Not many cupcakes on the Patriots' schedule


Among the many factors that play into how a team’s season turns out also includes the strength of schedule.

The difference between a strong schedule vs. a weak schedule could be what decides a division or the final wild-card spot.

Of course, figuring out the strength of schedule prior to the start of the season is an imperfect exercise. Rosters are not fully set, injuries can play a role and teams can out or underperform their expectations in a given year.

Nonetheless, we can still get some sort of sense on who will have it tough and who will have it easy by going off of projected wins for the 2022 season.

We’ve gathered the winning percentages of each team’s opponents based on projected wins via DraftKings to determine the toughest to easiest schedule for the upcoming season.

1. Los Angeles Rams (.534)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (.529)
3. Tennessee Titans (.525)
4. Buffalo Bills (.514)
4. Houston Texans (.514)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.514)
7. Cincinnati Bengals (.512)
7. New England Patriots (.512)
9. Arizona Cardinals (.510)
10. Atlanta Falcons (.508)
10. Green Bay Packers (.508)
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (.506)
13. New Orleans Saints (.504)
14. New York Jets (.502)
15. Carolina Panthers (.500)
15. Las Vegas Raiders (.500)
15. Miami Dolphins (.500)
18. Minnesota Vikings (.495)
19. Indianapolis Colts (.493)
19. San Francisco 49ers (.493)
19. Seattle Seahawks (.493)
22. Dallas Cowboys (.491)
22. Los Angeles Chargers (.491)
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (.489)
25. Baltimore Ravens (.483)
26. Denver Broncos (.481)
27. Cleveland Browns (.479)
28. Chicago Bears (.476)
29. Washington Commanders (.472)
30. Detroit Lions (.470)
31. Philadelphia Eagles (.468)
32. New York Giants (.460)

Based on these projections, the New York Giants have the easiest schedule with an opponent’s winning percentage of .460 while the Los Angeles Rams have the toughest schedule with an opponent’s projected winning percentage at .534.

The NFC East appears to actually have one of the easiest schedules with the Eagles, Commanders and Cowboys all facing teams with a combined projected winning percentage under .500. This is likely the benefit of playing in a weak division where the Cowboys are the only team projected for more than 8.5 wins (10.5) while also playing a weak AFC South division that is projected a combined 29.5 wins among the Titans (9.5), Colts (9.5), Jaguars (6.5) and Texans (4.5).

The 49ers, who made it to the NFC Championship Game last year, appear to have a soft schedule as they draw the Bears (6.5), Commanders (7.5) and Dolphins (9) as their third-place counterparts

Behind the Rams are the Chiefs with the second-toughest schedule. The AFC West is expected to be a dogfight this year with a projected 39-27 conference record — Chiefs (10.5), Chargers (10), Broncos (10) and Raiders (8.5).

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