Eagles have huge strength-of-schedule advantage over NFC East rivals

Welcome to the ramblings of a journalism major that wants to tell a story about the NFL and how it calculates any given team's 'strength of schedule'.
Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Strength of schedule... We reference it often, mostly with the hope that no one asks us to give a detailed explanation of its definition. We may spend hours on end breaking down one Philadelphia Eagles stat after another one, but trust us on this one. Anything related to math and numbers irritates us. Blame those high school teachers and college professors. Who wants to educate a casual fan or one of the younger members of your family about Howie Roseman's usage of dummy years in a contract?

Yeah... It's the math thing. Yet another day has passed, and I'm still not using calculus. Forgive me... None of you care about the ramblings of a journalism major,

We're here to talk about 'strength of schedule' and how it relates to the NFL, so here goes. Let's have some fun here.

The Eagles seemingly have an 'easier' schedule than that f their NFC East rivals.

Defining the strength of any NFL squad's schedule is much like trying to teach someone how to tie their shoes with verbal instructions. Some things work better when we show someone. Then again, there isn't any real way to show someone how 'strength of schedule' works without speaking.

Let's try this another way because honestly, we're making a mountain out of a molehill here. But, remember... The author hates anything that requires him to do more than simple addition and subtraction.

Let's keep it simple in defining what 'strength of schedule' is. If we were to rank every NFL team based on such, we'd need only look at this season's opponents and calculate the 2023 win-loss totals of the 14 opponents on their current regular-season schedule.

Hmmm... When you say that out loud, it doesn't seem like the task is as hard as we made it sound.

With all of that said, the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are believed to have the easiest schedule in 2024 with an opponents' winning percentage of .453. The competition they both face lost most often in 2023. Playing in the lowly NFC South probably has much to do with that.

The other seven 'easiest' schedules in 2024 belong to the Chicago Bears (.467), the Carolina Panthers (.467), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.478), the L.A. Chargers (.478), the Seattle Seahawks (.488), the Miami Dolphins (.488), and the Arizona Cardinals (.488).
There is then a three-way tie as the Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, and Tennessee Titans are owners of schedules where the winning percentage of their opponents is .491.

Here's something that stands out if you're paying attention. The Commanders, Cowboys, and Giants are all believed to have tougher rides. The winning percentage of their 2024 opponents is .502 (Washington) .505 (Dallas), and .516 (New York).

Much of this probably won't have any bearing on this season as the NFL prides itself on being a league of parity. Thanks to free agency, the salary cap, and the NFL Draft, teams can easily flip the script and go from 'worst to first'.

This does imply, however, that the Birds may have a slight advantage over their NFC East rivals... at least on paper. We'll see how things go. On any given Sunday, any team can lose, but Philly will play a second-place team's schedule while Dallas plays one of a team that finished in first place. That's definitely something worth eyeing.

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