It’s been overof the 2020 NFL calendar, and since I’m in quarantine and have nothing better to do, I decided to go through the 32 calendars to find the five easiest stretches that any team will face this year (I also took a little time to figure out the five most difficult sections, but let’s not go ahead, it will be out next week).
To determine which teams had the five easiest stretches, I took into account several factors, such as Super Bowl odds, whether a team will play at home or away during their “easy” stretch, and what look like the opponents of the season for the season. I also considered a few independent factors. For example, the Seahawks, who have the third easiest stretch of any NFL team this year in our rankings, will face two East Coast teams at home during their stretch, which is considered an advantage because that the Seahawks have a history of dominating home time zone teams during the regular season.
When I made this list, I really followed only one rule: For a streak to count in the standings, it had to last at least three weeks. There are a lot of teams playing two consecutive tough games, but once you’ve played a third one, things usually get a little easier.
Okay, let’s move on to the standings, and remember, the five most difficult sections will be released next week. But for now, let’s dive into the top five easiest stretches of schedule.
5. Washington Redskins (weeks 8 to 11)
Opponents: BYE, Giants, chez Lions, Bengals
The Redskins don’t have an easy schedule this year, but they will take a break after their week 8 break. After this week off, they will play consecutive games against the Giants, Lions and Bengals. Although this stretch is considered “easy” based on these rankings, the Redskins might not dominate this three game period, and that is because they simply should not be very good.
Of course, even if they had to win every game in that streak, that wouldn’t even help them, and that’s because after their week 11 game against the Bengals, the Redskins will start a four-game streak where they will play against the Cowboys, at the Steelers, at the 49ers and at home against the Seahawks. This stretch is so difficult that it has ranked in the top five hardest stretches in the NFL this year. Unfortunately for you, you’ll have to wait until next week to find out exactly where it ranks when we publish our list of the five toughest stretches any team will face this season. The Redskins were the only NFL team that landed on both our “Easiest Stretch” list and our “Most Difficult Stretch” list.
4. Seattle Seahawks (weeks 13 to 15)
Opponents: Giants, Jets, at Redskins
This streak of games couldn’t have come at a better time for the Seahawks. By the time the schedule arrives in December, there’s a good chance Seattle is fighting to win NFC West, and the good news for the Seahawks is that their easy stretch begins in December. Beginning in week 13 (December 6), the Seahawks will be able to play consecutive home games against the Giants and Jets. This is a huge advantage for a team that is known to dominate teams in the Eastern home time zone. Since Russell Wilson’s rookie year in 2012, the Seahawks have played 20 regular season home games against teams in the Eastern time zone and have gone from 16-4 to those games. Of these four losses, one came from a potential Super Bowl team (Panthers 2015) and another from a team that ended its season with the best NFL record in the regular season (Ravens 2019). The other two losses occurred in 2017 in a rare rut where the Seahawks have lost consecutive home games (Falcons, Redskins). Basically, it will not be easy for Daniel Jones or Sam Darnold to walk around CenturyLink Field and steal a victory.
As for this other game in that streak, even if it’s played in Washington, it shouldn’t bother the Seahawks, who have been 7-0 in the Eastern time zone since the start of the season. 2018.
3. Arizona Cardinals (weeks 2 to 5)
Opponents: Redskins, Lions, at Panthers, at Jets
After going 5-11 in 2019, it’s hard to say how good the cards will be in 2020, but now that I look at their schedule, it could be a team that should be considered a dark horse to make it to the playoffs. , and that’s because they are easy to stretch at the start of the season. After playing the 49ers in week 1, the Cardinals are entitled to four very winnable games with home clashes against the Redskins and Lions, before hitting the road for consecutive games against the Panthers and Jets.
Another big advantage for the Cardinals is that they will be able to combine their two road games into one trip. Coach Kliff Kingsbury has already announced that the team will remain in the east for this two-game swing in Carolina and New York.
The fact that the Cards will be able to compress this in one trip is huge, as it occurs during a period when they will actually be playing three straight road games, which can have an impact on NFL teams ( the third road game comes in week 5 when they play in Dallas). If the Cards can sweep this stretch, they could start season 4-1, and maybe even 5-0 if they can upset the week 1 49ers.
2. Miami Dolphins (weeks 10-13)
Opponents: Jets, BYE, at Jets, Bengals
A dieof 2020 involves the Dolphins, and luckily for Miami, the strange oddity on the calendar will work in its favor. Starting in week 10, the Dolphins will play consecutive games against the Jets, marking the first time in 29 years that two teams have played consecutive games (the last time this occurred in 1991 when the Chargers and the Seahawks played two games in a row against each other). For the Dolphins, this works to their advantage, as they have dominated the Jets in recent years. Since the start of the 2016 season, Miami is 6-2 against the Jets with only two losses totaling 15 points. The bizarre timing means that the Dolphins will have to try to beat their former coach (Adam Gase) twice in 14 days.
After facing the Jets twice, the “easy” section of the Dolphins will end with a week 13 home game against the Bengals. Not only is it a win, but it comes at a win: since the start of the 2016 season, the Dolphins are 7-2 in December at home. The heat in Miami can cause problems for an opponent, which is why the Dolphins have been able to mark major upheavals at home in December in the last four years, including two victories against the Patriots (2017, 2018) and a shocking victory the last time. season on an Eagles team that ultimately made the playoffs (The Dolphins were 10.5 point underdogs in this game).
1. Baltimore crows (weeks 15 to 17)
Opponents: Jaguars, giants, in the Bengals
Ravens coach John Harbaugh should send a thank you note to everyone in the NFL scheduling department, because not only did the Ravens get the easiest stretch of schedule of all the teams in the NFL this year according to our ranking, but this stretch will come at a key time. The 2019 Ravens calendar will end with three very winable games, including two at home (Jaguars, Giants) and one on the road in week 17 (at the Bengals).
The reason this is a big deal is that the format of the NFL playoffs is changing this year, and there is a good chance that this game streak may work to the advantage of Baltimore. With seven teams now qualified for the AFC playoffs, that means only one team will receive a pass in the first round. With only one bye to win, chances are the Ravens are fighting for the seed in the final weeks of the year, and with an end-of-season schedule that looks like this, there are good chances that the Ravens will end the season on a high note and win first place in the general classification.
To put the Baltimore end-of-season schedule into perspective, the Chiefs’ last three games are against the Saints (in New Orleans), the Falcons and the Chargers.
As for the Ravens, you could say that their “easy” stretch really starts in week 14 when they play against the Browns. Not only will Baltimore have 11 days off before Monday night’s game in Cleveland (they play a Thursday in week 13), but they have been 12-4 against the Browns since the start of the 2012 season.