2024 NFL Schedule: NFC Team Record Predictions

With the full home and away schedules for each franchise now out, here's how the NFC might shake out this upcoming season.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and quarterback Jared Goff.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and quarterback Jared Goff. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL schedule has been released. On Wednesday night, the league unveiled the 272 regular-season games, including the dates and times, giving us plenty to talk about over the coming days and weeks.

Over in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers could have a tough time returning to the Super Bowl. San Francisco has many marquee matchups, including on Dec. 30 for a rematch of the NFC title game against the Detroit Lions, who captured their first NFC North title in team history. But the Lions will have plenty of competition to repeat as division champs, especially with the rising Chicago Bears. 

2024 NFL SCHEDULE: AFC team-by-team record predictions

Caleb Williams and the Bears against Jayden Daniels and the Washington Commanders is another intriguing matchup that’s slated for Oct. 27 during Week 8. The top two picks of this year’s draft could help their respective teams battle for a playoff spot. Rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. could do the same for the much-improved Arizona Cardinals. 

Every season, there are a few surprise teams, but making unexpected noise won’t be easy in the loaded NFC, with the 49ers, Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys expected to contend again. Perhaps one or two of those teams won’t return to the postseason.  

Below, we look at the conference and attempt to decipher which teams have the easiest slates and which will run the toughest roads in their hopes of getting to Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans. Without further ado, here’s our shot at predicting each team’s final record.

Detroit Lions: 13–4

Wins: vs. Rams, vs. Buccaneers, at Cardinals, vs. Seahawks, at Cowboys, at Vikings, vs. Titans, vs. Jaguars, at Colts, vs. Bears, vs. Packers, at 49ers, vs. Vikings

Losses: at Packers, at Texans, vs. Bills, at Bears

After a memorable postseason run, the Lions could jump to the top of the conference standings with the moves they made in the offseason. They might not have a weakness on the roster after improving the secondary with the draft selection of Terrion Arnold and the trade for Carlton Davis III. But the Lions will have a difficult schedule, with road games in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco and Indianapolis. The home slate also appears to be a gauntlet, with the Rams, Buccaneers and Bills scheduled to play at Ford Field.

San Francisco 49ers: 13–4

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel celebrates a touchdown with Brandon Aiyuk.
Samuel and Aiyuk enter the 2024 season in the midst of contract dilemmas. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wins: vs. Jets, at Vikings, vs. Patriots, vs. Cardinals, at Seahawks, vs. Chiefs, vs. Cowboys, at Buccaneers, at Packers, at Bills, vs. Bears, vs. Rams, at Cardinals

Losses: at Rams, vs. Seahawks, at Dolphins, vs. Lions

The 49ers will face the mental challenge of regrouping after once again falling short of a Super Bowl title. Perhaps this will be the last ride for this core group, because San Francisco has contract dilemmas with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. The 49ers are going to need both to survive one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. The team opens the season at home against Aaron Rodgers and the Jets, and also hosts the Chiefs for a Super Bowl rematch.

Philadelphia Eagles: 12–5 

Wins: vs. Packers, vs. Falcons, at Saints, vs. Browns, at Giants, vs. Jaguars, vs. Commanders, at Ravens, vs. Panthers, vs. Steelers, vs. Cowboys, vs. Giants

Losses: at Buccaneers, at Bengals, at Cowboys, at Rams, at Commanders 

The Eagles don’t have to deal with a first-place schedule because of their second-half collapse last season. But their schedule won’t be easy, with tough road games against the Rams, Ravens and Bengals. They also have to host the Browns, Packers and Steelers for difficult non-divisional games. But Philadelphia revamped its defense after drafting defensive backs Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean and added another offensive playmaker in running back Saquon Barkley. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles return to the Super Bowl after a sluggish ending to the 2023 season.

Atlanta Falcons: 12–5

Wins: vs. Steelers, vs. Saints, vs. Buccaneers, at Panthers, vs. Seahawks, vs. Cowboys, at Broncos, vs. Chargers, at Vikings, vs. Giants, at Commanders, vs. Panthers

Losses: at Eagles, vs. Chiefs, at Buccaneers, at Saints, at Raiders 

The new-look Falcons have plenty of quarterback drama after drafting Michael Penix Jr. in the first round on the heels of handing Kirk Cousins a four-year, $180 contract. But there won’t be a quarterback competition this summer, with Cousins expected to lead a talented offense that features Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Drama aside, the Falcons have plenty of talent on both sides to win the NFC South and return to the postseason for the first time since 2017. Raheem Morris’s team, however, has a challenging home slate with games against the Cowboys and Chiefs.

