The NFL schedule is expected be released tomorrow but since we already know who plays who we know which teams have the tougher schedules based on last year’s opponents and which teams have easier roads this year.
The Redskins are among the teams that have the easier slates. Their 2012 opponents compiled a record of 125-131 last year, a winning percentage of .488. Only six teams have opponents with worse ’11 records.
One thing making the Skins’ schedule look a bit softer is the weakness of the NFC East last year. It is not unusual for the division to have multiple teams with double-digit win totals but last year the Giants won it with a 9-7 mark. The Cowboys and Eagles both finished 8-8.
The Redskins also get a break with some of their interconference games. They host the 3-13 Vikings from the North and go to St. Louis to play the 2-14 Rams from the West. The Giants, who have the toughest schedule with an opponents’ winning percentage of .547, get the 15-1 Packers from the North and the 13-3 49ers from the West.
To be sure, they do have some difficult games. They are matched up against the AFC North so they will face three playoff teams from there in the Ravens, Bengals (both at home) and Steelers (in Pittsburgh). There also are two games against playoff teams from the NFC South with the Falcons coming to FedEx Field and the Redskins visiting the Superdome to play the Saints.
Besides the home and home against the division, the Redskins also host the 6-10 Panthers and visit the 4-12 Bucs and the 4-12 Browns.
As noted, the Giants have the toughest schedule based on 2011 records. The Eagles are ranked seventh with an opponents winning percentage of .516 and Dallas is 11th at .504. The Patriots have the easiest slate at .453.