February 17, 2014

2014 NFL Strength of Schedule: Looking at the Easiest Path to the Playoffs

The NFL schedule can reveal a lot of things about a team and the success they may have in the upcoming season. Although they have not announced the times and the dates yet, the strength of schedule has already been revealed. This speaks volumes to some for next season and how the teams will succeed.

Here’s the 2014 strength of schedule for each NFL team (Combined 2013 record of all 16 opponents, combined winning percentage).

1. Oakland Raiders: 148-108, .578

2. Denver Broncos: 146-110, .570

3. St. Louis Rams: 144-111-1, .564

T-4. San Diego Chargers: 144-112, .563

T-4. San Francisco 49ers: 144-112, .563

6. Seattle Seahawks: 143-112-1, .561

7. Kansas City Chiefs: 143-113, .559

8.Arizona Cardinals: 140-116, .547

9. New York Jets: 132-122-2, .520

10. New England Patriots: 131-123-2, .516

11. Atlanta Falcons: 130-124-2 .512

12. Miami Dolphins: 129-125-2, .508

13. Green Bay Packers: 128-126-2, .504

14. Buffalo Bills: 127-127-2, .500

15. Chicago Bears: 125-127-4, .496

16. Detroit Lions: 124-128-4, .492

17. Washington Redskins: 125-130-1, .490

18. Dallas Cowboys: 125-131, .488

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 123-131-2, .484

20. Philadelphia Eagles: 122-133-1, .479

21. Minnesota Vikings: 121-133-2, .477

22. Carolina Panthers: 120-134-2, .473

T-23. Cincinnati Bengals: 120-136, .469

T-23. Pittsburgh Steelers: 120-136, .469

T-23. New Orleans Saints: 119-135-2 .469

T-26. Cleveland Browns: 119-137, .465

T-26. New York Giants: 119-137, .465

28. Baltimore Ravens: 117-139, .461

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: 116-140, .453

30. Houston Texans: 113-143, .441

31. Tennessee Titans: 112-144, .438

32. Indianapolis Colts: 110-146, .430

The Colts 2014 opponents have a combined 2013 record of 110-146. The Raiders 2014 opponents have a combined record of 148-108. This is something that NFL fans look for as they eagerly await the NFL draft as well as the free agent moves in the league.

After all of this strength of schedule talk, the obvious question here is: Does strength of schedule actually mean anything? Going into the 2013 season, the Carolina Panthers had the toughest strength of schedule. After the 2013 season was over though, the Panthers had only played the 17th most difficult schedule.

A lot of that had to do with the fact that Carolina played the Falcons twice. Going into 2013, the Panthers strength of schedule was calculated using the Falcons 2012 record of 13-3. After 2013, it was calculated using the Falcons 2013 record of 4-12.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended up playing the most difficult schedule in 2013, but before the season, they were only projected to play the 17th hardest schedule. So in reality this may not mean much now, but it is something that is very interesting to look at while we wait for the 2014 season to kickoff.

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Cole Ryan

Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.

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