It’s probably one of the craziest things I think I will hear all season. This is with a season that is already calling Eli Manning and Alex Smith elite, replacement referees, players getting fined over pre and post game outfits and a kneel down controversy. With all that said, the craziest thing I will have heard this season is that the New England Patriots have the easiest schedule in the NFL. Who makes up this garbage? Better yet, who actually believes this garbage?
AFC EAST schedule (37.5% of schedule)
I will admit that they are in one of the weakest conferences. I will admit that the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins are all jokes. As everybody knows, that doesn’t really matter. When it comes to conference match-ups, team play with a certain pride. Those three laughing stocks will play harder against the Patriots than any other team in the NFL. They will spend all season trying to knock the Patriots of the top. It’s just a fact in the NFL.
I know, I know. I realize those points aren’t making my case any better, but just hear me out, it gets better.
AFC SOUTH / NFC WEST schedule (37.5% of schedule)
This next portion of the schedule starts to get a little more interesting. Before I continue, there are three more teams that belong in this section, but since they fit in a different section even better, I left them out of this section. This section has a group of teams that I will admit are either garbage, mediocre or a suprising team that we are still uncertain on how they will turn out this season. We know that the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts (teams of the AFC SOUTH) are the weakest link to the Patriots schedule. All three teams are currently under new quarterbacks, new coaches and are trying to find their identity. Then there is the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams (teams of the NFC WEST), who we are all uncertain at this point how they will finish the season out. Honestly, most had written all three of these teams off before the season started. Now, critics, analyst and other teams are starting to pay attention to this threesome. Do I think any of these teams will be contenders, NO, but I think we are looking at a division that could have all four teams with records of 6-10 or better.
Now that we are 75% into the Patriots schedule, we already have a case for the Patriots not having the leagues easiest schedule. This next group though, this group makes me realize who clueless people really are. This group shows us how tough the Patriots schedule really is.
TOP POWER RANKED schedule (25% of schedule)
This group of teams is what makes all those critics and haters sound so ignorant. This group has four of the top eight POWER RANKED teams. This group consists of the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and the San Fransisco 49ers. All four teams won their respectful divisions last year and are projected to win them again this year. This group is full of teams that will have 10+ win seasons. All these teams have Pro Bowl quality or better quarterbacks, running backs that are in the top 10 in rushing and the stingiest defenses the league has to offer.
Now with all that said, where does anyone get off in making such bold inaccurate statements? I am no New England Patriots fan, but at the same time I have no problem calling a spade a spade and an ace an ace. I think if people would sit back and actually take the time to look at their schedule, instead of worrying about hating on one the best team in the NFL over the last 10 to 12 years, they would realize that their schedule really wasn’t as easy as they thought and that the Patriots just tend to make it look easy.