FanPost

Strength of what??

 

Every year we see articles written about which teams have the hardest schedules for the upcoming season.

I always thought it was a bunch of baloney malarkey hooey wrong.

Last year’s cellar-dwellers take division titles. Super Bowl runners-up don’t make the playoffs. Players retire, get traded, get injured.

To me, the whole premise seemed to be based on the false logic that “Boy, those teams were good last year, so when we play them this year, we better watch out.”

The only thing you have to watch out for is being fooled into thinking last year really matters.

I’ve listed below the rankings of what experts pretended each team’s 2009 strength of schedule would be and what it actually turned out to be. You’ll notice the experts were right three out of 32 times. They guessed right the Dolphins would have the toughest schedule, the Vikings would have the second easiest, and the Texans would be right around the middle. They missed on the 29 others, sometimes by a wide margin (the average was 9.4 places, about a third of the league).

The Ravens were predicted the have the fifth easiest schedule; they actually had the seventh most difficult. The Saints were predicted to have the eighth hardest schedule; they actually had the easiest schedule in the entire NFL.

Two points: 1) don’t rely on any strength of schedule that’s disseminated before the season begins, and 2) be careful of applying even a current-season strength of schedule. If I recall correctly, the Jags recently headed into a stretch of opponents with something like a 4-24 record, and left with four straight losses. (I’m not talking about the end of last year.)

Something else I noticed (if I’m interpreting this correctly) – there was a marked decrease in the variance of teams’ schedules. For instance, in 2008, the most difficult schedule faced 152 wins and the easiest faced 105. In 2009, the most difficult schedule faced 138 wins and the easiest faced a 107. Teams centered much more around the middle.

My argument is based only on 2008 and 2009. Maybe other seasons are different.

And if they’re predicting strength of schedule, they should predict each teams record and then use that to predict the strength of schedule, anyway.

So that’s why whenever I see an article that talks about the upcoming strength of schedule, I don’t read it. Except for this one, of course. Read this one.

I just thought I’d share my opinion and a little of the facts to support it.

p.s.- I’m pretty sure all the figures below are accurate. If a number is off, I apologize.

 

 

2009 PREDICTED PRETEND STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE                          

2009 ACTUAL STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE                  

Team

Wins - losses

Ties

2008 win pct

 

Team

Wins

Diff

Miami Dolphins

152-104

0

.594

 

Miami Dolphins

138

0

Carolina Panthers

151-104

1

.592

 

New York Giants

137

+8

New England Patriots

151-105

0

.590

 

Carolina Panthers

136

-1

Atlanta Falcons

150-105

1

.588

 

Oakland Raiders

135

+16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

148-107

1

.580

 

Denver Broncos

135

+14

Buffalo Bills

146-110

0

.570

 

Tennessee Titans

134

+8

New York Jets

145-110

1

.568

 

Baltimore Ravens

134

+21

New Orleans Saints

142-113

1

.557

 

Detroit Lions

134

+13

Philadelphia Eagles

137-119

0

.535

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

132

-4

New York Giants

134-120

2

.527

 

St. Louis Rams

132

+13

Dallas Cowboys

131-123

2

.516

 

Kansas City Chiefs

132

+6

Jacksonville Jaguars

132-124

0

.516

 

Cleveland Browns

131

+13

Indianapolis Colts

131-125

0

.512

 

New York Jets

131

-6

Tennessee Titans

130-126

0

.508

 

New England Patriots

127

-11

Houston Texans

129-126

1

.506

 

Houston Texans

127

0

Washington Redskins

125-129

2

.492

 

Buffalo Bills

127

-10

Kansas City Chiefs

123-131

2

.484

 

Atlanta Falcons

127

-13

San Diego Chargers

123-131

2

.484

 

Chicago Bears

127

+14

Denver Broncos

122-132

2

.480

 

Washington Redskins

126

-3

Oakland Raiders

122-132

2

.480

 

Cincinnati Bengals

126

+2

Detroit Lions

119-136

1

.467

 

Dallas Cowboys

125

-10

Cincinnati Bengals

119-137

0

.465

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

125

+7

St. Louis Rams

119-137

0

.465

 

Philadelphia Eagles

124

-14

Seattle Seahawks

117-139

0

.457

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

123

-12

Cleveland Browns

114-140

2

.449

 

San Francisco 49ers

121

+1

San Francisco 49ers

113-142

1

.443

 

Seattle Seahawks

121

-2

Arizona Cardinals

113-143

0

.441

 

Indianapolis Colts

117

-14

Baltimore Ravens

111-143

2

.438

 

San Diego Chargers

116

-10

Pittsburgh Steelers

110-144

2

.434

 

Green Bay Packers

113

+1

Green Bay Packers

109-146

1

.428

 

Arizona Cardinals

113

-3

Minnesota Vikings

107-148

1

.420

 

Minnesota Vikings

113

0

Chicago Bears

105-149

2

.414

 

New Orleans Saints

107

-24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actual 2009 Results [Team, 2009 record, opponents(wins)]

AFC East                  W                  L                  T

New England Patriots                  10                  6                  0                  HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), BUF(6), BUF(6), MIA(7), MIA(7), NYJ(7), NYJ(7), BAL(9), DEN(8)

New York Jets                  9                  7                  0                  HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), BUF(6), BUF(6), MIA(7), MIA(7), NE(10), NE(10), CIN(10), OAK(5)

Miami Dolphins                  7                  9                  0                  HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), BUF(6), BUF(6), NE(10), NE(10), NYJ(7), NYJ(7), PIT(9), SD(13)

Buffalo Bills                  6                  10                  0                  HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), MIA(7), MIA(7), NE(10), NE(10), NYJ(7), NYJ(7), CLE(5), KC(4)

