The strength of the NFL's 2019 calendar: The Patriots and Redskins have the easiest solution, the Raiders face the toughest conditions

The 2018 season has been tough for Jon Gruden and unfortunately for him, things will not get much easier in 2019, because the Raiders will have to face the toughest force in the NFL calendar. this year. At least based on the 2018 ranking.

Gruden would do well to appreciate his three first-round picks he had in the April selection because once the 2019 regular season begins, things could turn out to be a nightmare for him. During the 2019 season, the Raiders will play a total of seven games against qualifying teams for the playoffs last year (Chefs x 2, Chargers x 2, Texans, Colts, Bears), who are tied for the most in the NFL. This is certainly not good news for a team that does not even know where they will play their home games in 2019.

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Overall, the Raiders calendar for 2019 is .539, which is slightly faster than the The Broncos, who have the second toughest programming strength with .537, which means that Joe Flacco's first year in Denver could be tough. The Chargers are in fact the only team in West Africa to miss one of the NFL's five toughest schedules (the Chiefs' schedule is tied with the Bears for fifth place overall). difficult in the general classification).

If you are looking for a division that could produce some surprise teams next season, then you may want to look at the AFC North. Collectively, each North AFC team has a fairly easy schedule in 2018, with the four teams being ready to play on a schedule that ranks among the 12-plus easy. Basically, do not be surprised if Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson both have a huge season after having accumulated impressive rookie years.

Of course, all will not be fun for the North AFC in 2019, as it is the only division where the four teams will face both Super Bowl LIII participants.

In addition to teams from the North AFC region, the Cowboys are the only other NFL team to have to face both the Patriots and the Rams in 2019. Thanks in large part to this, the Cowboys have the strength most difficult programming in NFC East (14th overall). To make matters worse for the Cowboys, the Eagles (26th), Giants (T-27th) and Redskins (32nd) have three of the easiest programs in 2019. The Redskins have in fact the easiest force of all teams for 2019, although this may not be a real benefit, as they do not even know who will be starting this year.

For both Super Bowl LIII teams, the Patriots and Rams are tied with the Jets, Giants and Bengals for the second easiest schedule.

Now, before you complain about the strength of another team's schedule or the fact that the Patriots always seem to have more ease than everyone else, keep in mind that the schedule is basically the same for each team. The Patriots will play four games against first-place teams starting in 2018, as will the other 31 teams. The Patriots will also play four games against last place teams starting in 2018, as will the other 31 teams.

In fact, here's how the 16-game schedule unfolds: Each team will play four games against a team that finished first in 2018, four games against second-placed teams, and four games against teams that have are ranked third. and four games against last-place teams (at the bottom of the page you will see the NFL formula used to set the calendar each year).

This formula is why a team playing a "last place" program (like the Raiders) may have the toughest program in the NFL and why a team that plays a "first place" program (like the Patriots) may have one of the easiest programs.

On paper, the Patriots' four games against the first-place teams from 2018 (Ravens, Texans, Cowboys, Chefs – 43-21 combined record) are slightly easier than the four Raiders against the first-round teams place (Chiefs x 2, Bears, Texans – – 47-17 combined). Advantage: not the Raiders.

In addition, Patriots generally have a program easier than the rest of their division because they can not play themselves. Until the NFL allows them, they will rank behind the Jets, Bills and Dolphins in almost any planning setting.

The highlight of the schedule is that there is no ideal way to measure scheduling difficulties before the season. Between injury, free time and the repechage, many chances can happen by the beginning of the season in September. That said, the strength of the calendar gives you a good idea of ​​what your favorite team will face in the coming season.

Here is the 2019 calendar ranking for each team (combined record of 2018 for the 16 opponents, percentage of wins combined).

If you're interested in the planning formula, here's how the NFL does it. According to the formula put in place in 2002, each team plays 16 matches as follows:

  • At home and away against his three division opponents (six games).
  • The four teams from another division in his conference follow each other in a three-year cycle (four games).
  • The four teams from one division of the other conference have a four-year rotation cycle (four matches).
  • Two intra-conference games based on the ranking of the previous year (two games). These matches pit a team in first place with first place teams in both divisions of the same conference that the team is not scheduled to play this season. The second, third and fourth place teams of a conference are associated in the same way each year.
  • Beginning in 2010, there has been a shift in crew scheduling to ensure that AFC West and NFC West teams are not required to make two trips to the West Coast (for example, Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland). while the other teams in their division had none (for example, in Kansas City and Denver).

Finally, here a link to a list of all opponents at home and away that each team will play in 2019. The time and dates of each match will be released in the spring.

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