Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby CSKreager » Sun May 17, 2020 5:49 pm

Obviously, we have see our share of easy/hard schedules, but which ones were the all time opposite ends of the spectrum?

One of the tougher schedules I recall was the 2010 Bills, who played NONE game against a team with 10+ wins.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby 74_75_78_79_ » Sun May 17, 2020 7:06 pm

'00 Lions

Played against ELEVEN teams who would finish with a winning record! No more #20 yet they finish 9-7. Perhaps a tour-de-force performance by Bobby Ross!

'99 Rams

They earned their Lombardi in January when it mattered most, but in the regular season they only played against ONE winner - at Tennessee, a loss - and four 8-8 teams: the opener over the Ravens, two vs Panthers which were also wins, and the other a loss at Detroit.

EDIT - BIG mistake! Ross resigned after the 9th game in '00. Still, not a bad at all accomplishment for a team now without Barry; and a HC-change midseason.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby sluggermatt15 » Sun May 17, 2020 8:42 pm

2014 Raiders played only three games against opponents with losing records: 4-12 Jets, 7-9 Browns, 6-10 Rams.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby Citizen » Mon May 18, 2020 11:24 am

The average winning percentage of the Vikings' 1975 opponents was .332. They didn't face a team that finished better than 8-6.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby Teo » Mon May 18, 2020 12:39 pm

It’s not one season, but from 1983-1994, TB played SF 9 times and lost all of them. Most of these pairings were because the last-placed team from the 2 five teams división played against the teams of the 4 team division. So I believed back them that San Francisco always had an advantage in their schedule.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Mon May 18, 2020 11:01 pm

One factor in NE's 2001 turnaround was a weaker schedule. In 2000, they played 10 games against teams that finished above .500. The next year, they only played five such games, and went 2-3.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby lastcat3 » Tue May 19, 2020 10:41 am

7DnBrnc53 wrote:One factor in NE's 2001 turnaround was a weaker schedule. In 2000, they played 10 games against teams that finished above .500. The next year, they only played five such games, and went 2-3.


Well if there was any questions about the 2001 Patriots because of their schedule they answered those questions in what they accomplished in the playoffs. Just like most Patriots teams in that people try to raise the schedule flag but then no one can beat them in the playoffs.

In my opinion it wouldn't have made much difference if the Patriots played in a tougher division. Only difference it would have made was instead of going 14-2 they would have gone 12-4.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby BD Sullivan » Tue May 19, 2020 2:20 pm

1972 Dolphins were dismissed because of their easy schedule. Prior to the season, they had what seemed like imposing challenges with road games at KC, Minnesota and Baltimore. KC (and the Giants) were the only winning teams they faced--both with 8-6 records. The Vikings had their one bad season and finished at 7-7, while Baltimore collapsed and finished 5-9.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby RRMarshall » Tue May 19, 2020 5:20 pm

The 1970 Colts played the Chiefs in Week #2 on the 2nd ever MNF game and got blown out. Other than 2 games against the eventual wildcard winner Miami Dolphins (Shula's first season there) they didn't play a team over .500 in the regular season. They played an 8-6 Bengals team in Baltimore in the divisional round at home and then beat the Raiders in the AFC title game again in Baltimore in a game where Oakland's starting QB Darryl Lamonica was injured. I've always thought they were one of the weaker title teams, although the entire league was pretty well-balanced (or mediocre?) that season.
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Re: Toughest/Easiest schedules in football history

Postby 74_75_78_79_ » Tue May 19, 2020 6:22 pm

How about the '79 Bengals?? TWELVE games vs teams that would end up finishing above-500! Of the other four opponents, two of them were respectable 7-9 teams - Knox's Bills and Levy's Chiefs! It wasn't too much easier the following season, Forrest Gregg's first with them, when they played against NINE winners plus two 8-8s. That's a total of sevens games vs teams below 7-9 in both seasons. Also, all three of Cincy's divisional foes had winning records each year!

Playing such rugged competition in '79 & '80 had to be a big reason for their sudden leap to 12-4/top-seed/Pontiac in '81! And some of those wins during them two years seemed to hint at it such as, in '79, beating the Steelers & Eagles in Wks #7 & #9 respectively by a combined 71-23!! Sandwiched between those blowouts, was a one-point loss at Cleveland whom they would beat at home in the finale thus robbing Browns of a 10-win campaign. Or maybe even a playoff berth. If Browns do pull it off, is it they or Denver getting the last wild card spot for both would have been 10-6 each with a 7-5 conference record? Sweeping the 'Burgh, of course, was the key 'hint' in 1980 which they followed-up in Week #7 with a 14-0 shutout over Minnesota. Week #13, they nail Levy's Chiefs at Arrowhead, 20-6, which kicked off a three-game win-streak that came to a close in the finale (again) vs Cleveland which they narrowly lost (Browns not in the playoffs had Bengals won).



Dan Henning's '89 Chargers is also worthy of note as far as tough schedules are concerned. Led on defense (the team's obvious strong-spot) by Leslie O'Neil, Gary Plummer, Lee Williams, and Burt Grossman in his 10-sack rookie year played against nine winners plus three 8-8s (and two 7-9s, both vs Seahawks)! However, their finale vs Denver shouldn't really count be it Denver already cliched top-seed.

Just the same, after their 2-2 start and despite finishing 4-8 the rest of the way, their most-lopsided loss would be to Tuna's G-men in Week #7 by just 7pts (20-13)! Yes, a loss-is-a-loss but quite respectable work! And they did manage to score wins vs the likes of Philly, Raiders, and at Chiefs (completing a sweep vs them, actually) in that stretch! Now if only you could give that defense to those previous 'Air Coryell' squads...
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