Los Angeles Rams: 11–6

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford hands the ball to running back Kyren Williams.
The Rams will seek to stay at the top of the NFC after Aaron Donald's retirement. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Wins: vs. 49ers, at Bears, vs. Packers, vs. Raiders, vs. Vikings, at Seahawks, vs. Dolphins, at Patriots, vs. Eagles, at Saints, vs. Cardinals, 

Losses: at Lions, at Cardinals, vs. Bills, at 49ers, at Jets, vs. Seahawks

The Rams have a massive void to fill after Aaron Donald’s retirement. But they prioritized the defensive side this offseason, with the draft selections of Jared Verse and Braden Fiske and the signings of Tre’Davious White and Kamren Curl. If the defense struggles without Donald, the Rams have the firepower to keep pace against the Packers, Eagles, Bills and Dolphins, four teams that are slated to play at SoFi Stadium. The trio of Matthew Stafford, Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams might need to do the heavy lifting in 2024.

Chicago Bears: 11–6

Wins: vs. Titans, at Texans, vs. Panthers, Jaguars, at Cardinals, vs. Patriots, vs. Packers, vs. Vikings, at Vikings, vs. Lions, vs. Seahawks

Losses: at Colts, vs. Rams, at Commanders, at Lions, at 49ers, at Packers

The Bears will be a trendy playoff pick thanks to the arrivals of Williams and wide receiver Keenan Allen. Williams will have NFC North QB matchups against Jared Goff, Jordan Love and possibly fellow rookie J.J. McCarthy. If Williams gets off to a hot start, the Bears might live up to the high expectations in the Windy City this season. But Chicago’s defense will also have to step up, especially against the high-scoring offenses of the 49ers, Rams and Texans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 10–7

Wins: vs. Commanders, vs. Broncos, vs. Eagles, vs. Falcons, at Giants, at Panthers, vs. Raiders, at Chargers, vs. Panthers, vs. Saints 

Losses: at Lions, at Falcons, at Saints, vs. Ravens, at Chiefs, vs. 49ers, at Cowboys

The Buccaneers received a career year from Baker Mayfield last season, but the team took a hit after the departure of offensive play-caller Dave Canales, now with the Panthers. Tampa Bay adjusted by making sure Mayfield has a sturdy offensive line and many weapons. If Mayfield’s 2023 season wasn’t a fluke, the NFC South could be a three-team race. But Tampa Bay has a daunting schedule, with road games in Dallas, Kansas City and Detroit.

Arizona Cardinals: 9–8

Wins: vs. Rams, vs. Commanders, vs. Chargers, at Dolphins, vs. Jets, at Seahawks, at Vikings, vs. Patriots, at Panthers 

Losses: at Bills, vs. Lions, at 49ers, at Packers, vs. Bears, vs. Seahawks, at Rams, vs. 49ers 

The Cardinals could surprise many if the rookie Harrison delivers a dominant first season. But they’re going to need Kyler Murray to play like a top-10 quarterback after a few down seasons. With a revamped roster, the Cardinals could take advantage of the last-place schedule. They’ll get to face the Patriots and Panthers, but perhaps those two teams could also surprise many this season. Arizona is going to need coach Jonathan Gannon to put together a productive defense for this team to make real noise in the competitive NFC West.

Washington Commanders: 9–8

LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels poses after being selected by the Washington Commanders in the 2024 NFL draft.
Daniels will lead the Commanders into a new era in 2024 under a new head coach in Quinn. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wins: vs. Giants, vs. Panthers, vs. Bears, at Giants, vs. Steelers, vs. Cowboys, vs. Titans, at Saints, vs. Eagles

Losses: at Buccaneers, at Bengals, at Cardinals, vs. Browns, at Ravens, at Eagles, vs. Falcons, at Cowboys 

There’s plenty to like about the Commanders after a busy offseason with a new owner, general manager and coach. With the savvy moves, rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels could deliver a dynamic season to keep Washington in the playoff hunt most of the season. But the Commanders will need to handle business in a competitive NFC East, including against the Dallas Cowboys, the former team of Dan Quinn, who poached many of the Cowboys’ top free agents in March. If Quinn gets the defense to play at a high level, expect Washington to fight for a wild-card spot.

New Orleans Saints: 8–9

Wins: vs. Panthers, vs. Buccaneers, vs. Broncos, vs. Falcons, vs. Browns, at Giants, at Packers, vs. Raiders

Losses: at Cowboys, vs. Eagles, at Falcons, at Chiefs, at Chargers, at Panthers, vs. Rams, vs. Commanders, at Buccaneers 

The Saints are hoping for better results during their second season with Derek Carr as the starting signal-caller. If the offensive line holds up, Carr can pick up where he left off late last season, which included many downfield completions to wide receivers Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. They could find themselves in high-scoring games against the Eagles, Rams, Chiefs, Cowboys and Packers. The defense could be better with New Orleans adding Chase Young and Willie Gay in free agency.

