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Rams 2024 opponent breakdown: New England Patriots, Week 11

Our offseason opponent breakdown series on continues with us getting caught up on Los Angeles' Week 11 Night road opponent, the New England Patriots (Nov. 17, 10 a.m. PT on FOX).

The Rams' 2024 schedule release is presented by Confirmed360.



In what would be Bill Belichick's final season as head coach, New England experienced a challenging 2023 season.

The Patriots lost six of their first eight games, entering their Week 11 bye with a 2-8 overall record. Quarterback and 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones started the first 11 games before being benched for backup Bailey Zappe. Even with Zappe under center, the offense struggled to find consistency, and finished the season averaging the third-fewest total yards of offense per game and tied with the Panthers for the fewest points per game in the NFL.

On defense, New England ranked 14th in points per game allowed and seventh in total yards per game allowed, but that couldn't overcome its issues on the other side of the ball.

By the end of the season, the Patriots clinched the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Key changes

New England parted ways with Belichick, who had been the team's head coach since 2000, and installed former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo – who coached the position on Belichick's staff – as his successor.

Mayo's staff included 17 new additions, nine of which were on the offensive side.

The Patriots also started over at quarterback. Jones was traded to the Jaguars, veteran Jacoby Brissett was signed in free agency, and they drafted North Carolina's Drake Maye with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.

Head coach

Mayo enters his first season as head coach of the Patriots.

What to watch for

What does the Patriots' new offense look like, and will it be Maye leading it?

Similar to Week 8 against the Vikings, the Rams may not know who will be leading the Patriots' offense until closer to Week 11. As of right now, the Bears' Caleb Williams is the only rookie entrenched as the starter – or publicly declared so – while the others are not on specific timelines or thresholds.

The Rams have seen Brissett twice before; in 2017 as the backup to Andrew Luck (three pass attempts in for the Colts in a blowout 46-9 loss to the Rams) and more recently in 2023 with the Commanders, stepping in for a benched Sam Howell to complete 8 of 10 pass attempts for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns in a near-fourth quarter rally (Rams held on to win 28-20).

So, Los Angeles has an idea of what Brissett can do, but not as much Maye. And it's not just the quarterbacks that will be different. New England's offense will also be schematically different with Van Pelt - one of those nine new hires – overseeing the offense. Like Brissett, though, L.A. should have an idea of Van Pelt's vision for New England given he just spent the previous four seasons serving as the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator. The Rams played the Browns in Week 13 last season.

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