Panthers have toughest 2013 schedule, Broncos have easiest

By John Breech | CBSSports.com
Cam Newton won't be smiling when he gets a look at the Panthers' schedule. (US Presswire)

There are going to be a few potholes on the road to Super Bowl XLVIII for the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers, who finished 7-9 in 2012, have the toughest strength of schedule heading into 2013, according to numbers released by the NFL on Thursday.

The Panthers will play teams that combined to go 138-116-2 (.543) in 2012, which is in stark contrast to the Denver Broncos, who have the easiest strength of schedule heading into 2013. Denver's opponents went a combined 110-146 (.430) in 2012.

The Broncos aren't the only team in the AFC West with an easy strength of schedule, the Chargers, Raiders and Chiefs all have 2013 schedules that rank among the five easiest in the league.

So what does schedule strength mean in the parity-driven NFL? Not much apparently. The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII despite playing what was the fourth toughest schedule going into 2012. However, it is worth noting that of the four teams that earned first round byes in the 2012 playoffs, three of them -- San Francisco, Atlanta, New England -- played schedules that were ranked among the eight easiest in 2012.

Toughest 2013 schedules (Opponents' combined record, winning percentage)

1. Carolina Panthers: 138-116-2, .543

2. Detroit Lions: 138-118, .539

T-3. New Orleans Saints: 137-117-2, .539

T-3. St. Louis Rams: 137-117-2, .539

5. Baltimore Ravens: 137-119, .535

6. Green Bay Packers: 136-119-1, .533

7. Arizona Cardinals: 131-121-4, .520

8. Miami Dolphins: 133-123, .520

9. San Francisco 49ers: 132-122-2, .520

10. Minnesota Vikings: 132-124, .516

11. Seattle Seahawks: 130-122-4, .516

T-12. Cincinnati Bengals: 130-126, .508

T-12. New England Patriots: 130-126, .508

14. Jacksonville Jaguars: 129-125-2, .508

15. Atlanta Falcons: 128-126, .504

16. Chicago Bears: 128-127-1, .502

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 127-127-2, .500

18. Washington Redskins: 127-128-1, .498

T-19. New York Jets: 127-129, .496

T-19. Philadelphia Eagles: 127-129, .496

T-21. Cleveland Browns: 126-130, .492

T-21. Pittsburgh Steelers: 126-130, .492

23. Tennessee Titans: 124-130-2, .488

24. New York Giants: 123-133, .480

25. Dallas Cowboys: 121-134-1, .480

26. Houston Texans: 120-134-2, .473

T-27. Buffalo Bills: 121-135, .473

T-27. Kansas City Chiefs: 121-135, .473

29. Oakland Raiders: 120-136, .469

30. Indianapolis Colts: 117-137-2, .461

31. San Diego Chargers: 117-139, .457

32. Denver Broncos: 110-146, .430

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow John Breech @JohnBreech.

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's New Era Red Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2015 NFL Draft On-Stage 59FIFTY Fitted Hat

2015 NFL Draft Day Hats
Get your team today
Shop Now