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Monday, February 2, 2009
NFC South teams face brutal 2009 schedules

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The conclusion of the Super Bowl means all we have to look forward to is next season. On the surface, 2009 is not going to be an easy season for the NFC South.

All four teams rank in the top eight when it comes to schedule difficulty. Based on the 2008 records of opponents, Carolina has the league's second-hardest schedule. Atlanta ranks fourth, Tampa Bay fifth and New Orleans eighth.

But there may be a silver lining to all this. At this time last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the toughest schedule based on this system. They went out and won the Super Bowl.

Here's a look at the difficulty of every team's schedule for 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