The 2019 NFL schedule is officially out, and with it fans are already planning their trips, taking days off work, and seeing just what weeks they are going to have to call in late after staying up late to watch their teams in prime-time.
Teams always tend to have the highest of hopes after the schedule comes out, and you already can see what teams fans are betting on with the Sugarhouse App, as odds have gone a bit up and down here just a few days after the release of the entire slate.
Today we take a look at some early schedule predictions, and what teams have it easy, and which ones could have issues in 2019.
1. Who Has it Easy
If you look at the ‘strength of schedule’ for the 32 teams around the league, the Washington Redskins appear to have the easiest slate of all the teams. Oddly enough, the second ‘easiest’ slate goes to..wait for it…the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, whose opponents have a winning percentage of .473.
Rounding out the top five of the ‘easiest’ schedules based on winning percentage are the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams, and then two teams from the Big Apple – the Giants and Jets, who both have a winning percentage of their opponents at .473.
2. Up and Coming
Of the teams that the NFL seems to believe are ‘up and coming’ in 2019, here is a quick look at some of their percentages when it comes to strength of schedule.
24. Buffalo Bills .480 – Can Josh Allen and the Bills get to the promised land again? They have a shot with a weak schedule
23. Cleveland Browns .484 – The entire country is on the Browns bandwagon after the team went 7-8-1 last year, and this offseason grabbed Kareem Hunt and traded for Odell Beckham Jr. to add to their offense. They will have a shot to be the darlings based on the strength of their schedule.
1. Oakland Raiders .539 – One year away from moving to Las Vegas, if the Raiders are going to make an impact in their last year in Oakland, it will not be easy. The team has the toughest slate of any in the NFL, and even with the three number one picks and the grabbing of Antonio Brown at wide out, it will be not be easy.
3. Toughest of the Tough
Along with Oakland, here’s the team’s with the five toughest slates around the NFL based on the way that the percentage plays out in the strength of schedule.
1. Oakland Raiders .539
2. Denver Broncos .537
3. Jacksonville Jaguars .531
4. Houston Texans .527
5. Chicago Bears .520
The Texans and Bears both were playoff teams last season, both losing in the wild card round. Again a lot of things can change as the season kicks into gear, but on paper these teams will not have it easy once the 2019 season gets going.