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Old 01-10-2002, 10:02 AM   #1
Anthony
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Default Strength of Schedule: 2001 vs. 2002

The following chart shows the number of games won in 2001 by each team's 2001 opponents, and the opponents each team is scheduled to play in 2002:

TEAM............2001.....2002.....Diff.
Indianapolis.......144......112......+32
Cincinnati..........136......111......+25
Jacksonville.......134......109......+25
Carolina............147......126......+21
Tennessee........133......112......+21
Cleveland.........136......117......+19
Atlanta............136......118......+18
Detroit.............149......131......+18
Baltimore..........131......114......+17
Tampa Bay.......137......123......+14
Dallas..............128......116......+12
N.Y. Giants.......133......121......+12
N.Y. Jets..........131......124......+ 7
Buffalo.............136......131......+ 5
Minnesota... .....134......129......+ 5
New Orleans......127......122......+ 5
Miami...............128......125......+ 3
Philadelphia.......124......123......+ 1
Houston............ - .......113......N/A
Chicago............119......122......- 3
Pittsburgh.........107......110......- 3
Kansas City.......132......136......- 4
Washington.......121......126......- 5
San Diego.........124......131......- 7
Green Bay.........111......119......- 8
Denver.............125......135......-10
New England......115......129......-14
Oakland............120......135......-15
St. Louis...........121......138......-17
Arizona.............114......133......-19
San Francisco....119......139......-20
Seattle.............116......138......-22

Whoever ends up succeeding Jim Mora has a leg up for Coach of the Year honors next season before the Colts even take the field, as they will be taking the sharpest drop in company next year from who they played this year, based on this season's final records. And I have this advice for Mike Holmgren: Your guys better hang tough in 2002!

Last edited by Anthony; 01-10-2002 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 01-10-2002, 10:44 AM   #2
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Woohoo! Go Colts! :lol:
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Old 01-10-2002, 08:22 PM   #3
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I don't quite understand some of that. Why does Kansas City have a tougher schedule next year? Seems like it'd be easier since they did very average this year. Same goes for Denver. And how come the Chicago Bears have just a barely tougher schedule? Seems like with that turn around, it'd be dramatic.
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Old 01-11-2002, 03:26 AM   #4
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You're right, Marc; "plus" figures indicate that the team has an easier schedule next year than they had this year and "minus" figures denote a more difficult 2002 schedule.

In most years the "plusses" and "minuses" will balance out exactly; that is not the case this time around due to the addition of the Texans as an expansion team. If you total up all the figures in the "Differential" column on my original post, you will arrive at a figure of +113 - and note that Houston's 2002 strength of schedule is also 113 (a game against the Texans counts as zero for each team playing them; after all, they didn't win any games this season, now did they?)

And in case you're skeptical about how important all of this is, consider these facts: On last year's chart the Vikings had the worst differential (-22) and they fell from 11-5 last season to 5-11 this year; by contrast, the Bears had the second-best differential (+24) and look what they did (San Diego had the top figure a year ago at +26). The year before that, the Eagles took the biggest drop in strength of schedule, and did what this year's Vikings did in reverse - they went from 5-11 in 1999 to 11-5 in 2000.

As for Chicago's schedule next year being only marginally tougher than this year's, one reason is that the NFC North (the current NFC Central less Tampa Bay) plays the NFC South next year - and the four teams making up the latter division finished a combined 24-40 this year. Also keep in mind that because of the aforementioned "Houston factor," the average strength of schedule for 2002 is only 124 (3968 divided by 32), versus 128 (3968 divided by 31 from 1999 to 2001) in a normal year (in future years it will be 128 based on 4096 divided by 32), so the average "differential" on this year's chart is +4 instead of 0.

The divisional rotation assignments also figure in why the Chiefs and Broncos will have tougher schedules next year: The two divisions the AFC West will be paired against in 2002 are the AFC East (combined 2001 record: 35-29 not counting the Colts) and the new NFC West (42-22!).

Last edited by Anthony; 01-11-2002 at 06:37 AM.
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