2015 has officially ended for our division, time to look at next year’s opponents and the strength of the schedules, based on last season results. As well should know by now, this is very preliminary, and even week one of the regular season will not give us an answer on how true this all is. Teams change year too year, some that were not good year before suddenly are, and vice versa.
I took all the opponents and added two columns. One with year totals for each, and one that shows that opponents record away or home, depending on where they fall.
What really changes these is the fact that divisional teams play each other twice, and none can play themselves. For example, a team like the Dolphins, with a 6 win season, although they had the worst record, they have to play 6 of 16 games against teams that finished with more wins. Tomorrow I will show all four schedules without the divisional matches, and how it affects these numbers.
Every year we hear that a team benefits from an easier schedule because of where they finished, but is it that big a difference? I will touch on this in tomorrow’s article.
Today we look at the 3rd and 4th place schedules. As you will notice, besides the fact they cannot play themselves, there are two games that are different, one away and one home.
At home the Bills play the Jaguars, while the Dolphins play the Titans. Are the Titans and Jaguars going to be the same teams in 2016? Who knows, and if they are how does that really affect these schedules?
Away the Bills play the Raiders and the Dolphins the Chargers. Both are West Coast trips, this year the Raiders were a better team, but does that really matter in 2016?
The rest of the schedule is exactly the same, the benefit of losing 6 games versus 8 is minimal at best. If the Dolphins finish with a better record, how can anyone use the usual excuse: You guys played a 4th place schedule!
……..I know you can do this yourself, but stay tuned, tomorrow we look at the first and second place schedules, and compare them to these