Yesterday, ESPN released the strength of schedule for the upcoming year. Strength of schedule could be a nominal stat that is looked at to compare what a team was and what a team could possibility be. I look at strength of schedule as a jumping off point but don’t really put a lot into it as to what a team will do. Basically it is saying that a team should win or lose so many games per year based on the percentage of what their opponents did last year. When in reality no team is going to be the same from last year. The Raiders claim to be a different 4-12 team. They very well may be. The Bills have hit 6-10 for the past how many years. Are they a different team from three years ago? Absolutely. The records may be the same but each year the teams change. Which could change an outcome for one or two games. Take for example the Baltimore Ravens. One major player change, Ray Lewis retires, and the Superbowl champions are middle of the pack at best. There could be big jumps like this one but for the most part, teams are very similar to what they did a year ago.
For the Buffalo Bills, they are sitting right in the middle. They have a strength of schedule of .500 and ranked 14th in the league. Their home and away records are just a little different with a tougher home strength of .516 (14th) and a weaker road schedule of .484 (16th). Their division strength of schedule is ranked as the 4th or easiest out of the AFC East, with Miami in 3rd (.508), New England in 2nd (.516) and the Jets at the top with a strength of schedule of .520.
If you look at strength of schedule as a tool to determine records, the Bills should finish as an 8-8 team. They would win 5 games on the road and 3 at home and lose just the opposite.
This is what the Bills schedule will look like.
Home: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings.
Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions.
The Bills sweep the Dolphins, split the Jets, and get swept by the Patriots. So they are sitting at 3-3 right now. For the rest of the games, they lose to the Chiefs, Chargers, Packers, Broncos, and Lions. They win against the Browns, Vikings, Raiders, Texans, and Bears. After a quick look, they finish at 8-8. If only it played out this way. If it did, it certainly would not be any fun or stressful.
Where do you stand with strength of schedule and what do you think the Bills will do this year?