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Patriots 2022 Schedule - Most Anticipated Non-Divisional Matchups

While the New England Patriots will face stern competition from their AFC East rivals, their 2022 schedule features some intriguing non-divisional matchups, as well.

The 2022 NFL Season slate has been set.

In a multiple-hour, primetime event on Thursday evening, May 12, 2022, the league officially revealed the regular season schedules of its 32 teams…including the New England Patriots.

The Patriots hope to continue some of the positive momentum the team had begun to accumulate in the previous season. New England overcame a 2-4 start to the 2021 NFL season, to finish with a 10-7 record and earned a playoff berth after a one-year absence.

Still, the Pats face a great deal of questions as they head into 2022. Despite a seven-game win streak which briefly returned New England to the top of the conference standings, a late-season slide caused a slip in the standings. The Pats season came to a dismal finish on Wild Card weekend with a 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

While the team will face stern competition from their AFC East rivals the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, here is a look at some of the most anticipated non-divisional matchups in 2022.

Home Opener — Week 3— Baltimore Ravens

Date: Sunday, September 25

Time: 1:00pm

Place: Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Massachusetts

New England will open the 2022 season away from the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium. The Pats will play two road games (week 1 at Miami and week 2 at Pittsburgh), before returning home to host head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens. Despite starting the 2021 season 8–3, the Ravens suffered a late-season collapse, capped by a six-game losing streak in which five of the losses were by a combined eight points. Baltimore finished the season with an 8-9 record, their first losing season since 2015.

It should be noted that the Ravens were decimated by numerous injuries in 2021, including losing quarterback Lamar Jackson for the final four games of the season due to an ankle injury. The Ravens ended the season with a league high 19 players on injured reserve. While Baltimore hopes to enjoy better health in 2022, they will be without the services of wideout Marquise Brown. Brown, along with the Ravens third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft were traded to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd pick in the first round. Still, the Ravens possess enough talent on both sides of the ball [primarily on defense] for New England’s 2022 home opener to be a tough matchup.

Patriots Mac Jones (10), Kendrick Bourne (84)
Patriots TE Hunter Henry
Patriots RB Damien Harris

Week 15 — Minnesota Vikings

Date: Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving)

Time: 8:20pm

Place: U.S. Bank Stadium; Minneapolis, Minnesota

While the Vikings present a formidable challenge, the allure of this Week 15 matchup is the Patriots returning to game play on the Thanksgiving holiday. The Pats will suit up on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2012, a matchup with the New York Jets which featured Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez’s infamous ‘butt fumble.’ Minnesota failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season in 2021, following a Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The day after the team's last game of the season, the Vikings fired coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman.

Under new head coach Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota will provide its challenges for New England. Defensively, the Pats will attempt to neutralize quarterback Kirk Cousins by taking away some of his offensive weapons including running back Dalvin Cook and receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson…a task that is easier said than done. 

Week 9 — Indianapolis Colts

Date: Sunday, November 6

Time: 1:00pm

Place: Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Massachusetts

New England may be entering this matchup with a bit of revenge in mind. In 2021, the two teams met in a week 15 matchup that started a downturn in the Patriots playoff hopes. On a night in which the usually fundamentally-sound Pats made too many uncharacteristic mistakes, New England was unable to overcome an early 20-0 deficit. Quarterback Mac Jones completed 26 of 45 passes, throwing for 299 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. However, MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor ran for 170 yards and scored on a 67-yard fourth-quarter run with 2:01 left to help the Indianapolis Colts secure a 27-17 victory over the Patriots on Saturday night.

In 2022, Indianapolis will feature a new quarterback, as Matt Ryan takes over for the jettisoned Carson Wentz. With Taylor once again expected to be the crown jewel in the Colts’ offense, the Colts stifling defense should once again provide the Pats with all they can handle during this week nine matchup in Foxboro.

Week 16 — Cincinnati Bengals

Date: Saturday, December 24

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Time: 1:00pm

Place: Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Massachusetts

Patriots fans will unwrap an early Christmas present when quarterback Joe Burrow, star wideout Ja’Marr Chase and the defending AFC Champion Bengals come to town. Cincinnati finished with a 10–7 record, earning their first winning season, first playoff appearance, and first AFC North title since 2015. It also marked their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988, when they lost Super Bowl XXIII. Burrow became the first second-year quarterback since Russell Wilson in 2013 to reach a Super Bowl, and the first No. 1-picked quarterback to do so within their first two seasons.

Despite a heartbreaking 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, the Bengals will bring plenty of offensive firepower and defensive toughness to New England. 

Will it, however, be enough to place a ‘Bah, Humbug’ on the Patriots’ holiday plans?

Patriots LB Matt Judon
patriots DT Christian Barmore
Patriots S Adrian Phillips

Week 4 — Green Bay Packers

Date: Sunday, October 2

Time: 4:25pm

Place: Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wisconsin

New England gets a Sunday afternoon matchup with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the perennial NFC powerhouse in Green Bay. The Packers finished the 2021 campaign with a 13-4, earning the NFC’s top playoff seed. However, the Pack’s regular season momentum did not carry over into the playoffs, evidenced by their divisional-round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The last meeting between these two teams came in 2018, a 31-17 victory by the Tom Brady-led Patriots at Gillette Stadium. This game should mark the first matchup between Rodgers and Mac Jones. Despite the loss of receiver Devante Adams, Green Bay should still provide a notable test for New England’s defense, led by Rodgers, rookie receiver Christian Watson and running back Aaron Jones.

Week 15 — Las Vegas Raiders

Date: Sunday, December 18

Time: 8:20pm

Place: Allegiant Stadium; Paradise, Nevada

‘Sunday night in Paradise’ has a night ring to it.

Putting aside the hype of the McDaniels and company reunion for a moment, this should be a great matchup between two playoff teams from 2021.

Despite both teams being eliminated in the wild card round of the postseason tournament, a potential quarterback battle between Jones and Las Vegas’ Derek Carr could make for a contest to remember. Incumbent running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller, are joined by former Packers star receiver Davante Adams in an energized Raiders offense, while pass rush extraordinaire Chandler Jones fortifies the ‘silver and black’s’ defense.

Still, the story of this matchup is McDaniels versus Belichick. Going up against former companions is nothing new for the Patriots head coach. During his tenure in New England, Belichick has faced his former Patriots players or assistant coaches 28 times. His record in such games is 15-13.

The last time Belichick faced off against McDaniels in a battle of head coaches, it was the protégés who earned the 20-17 overtime win over his former club and mentor in Week 5 of the 2009 regular season in his first year with the Denver Broncos.

Will lightning strike twice for McDaniels in 2022?

Looks like we will see ‘what happens in Vegas’ in late December.