A few days ago the NFL put out its annual strength of schedule for every team in the league, and wouldn’t you know it, people are already analyzing it for every team in the league. Fans of the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are already bracing for the toughest schedules in the league, while the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers backers are doing cartwheels over their cakewalk schedules.
To anyone who thinks the schedule has doomed or given and edge to your favorite team, I say it’s complete rubbish. That’s right I said rubbish, as in garbage, because the truth is the strength of schedule makes zero sense, especially in February. Right now without free agency, the draft and training camp, how can any sane person take the ‘SOS’ argument seriously? The schedule means nothing if some team’s best player blows out a knee in preseason, so why make an issue out of it now?
Let’s also not forget that the NFL has tons of parity from week to week, never mind year to year, so no one has any idea which teams are going to be good next season. Looking back at the past few years, did anyone think the San Francisco 49ers would have been playing in the NFC Championship game last year with a rookie head coach and a bust at quarterback? And this season, did anyone believe the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts were primed for the playoffs? Maybe a select few people might have taken a stab in the dark and been right but that had nothing to do with the strength of those team’s schedules.
Last year, before the 2012 season began, the Broncos had the second toughest schedule in the league and yet they wound up with the top seed in the AFC. They won 1o straight games to end the season and many people thought their soft schedule was a major contributor to that winning streak. As for the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, they had the league’s fourth most difficult schedule, so the strength of schedule is certainly no barometer of any team’s success. No one has any idea who’s going to be a good or bad team in 2013 and speculating because the 2012 records is just foolish.
So before putting too much stock into your team’s strength of schedule, take a deep breath and realize it doesn’t mean much at all.
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