AFC East has four of NFL's seven worst schedules

February, 2, 2009
2/02/09
2:11
PM ET
Congratulations, Miami Dolphins. You went from a 1-15 joke to inspirational AFC East champs and a trip to the playoffs.

Your reward? The NFL's most thankless schedule.

All four AFC East are in the same situation because they will play the AFC South and NFC South, divisions that produced four playoff teams. Nobody in the NFC South had a losing record.

The AFC East has four of the league's seven harshest schedules. Sending two teams to the playoffs will be extremely difficult in 2009. It's not unfathomable to imagine a 10-6 or 9-7 record taking the division.

The New England Patriots have the third-toughest schedule. Their opponents went 151-105 for a .580 winning percentage. The Buffalo Bills have the sixth-toughest (146-110, .570). The New York Jets are just a skosh behind the Bills because of a tie (145-110-1, .568).

But the Dolphins face the most rugged road, albeit barely.

Their opponents posted one fewer victory than the Patriots and one fewer tie than the Carolina Panthers. The Dolphins finished atop the AFC East, which means they must face every first-place AFC team. They'll also draw the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers.

The AFC East had a far more painless schedule in 2008. It played the AFC West and NFC West, divisions that produced one winning record -- not each, but combined. Western divisions compiled an aggregate 45-83 record, a .352 winning percentage.

The Bills had the second-easiest actual 2008 schedule (determined after season), with their opponents going 116-140 for a .453 winning percentage. Only the San Francisco 49ers had it easier.

The Dolphins owned the 27th-easiest actual schedule (118-138, .461). The Jets were 26th (120-135-1, .471), and the Patriots were 22nd (123-133, .480).
Highest Opponents' Combined Win Pct (2009 Schedule)
Win Loss Tie Opp. Combined
win pct*
1. Miami Dolphins 152 104 0 .594
2. Carolina Panthers 151 104 1 .592
3. New England Patriots 151 105 0 .590
4. Atlanta Falcons 150 105 1 .588
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 148 107 1 .580
6. Buffalo Bills 146 110 0 .570
7. New York Jets 145 110 1 .568
8. New Orleans Saints 142 113 1 .557
9. Philadelphia Eagles 137 119 0 .535
10. New York Giants 134 120 2 .527
11. Dallas Cowboys 131 123 2 .516
11. Jacksonville Jaguars 132 124 0 .516
13. Indianapolis Colts 131 125 0 .512
14. Tennessee Titans 130 126 0 .508
15. Houston Texans 129 126 1 .506
16. Washington Redskins 125 129 2 .492
17. Kansas City Chiefs 123 131 2 .484
17. San Diego Chargers 123 131 2 .484
19. Denver Broncos 122 132 2 .480
19. Oakland Raiders 122 132 2 .480
21. Detroit Lions 119 136 1 .467
22. Cincinnati Bengals 119 137 0 .465
22. St. Louis Rams 119 137 0 .465
24. Seattle Seahawks 117 139 0 .457
25. Cleveland Browns 114 140 2 .449
26. San Francisco 49ers 113 142 1 .443
27. Arizona Cardinals 113 143 0 .441
28. Baltimore Ravens 111 143 2 .438
29. Pittsburgh Steelers 110 144 2 .434
30. Green Bay Packers 109 146 1 .428
31. Minnesota Vikings 107 148 1 .420
32. Chicago Bears 105 149 2 .414
* Based on opponents' 2008 record

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