(AFC East teams played teams from AFC South, NFC South)

 

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals                  10                  6                  0                  DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), BAL(9), BAL(9), CLE(5), CLE(5), PIT(9), PIT(9), NYJ(9), HOU(9)

Baltimore Ravens                  9                  7                  0                  DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), CIN(10), CIN(10), CLE(5), CLE(5), PIT(9), PIT(9), NE(10), IND(14)

Pittsburgh Steelers                  9                  7                  0                  DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), BAL(9), BAL(9), CIN(10), CIN(10), CLE(5), CLE(5), MIA(7), TEN(8)

Cleveland Browns                  5                  11                  0                  DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), BAL(9), BAL(9), CIN(10), CIN(10), PIT(9), PIT(9), BUF(6), JAX(7)

(AFC North teams played teams from AFC West, NFC North)

 

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts                  14                  2                  0                  BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), HOU(8), HOU(8), JAX(7), JAX(7), TEN(8), TEN(8) , BAL(9), DEN(8)

Houston Texans                  9                  7                  0                   BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), IND(14), IND(14), JAX(7), JAX(7), TEN(8), TEN(8) CIN(10), OAK(5)

Tennessee Titans                  8                  8                  0                   BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), HOU(8), HOU(8), IND(14), IND(14), JAX(7), JAX(7), PIT(9), SD(13)

Jacksonville Jaguars                  7                  9                  0                   BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), HOU(8), HOU(8), IND(14), IND(14), TEN(8), TEN(8) , CLE(5), KC(4)

(AFC South teams played teams from AFC East, NFC West)

 

AFC West

San Diego Chargers                  13                  3                  0                  BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), DEN(8), DEN(8), KC(4), KC(4), OAK(5), OAK(5), MIA(7), TEN(8)

Denver Broncos                  8                  8                  0                   BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), KC(4), KC(4), OAK(5), OAK(5), SD(13), SD(13) NE(10), IND(14)

Oakland Raiders                  5                  11                  0                   BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), DEN(8), DEN(8), KC(4), KC(4), SD(13), SD(13), NYJ(9), HOU(9)

Kansas City Chiefs                  4                  12                  0                   BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), DEN(8), DEN(8), OAK(5), OAK(5), SD(13), SD(13) , BUF(6), JAX(7)

(AFC West teams played teams from AFC North, NFC East)

 

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys                   11                  5                  0                  ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), NYG(8), NYG(8), PHI(11), PHI(11), WAS(4), WAS(4) , SEA(5), GB(110

Philadelphia Eagles                  11                  5                  0                  ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), DAL(11), DAL(11), NYG(8), NYG(8), WAS(4), WAS(4) ,SF(8), CHI(7)

New York Giants                  8                  8                  0                  ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), DAL(11), DAL(11), PHI(11), PHI(11), WAS(4), WAS(4) , ARI(10), MIN(12)

Washington Redskins                  4                  12                  0                  ATL(9), CAR(8), NO(13), TB(3), DEN(8), KC(4), OAK(5), SD(13), DAL(11), DAL(11), NYG(8), NYG(8), PHI(11), PHI(11) , STL(1), DET(2)

(NFC East teams played teams from NFC South, AFC West)

 

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings                  12                  4                  0                   ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), CHI(7), CHI(7), DET(2), DET(2), GB(11), GB(11) , NYG(8), CAR(8)

Green Bay Packers                  11                  5                  0                   ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), CHI(7), CHI(7), DET(2), DET(2), MIN(12), MIN(12) , DAL(11), TB(3)

Chicago Bears                  7                  9                  0                   ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), DET(2), DET(2), GB(11), GB(11), MIN(12), MIN(12) PHI(11), ATL(9)

Detroit Lions                  2                  12                  0                   ARI(10), SF(8), SEA(5), STL(1), BAL(9), CIN(10), CLE(5), PIT(9), CHI(7), CHI(7), GB(11), GB(11), MIN(12), MIN(12) , WAS(4), NO(13)

(NFC North teams played teams from NFC West, AFC North)

 

NFC South

New Orleans Saints                  13                  3                  0                  DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), ATL(9), ATL(9), CAR(8), CAR(8), TB(3), TB(3), STL(1), DET(2)

Atlanta Falcons                  9                  7                  0                  DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), CAR(8), CAR(8), NO(13), NO(13), TB(3), TB(3), SF(8), CHI(7)

Carolina Panthers                  8                  8                  0                  DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), ATL(9), ATL(9), NO(13), NO(13), TB(3), TB(3), ARI(10), MIN(12)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers                  3                  13                  0                  DAL(11), PHI(11), NYG(8), WAS(4), BUF(6), MIA(7), NE(10), NYJ(7), ATL(9), ATL(9), CAR(8), CAR(8), NO(13), NO(13), SEA(5), TB(3)

(NFC South teams played teams from NFC East, AFC East)

 

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals                  10                  6                  0                  CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), SF(8), SF(8), SEA(5), SEA(5), STL(1), STL(1), CAR(8), NYG(8)

San Francisco 49ers                  8                  8                  0                  CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), ARI(10), ARI(10), SEA(5), SEA(5), STL(1), STL(1), ATL(9), PHI(11)

Seattle Seahawks                  5                  11                  0                  CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), ARI(10), ARI(10), SF(8), SF(8), STL(1), STL(1), TB(3), DAL(11)

St. Louis Rams                  1                  15                  0                  CHI(7), DET(2), GB(11), MIN(12), HOU(8), IND(14), JAX(7), TEN(8), ARI(10), ARI(10), SF(8), SF(8), SEA(5), SEA(5), NO(13), WAS(4)

(NFC West teams played teams from NFC North, AFC South)

<!--EndFragment-->

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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