The New England Patriots’ 24-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday did not only earn them their 11th straight division title, it also put the finishing touches on the team’s list of opponents for the 2020 regular season. Even with one game left before this year’s playoffs begin, the Patriots’ 13 opponents — three from inside and 10 from outside the AFC East — for next year have already been set. Let’s take a closer look at them:
Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins
Two names stand out among the Patriots’ home opponents next year — not only because they are among the best teams in the NFL at the moment: the Ravens and the 49ers. The matchup against Baltimore could very well turn out to be a postseason rematch, while San Francisco is of course led by former New England backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who was traded to the NFC West midway through the 2017 season.
Other than those two games, the team will also go up against two clubs from the AFC West and a Cardinals team featuring former Patriots first-round pick Chandler Jones. Of course, New England will also play three home games against its division rivals.
Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins
Not only will the Patriots have to travel a lot next season and play three games in the Pacific Time Zone, they are also scheduled to face four difficult teams on the road: the Chiefs and Texans have both won their divisions this year and will compete for the Super Bowl in January and possibly February, while the Seahawks and Rams are among the most talented teams in football as well. The latter two games, of course, are also Super Bowl rematches.
Add trips to the Chargers and three division games, and you get a tough slate of road contests awaiting the Patriots in 2020.
As is the case every year, the NFL will announce the full schedule for the next season in April with international games being announced in late January.