Between the NFL Draft and a schedule-making policy that rewards mediocre teams with easier schedules and punishes division champions with a harder slate of games the next year, the NFL is set up to help the bad teams get better from one year to the next.
For fans of the Buffalo Bills, who are coming off a 6-10 record in 2018, there is much to be excited about this offseason. The team has ten picks in the draft, including the No. 9 overall selection, and Buffalo has almost $80 million in cap space to address its various needs along the offensive line, in the wide receiver corps, at running back, tight end, on the defensive line, and, well, you get the picture.
There is one bit of good news for Bills fans: based on their records from the 2018 season, Buffalo is projected to have the eighth-easiest schedule in the league in 2019.
The Bills’ schedule features match-ups with four teams that qualified for the playoffs last year: a home-and-away with Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, home games with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, and a trip to face the Dallas Cowboys.
In case you need a reminder, here is the breakdown of Bills’ opponents in 2019:
Home: Miami Dolphins, Patriots, New York Jets, Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Eagles, Washington
Away: Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Cowboys*, New York Giants.
The Oakland Raiders (.539 combined opponents’ winning percentage) have the hardest schedule in the league, followed by the Denver Broncos (.537), Jacksonville Jaguars (.531), and Houston Texans (.527).
The Washington has the easiest schedule (.469), followed by the Patriots (.473), Los Angeles Rams (.473), New York Jets (.473), New York Giants (.473), and Cincinnati Bengals (.473).