Monday, March 17, 2008

Irrelevant but Irritating

This title could describe so very many many things in life (Keith Oberman, The Jacksonville Jaguars, TPS Reports), but in this case it describes the strength of schedule for next year's NFL season. Listen, I know it doesn't really matter because lots of teams look good one year only to suck the next year, so we don't really know if a schedule is tough or not before hand. The Colts play twice against 8-8 Houston, who could easily regress to 5-11. They play 10-6 Cleveland who I can't see winning more than 6 games next year. Still, it sucks to see your team sitting with the 2nd hardest schedule in the NFL based on last year's records (the Steelers have a harder one mostly because they play us and we play them). Ultimately, the entire AFC South is in the top 8, so the disadvantage won't be too great.

So what's irritating about all this...?

The Pats have the NFL's easiest schedule. Their opponents combine for a winning percentage of .387. The Chargers schedule is 2nd easiest.



Lawton said...

Sadly, you can pretty much lock New England and San Diego for the #1 and #2 spots. The AFC South and the AFC North clog the top 9 toughest schedules.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Well, I don't know that this is exactly true. S.o.S in the NFL is based on the previous year's finish, and teams can often swing wildly from year to year. The AFC South and North crossed with the NFC South and West last year, and those divisions were especially bad. I would expect the Jags and Browns to regress considerably next year. Likewise, the Broncos may well improve by 3 or 4 games, thus making the AFC West tougher than it was last year.

I don't know that this list means that much...but I would certainly rather have it look different at this point!

Bob M. said...

I'd call it irritating and slightly relevant.
I think DZ's point about the Broncos is the most important takeaway: Okay, so you have the Broncos of 2007: were they ever a serious threat to the Colts or Pats? No. They might improve record-wise due to SOS, but be no better as an actual team on the field. So at 9-10 wins are they a threat to the top teams? Still no. And if the Jets and Fins rebound with 8 more wins in aggregate, making NE's schedule tougher on paper, does that mean either of those teams was more of a threat to NE? Not in my book.

To repeat what I have said a lot, facing Roethlisberger worries me more than facing Brady.

Where SOS does count IMHO is in how battered a team is crossing the finish line. I'd rather be rested, the past 3 SB engames notwistanding (with Pitt struggling and winning it all, then us, then NYG--none of those teams could afford to rest much at the end, and all took home the prize).

Okay, using the Dungy trend theory (1 is an isolated event, 2 is coincidence, 3 is a trend) maybe it IS irrelevant. Whew. Back to square 1. Not to step on the toes of hoops and bball fans, but is it August yet?

John said...

Not to step on the toes of hoops and bball fans, but is it August yet?

Those still exist?

JC said...


Please. You don't fear Roethislberger.

If you say you do you're a a spade a spade.

Dave said...

Totally agree with you about the Browns...although I'm not sure that anything much better than 9-7 will win the AFC North. The scariest thing for the AFC North is that they not only face the 8-8 or better South but also the 8-8 NFC East.