If you’re into schedule strength, the Green Bay Packers might have a tough time doing much better than their 7-9 record in 2017. That’s because the Packers will face the league’s toughest slate in 2018.
Their 2018 opponents’ combined winning percentage is .539. That’s just ahead of the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints, who come in with opponent winning percentages at .535.
And to this, we say who cares?
Sure, things may look tough on paper, but a lot more will actually go into determining how tough the Packers’ schedule actually is. We know that typically around half of the teams that make the playoffs in one year, miss them the next. So if you’re looking at the playoff teams on the slate, here they are: the Vikings (twice), Bills, Falcons, Rams and Patriots.
And of course, as the Packers would surely tell you themselves, injuries will play a role.
Going into 2017, the Packers had what looked like one of the easiest schedules in the league. Their opponents had a .480 winning percentage. However, those same crappy teams actually put up a .539 winning percentage last season.
So, again, this pretty much means nothing.
Might be the last time Brady and Rodgers face off against each other. Assuming there aren’t any injuries
Another reason it does not mean much is that all the teams in the NFC North face “brutal” schedules. Packers 1, Lions 2, Bears and Vikings tied at 8th. The schedule will not be a factor in who wins the NFC North. It could — if the teams play to the same level as lest year — be a factor in determining ceding in the playoffs.
But ceding in the playoffs is only important if a team actually makes the playoffs. So the Packers have no reason to concern themselves with the schedule.
I’m sure the schedule toughness will rear its head again at season’s end as an excuse to rally around though.