Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws the ball in the fourth quarter during the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Every year, we tend to look long and hard at the NFL’s strength of schedule. But does it deserve that much attention? Teams often change so much from year to year that by the end of the season, the degree of difficulty on any team’s schedule is often unrecognizable from what it looked like in the preseason.
Regardless, it’s always interesting to take a peek, even before the actual schedule comes out. We do know who each team’s opponents will be next season, so we are able to put together a strength of schedule list. For the teams of the AFC North, arguably the best division in the NFL last season, things are looking pretty brutal.
The Steelers have the toughest schedule of all 32 teams, facing a group with a combined winning percentage of .579. The Bengals are number two at .563, the Browns are ninth at .543. and the Ravens are 11th at .539. Much of this has something to do with the fact that they must play each other twice, of course.
The AFC North also faces off with the AFC West, which features premium opponents like the Broncos, Chiefs, and Chargers. All three won 9+ games last season. The Ravens must also face the Super Bowl losing Seahawks and the annually tough Arizona Cardinals. All of these teams are pretty good bets to be tough opponents once again in 2015.
If the Ravens are going to contend for another Super Bowl title this coming season, they will have to do it the hard way. While I usually pay little attention to strength of schedule, it’s hard to believe that most of the team’s 2015 opponents are going to regress in a big way this coming season. But hey, you have to beat the best to be the best, right?
Here’s the entire 2015 NFL strength of schedule for all 32 teams:
|Team||Record of 2015 opponents||Strength of Schedule|
|San Francisco 49ers||143-112-1||.561|
|St. Louis Rams||141-114-1||.553|
|Kansas City Chiefs||139-116-1||.545|
|Green Bay Packers||135-120-1||.529|
|San Diego Chargers||132-123-1||.518|
|New York Jets||125-131||.488|
|New York Giants||122-133-1||.478|
|New England Patriots||122-134||.477|
|New Orleans Saints||109-145-2||.429|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||108-146-2||.425|
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