-5, 237-pound frame. Allen's 15 rushing touchdowns in 2023 tied the record for the most by a quarterback in a single season.

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