There are many unknowns surrounding professional football. While the strength of schedule at the start of a season can look completely different from preseason projections, they are usually solid as a whole. In the end, Las Vegas knows what they’re doing. Which teams project to possess the easiest and most difficult schedules in the NFL in 2023?
As the season progresses, we’ll use an aggregate of the PFN Consensus Power Rankings, remaining schedule win percentage, and other team-specific metrics to evaluate the league’s remaining strength of schedule. These will look quite different from our preseason data, which were based more on external factors like travel distance, potential weather, and perceived opponent strength.
Who Has the Easiest Remaining Strength of Schedule in the NFL?
Judging by win percentage, the Atlanta Falcons have the easiest remaining strength of schedule. They don’t currently play a single game against a winning team for the rest of the season heading into Week 9.
Who Has the Hardest Remaining Strength of Schedule in the NFL?
The Baltimore Ravens currently have the most difficult remaining schedule in the NFL. Even their “easier” matchups come against the Rams and Chargers.
Ranking All 32 NFL Teams by Remaining Strength of Schedule
1) Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens’ schedule ranks as the most difficult in the NFL. The Jaguars, Dolphins, Seahawks, 49ers, Bengals, and Browns are all playoff contenders. Even the Chargers, who have underperformed in 2023, will not be an easy out on the schedule.
2) Cincinnati Bengals
Houston and Indianapolis are the “easier” games on the Bengals’ schedule, but both franchises are playing better than we anticipated heading into the season.
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They also have games against the Chiefs, Ravens, Jaguars, Bills, Browns, and Steelers twice.
3) Buffalo Bills
The Bills already lost to the Jets once this year, so it’s hard to consider them a “lesser” opponent. But the Bills also face the Eagles, Chiefs, Dolphins, Cowboys, and Bengals. That’s the top two teams of each conference currently.
4) Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys still get the Giants, Commanders (twice), and Panthers in 2023. However, games against the Eagles (twice), Dolphins, Lions, Seahawks, and Bills make for a difficult schedule.
5) Miami Dolphins
The top of Miami’s schedule includes some of the best teams in the NFL. But games against the Commanders, Raiders, and Titans bring them to fifth in strength of schedule.
6) San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers’ grueling schedule caught up to them recently, and the spiral could continue. They have the Jaguars coming out of their bye week, and they still have the Seahawks twice, with the Eagles sandwiched between those games.
7) Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks’ schedule is not much different from San Francisco’s. The biggest difference is that the Seahawks still have the Steelers remaining on their schedule.
8) Arizona Cardinals
Playing the Bears helps Arizona’s strength of schedule. They still have the Eagles, Seahawks, 49ers, Browns, and Steelers on their calendar.
9) Washington Commanders
The Commanders’ defense, with no Montez Sweat or Chase Young, will almost certainly struggle against the speed of Miami’s offense. But the Cowboys still lurk twice on their calendar, and the ever-efficient Seahawks’ passing attack is on the schedule as well.
10) Tennessee Titans
The Titans don’t have too many games that look entirely unwinnable. The Jaguars, Dolphins, and Seahawks outgun them. However, they also don’t have any overtly “easy” games. The Panthers provide a reprieve, but even games like the Colts and Texans will be competitive.
11) Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas fired their head coach and general manager. They’re also starting rookie QB Aidan O’Connell in an offense that has already struggled. He struggled in his one NFL start so far. There are no “easy” games on their schedule. But they still have the Chiefs twice and the Dolphins once.
12) Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles still have a few easy games on their schedule, but the top of their calendar is ruthless. They play Dallas before their bye and the Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys, and Seahawks coming out of it. There is still a ton of potential movement to come at the top of the NFC.
13) Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles still has Denver (twice), Las Vegas, Green Bay, and New England on their schedule. The Chargers faced Dallas, Kansas City, and Miami in their first seven games and lost a game against the Titans in the process. And they still must face the Lions, Ravens, Bills, and Chiefs again before the end of the season.
