The Patriots will kick off the 2022 season on the road against the new look Miami Dolphins.
Here’s a look at New England’s full schedule, complete with a showdown against former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, five prime-time games, and a season finale in Buffalo.
Week 1: @ Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m. (CBS)
The Patriots have struggled at Hard Rock Stadium in recent years, going 2-7 in their last nine trips. The Dolphins made a number of new additions this offseason, hiring coach Mike McDaniel, trading for wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and signing running back Chase Edmonds. Miami’s roster features a number of former Patriots, with running back Sony Michel, linebacker Elandon Roberts, cornerback Eric Rowe, and defensive tackle Adam Butler.
Week 2: @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m. (CBS)
With Ben Roethlisberger retired, the Steelers will have a starting quarterback battle between 2017 first-round pick Mitch Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett, drafted 20th overall this year. The offensive attack features running back Najee Harris and a trio of talented receivers in Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and George Pickens. Newburyport native Pat Freiermuth, a tight end, will also look to build off his solid rookie season, in which he caught 60 passes for 497 yards and seven touchdowns.
Week 3: vs. Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 25, 1 p.m. (Fox)
After opening the season with back-to-back road games for the first time since 2014, the Patriots will play their home opener against the Ravens. Despite missing the playoffs last season, coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Lamar Jackson should present a competitive conference matchup. Week 3 will also mark Patriots outside linebacker Matthew Judon’s first game against his former team.
Week 4: @ Green Bay Packers, Oct. 2, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
It’s not Tom Brady-Aaron Rodgers — that’ll be Week 3 — but a trip to Lambeau Field for Bill Belichick and the Patriots will always be a big draw. For the first time since 2014, Rodgers will be without his star wide receiver Devante Adams — don’t worry, the Patriots will still see him in Week 15 — and instead will target second-round draft pick Christian Watson, Allen Lazard, and tight end Robert Tonyan. Aaron Jones and former Boston College star AJ Dillon anchor the backfield.
Week 5: vs. Detroit Lions, Sunday, Oct. 9, 1 p.m. (Fox)
The Patriots will face off against quarterback Jared Goff for the second time since Super Bowl LIII, only this time Goff will be in a Lions jersey. Goff and the Lions are coming off a 3-13-1 season, but their roster features a pair of talented young receivers in Amon-Ra St. Brown and 2021 first-round pick Jameson Williams. The Lions will be featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” during training camp, but their game against the Patriots likely won’t get any play at that time.
Week 6: @ Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 16, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s status is still in limbo, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to levy a punishment amid Watson’s numerous sexual harassment and assault allegations. If Watson is hit with a six-game suspension, then the Patriots will likely be up against their former backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Baker Mayfield is still on the roster, despite expressing his interest in playing elsewhere.
Week 7: vs. Chicago Bears, Monday, Oct. 24, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Mac Jones and Justin Fields, drafted four picks before Jones in 2021, will go head-to-head for the first time in the pros. The Bears will be led by new head coach Matt Eberflus, who previously served as the defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts. Gillette Stadium will host a Monday Night Football with fans in attendance for the first time since December 2016.
Week 8: @ New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York’s draft class this year was widely lauded by experts, with three first-round picks in cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (fourth overall), wide receiver Garrett Wilson (10th), and linebacker Jermaine Johnson (26th overall). Led by coach Robert Saleh, the up-and-coming team might not be the walkover it once was.
Week 9: vs. Indianapolis Colts, Nov. 6, 1 p.m. (CBS)
After a monumental collapse against Jacksonville kept them outside the postseason last year, the Colts made a change at quarterback, booting Carson Wentz and bringing in Matt Ryan. MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor, who led the league with 1,811 rushing yards last season, likely will remain the focal point of the offense. Former Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore joins Indy’s defense, which ranked second in the league in takeaways last season (33).
Week 10: BYE
The Patriots’ bye week will come smack dab in the middle of the season.
Week 11: vs. New York Jets, Sunday, Nov. 20, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Only three weeks separate the two Jets-Patriots games this season. New York will also be coming off its bye week.
Week 12: @ Minnesota Vikings, Thursday, Nov. 24, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
The Patriots haven’t played on Thanksgiving Day since the infamous “Butt Fumble” game against the Jets in 2012. New England’s secondary will be put to the test against wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Jefferson finished second in the league in receiving yards last year (1,616) and has eclipsed 1,000 yards in his first two NFL seasons.
Week 13: vs. Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Dec. 1, 8:20 p.m. (Amazon Prime)
The Patriots will have to wait until December to get their first crack at the Bills. Will the Patriots actually get a defensive stop this time around? New England’s schedule is rather challenging this season, but, as long as Buffalo remains atop the AFC East, the games against the Bills will serve as litmus tests.
Week 14: @ Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Dec. 12, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
With quarterback Kyler Murray and defensive end J.J. Watt, the Cardinals continue New England’s challenging stretch of prime-time games. Arizona got off to a hot 10-2 start last season but collapsed after their bye week to finish 11-7. Because they are scheduled to be in Vegas the following week, the Patriots will likely spend a week out west following their game in Glendale.
Week 15: @ Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Dec. 18, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Josh McDaniels vs. Bill Belichick deserves the “Sunday Night Football” treatment. There will be plenty of other familiar faces on the field, with Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi, quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree, offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, defensive end Chandler Jones, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Jakob Johnson, and backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham all having Patriots ties as well.
McDaniels faced Belichick in 2009, when he was head coach of the Denver Broncos, and came away with a 20-17 win in Denver. Belichick is 15-13 against former Patriots players or assistant coaches as head coach.
Given its timing, this game also has the potential to carry significant playoff implications.
Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 24, 1 p.m. (CBS)
The Patriots will spend Christmas Eve against quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Cincinnati’s three-headed receiving corps — Ja’Marr Chase ,Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd — are all back in the fold, as is running back Joe Mixon. After allowing a league-high number of sacks last season, Bengals bolstered their offensive line by signing former Patriots starting left guard Ted Karras and Super Bowl LV champion Alex Cappa.
Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New England will host the Dolphins during the winter months for a change. Belichick will probably welcome the switch after his team’s late-season performances in Miami Gardens in recent years. Since 2013, the Patriots are 1-5 at Hard Rock Stadium in December or January.
Week 18: @ Buffalo Jan. 7 or Jan. 8
The Patriots will finish the regular season at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo. The question is: Will they be playing beyond Week 18?
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang.