With the 2017 NFL season ready to kick-off in less than three months, here’s a little NFL stat to whet your appetite.
Prior to each season NFL experts take a look at the schedule and based on last year’s records, analyze which teams will have the “easiest” and “hardest” schedules in the upcoming season. It’s usually based on the winning percentage the previous year of the opponents on their schedule. Well, here’s a different take on that.
Following are the games each NFL team will play in 2017 against opponents that made the playoffs in 2016 (those teams were New England, Miami, Pittsburgh, Houston, Kansas City and Oakland in the AFC; Dallas, the New York Giants, Green Bay, Detroit, Atlanta and Seattle in the NFC) and games each team will play this season versus teams that won three or fewer games in 2016 (Chicago, Cleveland, Jacksonville and San Francisco).
In terms of analyzing these numbers, you could say that teams who face the fewest playoff teams from 2016 and the most three-win-or-fewer teams from 2016 will have the easiest schedule in 2017. Using that premise, it appears that the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts have the “easiest” schedules this season. Both will play only four games against teams that made the playoffs last season (tied for fewest of the 32 teams) and will play four games each against teams that had three or fewer wins in ’16 (tied for most in that category as well).
When it comes to the “hardest” schedule, consider Denver and Kansas City. Both will play eight games (half their regular season schedule) against teams that made the playoffs in 2016 while getting no games this season against teams that won three or fewer games in 2016.
Games in 2017 against teams that made the playoffs in 2016
8: Denver, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers
7: Baltimore, Buffalo, Dallas, New England, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Washington
6: Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Oakland, Tennessee,
5: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, L.A. Rams, Miami, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle
4: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville
Games in 2017 against teams that won three or fewer games in 2016
0: Buffalo, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, New England, Oakland
1: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington
2: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, L.A. Chargers, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia, San Francisco
3: Arizona, Detroit, Green Bay, L.A. Rams, Minnesota, Seattle
4: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Tennessee