We’ve hit that point of the NFL offseason where the league is trying to create buzz around each team’s schedule release. The schedules for all 32 teams for the 2021 season will be released during a three-hour (!!!) show on Wednesday night, but the thing is, we already know each team’s schedule, sort of.
The NFL schedule release will reveal the dates of each matchup and which games will be given the primetime treatment, but with the formula the NFL uses to compile team schedules, we already know which teams are playing each other.
Each team around the league plays home and away games against its three divisional opponents and another four games against teams from another division within its same conference. Those four games rotate on a three-year cycle. Another four games are scheduled against the opposing conference on a four-year cycle, with two intra-conference games based on the previous year’s standings plus the final game is another intra-conference game based on the previous season’s final standings.
Given the fact that we’ve known for quite some time which teams will do battle against one another, the strength of schedule for each NFL team in 2021 can be determined as well. Strength of schedule is simply determined by opponents’ combined winning percentage from last season.
Pittsburgh Steelers fans are in for a wild ride this season as they have the hardest schedule facing eight teams that made the playoffs a year ago. The other team in Pennsylvania, however, has the easiest schedule of all 32 teams as the Philadelphia Eagles are set to take on just four playoff teams from last season.
When it comes to last year’s Super Bowl champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a relatively easy road with the fourth-easiest schedule. Dallas Cowboys fans will be happy to learn that their team has the second-easiest schedule for this upcoming season.
NFL Team’s Strength Of Schedule For The 2021 Season:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers. 574
2. Baltimore Ravens .563
3. Chicago Bears .550
4. Green Bay Packers .542
5. Minnesota Vikings .531
6. Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions .529
8. Las Vegas Raiders .526
9. Cleveland Browns .518
10. Los Angeles Rams .515
11. Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks .511
13. Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals .507
15. Washington Football Team, Houston Texans .504
17. Los Angeles Chargers .493
18. Jacksonville Jaguars .491
19. San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, New England Patriots .489
22. New Orleans Saints .483
23. Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts .478
25. New York Giants .474
26. Carolina Panthers .472
27. Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins .471
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers .465
30. Atlanta Falcons .454
31. Dallas Cowboys .452
32. Philadelphia Eagles .451