Green Bay Packers: 8–9

Wins: at Titans, vs. Vikings, vs. Cardinals, at Jaguars, vs. Lions, vs. Dolphins, at Seahawks, vs. Bears 

Losses: at Eagles, vs. Colts, at Rams, vs. Texans, at Bears, vs. 49ers, at Lions, vs. Saints, at Vikings

The Packers won’t surprise teams this year after the breakout season from Jordan Love. They’ll get opportunities to prove last year wasn’t a fluke with intriguing home games against the Texans and 49ers. They also face the Rams and Eagles for two road games that could be playoff previews. But for Green Bay to return to the postseason, it’s going to need the offensive line to step up and for running back Josh Jacobs to quickly find a rhythm with his new team. The Packers could be a surprise team to miss the postseason if the NFC North turns out to be one of the better divisions.

Dallas Cowboys: 7–10

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott walks off the field after a playoff loss.
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys face a challenging schedule in 2024. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Wins: at Browns, vs. Saints, at Giants, vs. Eagles, at Panthers, vs. Buccaneers, vs. Commanders

Losses: vs. Ravens, at Steelers, vs. Lions, at 49ers, at Falcons, vs. Texans, at Commanders, vs. Giants, vs. Bengals, at Eagles

The defending NFC East champions have a daunting schedule, with road games vs. the 49ers and Steelers and home games vs. the Ravens, Bengals, Texans and Lions. The Cowboys should be competitive in most games because of their core group of Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs. But the Cowboys have contract dilemmas with three of their four star players, and coach Mike McCarthy could find himself on the hot seat heading into a make-or-break season in Dallas.

Seattle Seahawks: 6–11

Wins: vs. Broncos, at Patriots, at 49ers, vs. Cardinals, vs. Vikings, at Rams

Losses: vs. Dolphins, at Lions, vs. Giants, vs. 49ers, at Falcons, vs. Bills, vs. Rams, at Jets, at Cardinals, vs. Packers, at Bears

After 14 years, the Seahawks won’t be coached by Pete Carroll this season. He was fired after a disappointing season for a team loaded with talent on both sides of the football. New coach Mike Macdonald is tasked with getting the star players on the same page, especially on the defensive side. Macdonald operated one of the best defenses in the NFL as the defensive coordinator for the Ravens, but he could have a difficult first season with a difficult slate ahead of him.

New York Giants: 4–13

Wins vs. Vikings, at Seahawks, at Panthers, at Cowboys 

Losses: at Commanders, at Browns, vs. Cowboys, vs. Bengals, vs. Eagles, at Steelers, vs. Commanders, vs. Buccaneers, vs. Saints, vs. Ravens, at Falcons, vs. Colts, at Eagles

The Giants are banking on a bounce-back year from Daniel Jones, who had his 2023 season cut short due to a torn ACL. They will have to host the Saints, Buccaneers, Ravens, Bengals and Colts for difficult home games. But New York could hang with the best teams because of their ferocious defensive front led by edge rusher Brian Burns, who joined the Giants in March after being traded by the Panthers. If Jones quickly establishes a connection with rookie wide receiver Malik Nabers, the Giants could prove the naysayers wrong.

Minnesota Vikings: 3–14

Wins: vs. Colts, vs. Jaguars, vs. Packers

Losses: at Giants, vs. 49ers, vs. Texans, at Packers, vs. Jets, vs. Lions, at Rams, vs. Titans, at Bears, vs. Cardinals, vs. Falcons, vs. Bears, at Seahawks, at Lions

Analysis: The Vikings will open training camp with a quarterback competition between veteran newcomer Sam Darnold and rookie J.J. McCarthy. If McCarthy isn’t ready to be the immediate starter, the Vikings’ offense could take a hit this season with Darnold, who struggled with the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers early in his career. But the Vikings added plenty of talent on the defensive side to possibly make up for the adjustment year the offense might have without Kirk Cousins. Jonathan Greenard and rookie Dallas Turner form the new passing-rushing duo in Minnesota.

Carolina Panthers: 3–14

Wins: at Raiders, at Broncos, vs. Saints

Losses: at Saints, vs. Chargers, vs. Bengals, at Bears, vs. Falcons, at Commanders, vs. Giants, vs. Chiefs, vs. Buccaneers, at Eagles, vs. Cowboys, vs. Cardinals, at Buccaneers, at Falcons

The Panthers are banking on Canales to ignite Bryce Young’s career the same way he did for Baker Mayfield and Geno Smith. Young, the 2023 No. 1 pick, is set up to succeed in Year 2 with an offensive guru calling plays and a revamped receiving corps that added Diontae Johnson and rookie Xavier Legette. But with so much inexperience and uncertainty, this roster might be a year away from competing with the other teams in the division.

Gilberto Manzano