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Strength of Schedule at a Glance

 

Camps are almost here. Can you feel it? I’m starting to get really excited about the upcoming season. Every year it feels like the best season yet and I’m my anticipation for the season grows stronger. In this edition of the

Brew Crew Corner, we look at Strength of Schedule at a glance.

 

One of the key factors I look at when putting together my draft board is looking at the strength of schedule of teams. I first look at the overall strength of schedule to get a feel for what teams are up against heading into the season. I then look at individual positions and how they will perform week to week.

 

In Part I of SOS 08, we will look at the overall team’s opponents win vs. losses.

 

2008 NFL STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE FOR TEAMS

Group

Team

2007 Opponent win pct.

2007 Opponent Wins

2007 Opponent   Losses

A

Patriots

0.387

99

157

 

Chargers

0.422

108

148

B

Raiders

0.438

112

144

 

Broncos

0.445

114

142

 

Saints

0.449

115

141

 

Bills

0.449

115

141

C

Chiefs

0.453

116

140

 

Jets

0.457

117

139

 

Falcons

0.461

118

138

 

Panthers

0.465

119

137

 

Dolphins

0.465

119

137

 

Cardinals

0.465

119

137

 

Buccaneers

0.469

120

136

D

Seahawks

0.477

122

134

 

49ers

0.484

124

132

 

Rams

0.488

125

131

E

Giants

0.52

133

123

 

Eagles

0.52

133

123

 

Cowboys

0.523

134

122

 

Redskins

0.523

134

122

F

Packers

0.531

136

120

 

Bears

0.531

136

120

 

Titans

0.543

139

117

 

Lions

0.543

139

117

G

Browns

0.547

140

116

 

Texans

0.547

140

116

 

Bengals

0.547

140

116

 

Ravens

0.551

141

115

 

Vikings

0.551

141

115

 

Jaguars

0.559

143

113

H

Colts

0.594

152

104

 

Steelers

0.598

153

103

 

 

As you look at the chart, I have divided them into groups from A-H into colors separated every 5 total wins.

 

Last years’ AFC Championship game featured the Chargers against the Patriots. This year they each have the easiest schedule. The Patriots, who faced scrutiny all season long for Spy Gate, finished with a 16-0 record and have a good chance to repeat that record as they face the weakest schedule in the league. That’s equivalent to facing teams that are 6-10 all year long. The Chargers who had 11 wins last year have a good chance of matching or surpassing that win total provided their key players can return healthy. Everyone will be looking at their week 6 match-up as

New England faces 4 teams who finished with a combined losing record of 14-50.

 

Let us look at the Group B,

Oakland,

New Orleans,

Denver and

Buffalo who all missed the playoffs last year. Also keep in mind that all of them except

Oakland finished with a 7-9 record and could easily improve this year to make a run at the playoffs. I see a bounce back year for

New Orleans who made a ton of moves this off season. The Broncos and Bills will have a harder time as they have strong teams ahead of them leading the division. They will have to make it as a Wild Card unless the Patriots and Chargers (Group A, who has the easiest schedules) struggle this year.

 

Group C has three teams who finished with 4-12 in

Kansas City,

Atlanta and the New York Jets.

Miami ended the season at 1-15 while

Arizona finished 8-8 and

Tampa

Bay is the only one in this group to make the playoffs. They all face a favorable schedule this year. However, teams like

Miami,

Kansas City and

Atlanta are in serious rebuilding while the Jets and the Cardinals are trying to get over the hump.

 

This is when the schedule starts getting tough as the teams in Group D face close to .500 teams. All three teams are in the same division but

Seattle is the only team in this group to make it to the playoffs last year. Unless things change, it will pretty much shake out the same way. I’m worried about

Seattle’s receiving group and feel if they can’t get the offense moving, the Cardinals may have a chance to take the division.

 

Group E is the first group that will face teams averaging above .500. Every team in this group is in the NFC East. 3 of the 4 teams made the playoffs lead by the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. This division will be tough again and the teams will slug it out for playoff spots.

 

Group F has two teams,

Green Bay and

Tennessee who will face a harder road to return to the playoffs. While the other two teams,

Detroit and

Chicago may struggle to finish .500.

Green Bay is currently dealing with the Favre Saga which is a distraction right now to the team.

Tennessee has not addressed the receiving group but did add

Alge Crumpler who will be

Vince Young‘s security outlet if Crumpler can stay healthy.

 

Group G has the second largest group who face a very hard road. Teams they face average a record of 9-7. Of this group, only

Jacksonville made the playoffs last year.

Cleveland had ten wins while

Minnesota and

Houston finished at .500.

Cincinnati and

Baltimore each had a rough season finishing at below .500 but facing another very tough schedule won’t be easy for them to turn things around. Was that

Chad I heard slamming his cleats in the locker?

 

The last group, Group H has two teams,

Indianapolis and

Pittsburgh. These two recent Super Bowl teams will be in the hunt for the playoffs. They face the hardest schedule by far as

Indianapolis faces 6 Playoff teams from last year, 8 games altogether as they play

Jacksonville and

Tennessee twice.

Pittsburgh faces an even harder schedule then

Indianapolis as they play 8 playoff teams from last year and only 4 games against below .500 teams. The hardest stretch in the NFL will be for

Pittsburgh in weeks 8-14 where they play 7 of these teams out of 9 games. At

Jacksonville, home against New York Giants, at

Washington, home against

Indianapolis, home against

San Diego, at New England and then home against

Dallas makes that a very tough group of games. Sandwiched in these games are the home and away series against

Cincinnati which will be tough as well.

 

Strength of schedule can be a very effective Fantasy Football tool to use as you will be faced with juggling your line up to fill holes left by injuries and bye weeks. By using SOS you can select players that will have a better chance to score more points for you.

 

My next articles will look at SOS by position as the overall Strength of schedule does not always paint the full picture. For instance, the Vikings last year had the #1 run defense in the league giving up just 74.1 yds a game. They also had the leagues #32 pass defense giving up 264.1 yds a game. This would mean your RB would have a very tough game facing this defense but your QB and WR could have a very favorable match up against the same defense. With the addition of

Jerad Allen, the Vikings run defense will remain one of the best in the league in 2008.

 

Good Luck with your upcoming drafts and thanks again for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

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