14) New York Giants
The Giants have three legitimately difficult games remaining against their top two divisional opponents. However, the rest of their schedule could lead to a few victories if Daniel Jones returns and they can find some semblance of a passing attack.
15) Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs still have the Eagles, Dolphins, Bills, and Bengals on their schedule. However, they also get the Patriots, Packers, and Raiders (twice) before the season’s end.
16) New York Jets
The Jets defense still gets a nice test against the Dolphins twice. But they’ve already beaten the Bills, who are the other highly potent offense on their schedule.
17) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars receive some benefits from playing in the AFC South, but with Houston playing better than expected thanks to C.J. Stroud and a seemingly brand new culture, that isn’t as easy a game as anticipated.
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They also still have Baltimore, San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Cleveland on the docket.
18) Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings lost Kirk Cousins but could still win a few games over the rest of their nine games. Splitting with the Lions would be a huge win for them, and the Bengals remain their only other menacing opponent.
19) Cleveland Browns
With the Ravens, Jaguars, Bengals, Jets, and Steelers remaining on the schedule, the Browns have some very impressive games remaining. However, they also have games against the Cardinals, Bears, and Broncos.
20) Denver Broncos
Although the Chargers currently have a losing record, they’re not necessarily an easy out, and Denver must play them twice. They also have the Lions, Bills, and Browns on their schedule before the end of the year.
21) New England Patriots
New England has five relatively competitive games remaining on their schedule. However, they also have the Chiefs and Bills left on the docket. The Jets and Steelers won’t be easy wins, either.
22) Carolina Panthers
The Jaguars and Cowboys are the Panthers’ most difficult remaining games. They also still have four divisional bouts on tap. Games against the Bears and Packers are on the “easier” side of things, but there are no easy wins with the Panthers’ roster.
23) Chicago Bears
The Bears’ schedule is not difficult. They do not have to face any of the league’s elite teams from here on out. However, that does not matter much for Chicago because they are an absolute trainwreck.
24) Los Angeles Rams
The Rams got most of their truly difficult games out of the way early. They’ve already been through the Seahawks and 49ers once each, the Bengals, Eagles, Steelers, and Cowboys. They still have the Seahawks and 49ers once each, along with the Browns and Ravens.
25) Houston Texans
The Bengals, Jaguars, and Browns keep Houston’s schedule off the bottom of the list, but they have some very winnable games in the second half of their season. But seeing how C.J. Stroud navigates the Jets’ defense will be one to circle.
26) Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh still has two games against the Bengals and one against the Ravens, Seahawks, and Browns.
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But the Cardinals, Patriots, Packers, and Titans are all very winnable games. And they need to win them if Mike Tomlin is to keep up his streak of avoiding losing seasons.
27) Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers must still battle with the Lions once and the Chiefs. However, they also have games against the Panthers, Bears, and Giants, which make their overall remaining schedule relatively easy.
28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The entire NFC South gets a pass in 2023, and the Buccaneers are no exception. While they still must play the Jaguars and 49ers, the biggest competition remaining on their schedule are the Falcons and Saints, who aren’t exactly world powers.
29) Detroit Lions
Detroit should briskly walk away with the NFC North. A game against the Cowboys is the only one remaining that should be seen as a 50/50 matchup. Detroit should be heavily favored in the rest of their contests.
30) New Orleans Saints
The Lions are the only remaining game on the Saints’ schedule that they will likely lose. The Vikings, Falcons, and Buccaneers will all be competitive, as will the Rams game, depending on Matthew Stafford’s health.
31) Indianapolis Colts
Even without Anthony Richardson, the Indianapolis Colts shouldn’t have many issues remaining competitive with the rest of their schedule. The Bengals and Steelers are better teams, but they also get games against the Panthers, Patriots, Raiders, and Titans.
32) Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons have and have had the easiest schedule in the NFL, particularly when looking at the opposing quarterbacks on their schedule. Now, they won’t even face Cousins, leaving Derek Carr or possibly Kyler Murray as the best remaining quarterbacks they’ll face.
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