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Tuesday, February 3, 2009
AFC North strength of schedule

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

The four AFC North teams combined for the toughest strength of schedule of any division in football in 2008. But next year will be a welcomed relief because, in 2009, the AFC North has one of the league's easiest schedules.

Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 1), Baltimore Ravens (No. 5), Cincinnati Bengals (No. 7) and Cleveland Browns (No. 9) were all in the top 10. Baltimore and Pittsburgh survived and were battle tested for the postseason. The Bengals and Browns couldn't handle the brutal schedule and both were four-win teams.

Ironically, the Steelers and Ravens have the easiest schedules in the division next year and are No. 29 and No. 28 in the NFL, respectively.

Here is a look at the strength of schedule for the entire league in 2009:

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