Strength of schedule: Buffalo Bills

February, 10, 2014
Feb 10
12:00
PM ET
Average.

That's the best way to describe the Buffalo Bills' 2014 schedule, which ranks 14th in the NFL with an opponents' winning percentage of exactly .500.

Based purely on last season's records, the Bills' schedule won't give them any advantage or disadvantage. They're the only team where that's true -- all others are either above or below .500.

The Bills' road schedule is slightly more favorable, with a .484 opposing winning percentage. At home, the Bills will face teams that were slightly better than average (.516) last season.

Among AFC East teams, the Bills' schedule is the easiest. Their .500 mark ranks behind the New York Jets (.520), New England Patriots (.516) and Miami Dolphins (.508). However, the Patriots -- who were undefeated at home last season -- have the easiest home schedule next season, at .508.

The NFL doesn't determine opponents on a year-to-year basis. Instead, it uses a rotating scheduling formula. Here's a quick refresher:
  • Each team plays other teams within its division twice each season, once at home and once on the road (for a total of six games).
  • Each division plays another division each season within its conference, two games at home and two games on the road (for a total of four games).
  • For the other two divisions within the conference, each team plays the team that finished in the same spot in the standings the previous year, one game at home and one game on the road (for a total of two games).
  • Each division plays another division in the other conference each season, two games at home and two games on the road (for a total of four games).

The rotation continues each season. The AFC East played the AFC North last season, will play the AFC West next season and will play the AFC South in 2015. The Bills played the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers on the road last season; Buffalo will play those teams at home when the AFC East next plays the AFC North in 2016, assuming the NFL keeps the same formula.

This season, the Bills' schedule shapes up like this:

Home:
Miami Dolphins (division opponent)
New England Patriots (division opponent)
New York Jets (division opponent)
Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West opponent)
San Diego Chargers (AFC West opponent)
Green Bay Packers (NFC North opponent)
Minnesota Vikings (NFC North opponent)
Cleveland Browns (AFC North fourth-place finish)

Away:
Miami Dolphins (division opponent)
New England Patriots (division opponent)
New York Jets (division opponent)
Denver Broncos (AFC West opponent)
Oakland Raiders (AFC West opponent)
Chicago Bears (NFC North opponent)
Detroit Lions (NFC North opponent)
Houston Texans (AFC South fourth-place finish)

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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