The NFL season is quickly approaching and I will once again be producing divisional previews for the upcoming season. While preparing for those, it’s a necessary step to determine how tough each team’s road will be this season. In other words, I created a projected NFL strength of schedule. I have seen other sites do this by using last year’s record but that is simply a terrible way to do it. Below are the 32 NFL teams ranked from hardest schedule to easiest along with the number of wins they are projected to gain/lose based solely on playing their schedule.
The 49ers lead off our list with the hardest schedule of the 32 teams; good luck Chip Kelly. A true .500 team would only be favored in 3 of the 16 games on San Francisco’s schedule: home games against the Rams, Bucs, and Saints. The remaining home games for the 49ers include the Cowboys, Cardinals, Patriots, Jets, and Seahawks. At least you still have the Warriors, I guess. Other teams that have a tough road ahead include the Redskins, Eagles, Falcons, and Jets.
On the other end of the spectrum are the Dallas Cowboys who gain nearly half a win with their 2016 schedule. A .500 team would have a 45% chance of winning in 13 of the 16 games the Cowboys play this year. The three tough games for Big D are road tests against the Packers, Steelers, and Vikings. Other teams with an easy schedule include the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks, and Patriots.