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NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings for 17-Game Season

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nfl strength of schedule rankings for 17 game season

NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings For 17-Game Season article feature imageCredit:

Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Pictured: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Mar 30, 2021 at 04:17 P.M. EDT

The NFL officially approved the expansion of its regular season to 16 and 17 games beginning in 2021. This was the first major change to the schedule since 1978, when it expanded to 16 games.

While the exact regular-season schedule won’t be released until May, we do have every team’s home and away opponents, which is how Travis Reed — our in-house Data Manager — was able to use his model to rank the strength of schedule for all 32 teams.

Let’s dig into those rankings, from easiest to hardest, then run through key information about the extension.

NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings

RankTeam
1Chargers
2Broncos
3Cowboys
4Jets
5Raiders
6Bills
7Jaguars
8Eagles
9Buccaneers
10Ravens
11Dolphins
12Texans
13Titans
14Chiefs
15Falcons
16Browns
1749ers
18Giants
19Patriots
20Bengals
21Colts
22Washington
23Cardinals
24Panthers
25Steelers
26Packers
27Saints
28Lions
29Vikings
30Seahawks
31Rams
32Bears

What to know about the 17th game

How matchups are set

The 17th game will pit NFC divisions against AFC divisions, determining exact matchups based on the previous season’s division standings. In this example, the AFC East faces the NFC East, and the AFC East draws the Washington Football Team (reigning first-place in the NFC East) for the 17th game.

These are the exact division matchups in 2021 for the 17th game (which will change in subsequent seasons).

  • AFC East vs. NFC East
  • AFC West vs. NFC North
  • AFC South vs. NFC South
  • AFC North vs. NFC West

What is the difference between home and away?

AFC and NFC teams will host each other for the 17th AFC game in 2021. That means AFC and NFC teams will play nine games at home and eight away, respectively. NFC teams on the other hand will play nine away games and eight home matches. Each season, the conferences will rotate.

Bye Weeks

Even though the schedule is 17 games, there will only be one bye week for teams.

Preseason Length

Under the latest NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league can play no more than 20 games in total, which means there can be no more than three preseason games played in the new 17-game regular season.

2021 NFL Opponents

TeamHomeGet Away17th game
ARIGB, MIN., HOU. IND. CARCHI, DET. JAX. TEN. DAL@ CLE
ATLPHI, WSH. NE. NYJ. DETDAL. NYG. BUF. MIA. SF.@ JAX
BALKC, LAC, GB, MIN, INDDEN, LV CHI CHI DET, MIALAR
BUFHOU, IND., ATL., CAR., PITJAXWSH
CARPHI, WSH. NE. NYJ. MINDAL, NYG. BUF. MIA. ARI@ HOU
CHIARI, SF. BAL. CIN. NYG.LAR, SEA CLE PIT, TB@ LV
CINKC, LAC, GB, MIN, JAXDEN, LV CHI CHI, DET NYJSF
CLEDEN, LV CHI, DET and HOUKC, LAC, GB, MIN, NEARI
DALATL, CAR DEN, LA, ARINO, TB. KC. LAC. MIN.@ NE
DENBAL, CIN. PHI. WSH. NYJCLE, PIT and DAL, NYG and JAXDET
DETARI, SF. BAL. CIN. PHI.LAR, SEA CLE, PIT & ATL@ DEN
GBLAR, SEA CLE PIT, WSHARI, SF. BAL. CIN. NO@ KC
HOUNE, NYJ. LAR. SEA. LAC.BUF, MIA. ARI. SF. CLECAR
INDNE, NYJ. LAR, SEA. LVBUF, MIA. ARI. SF. BALTB
JAXBUF, MIA. ARI. SF. DENNE, NYJ. LAR. SEA. CINATL
KCCLE, PIT and DAL, NYG, BUFBAL, CIN. PHI. WSH. TENGB
LARCHI, DET. JAX. TEN.GB, MIN. HOU, IND. NYG@ BAL
LACCLE, PIT DAL, NYG and NEBAL, CIN. CIN, PHI. WSH.MIN
MIAHOU, IND., ATL., CAR., BAL.JAX, NO, TB and LVNYG
MINLAR, SEA CLE PIT, DALARI, SF. BAL. CIN. CARLAC
NEJAX, TEN. NO. TB. CLEHOU, IND., ATL., CAR., LAC.DAL
NODAL. NYG. BUF. MIA. GB.PHI, WSH. NE. NYJ. SEA@ TEN
NYGATL, CAR DEN, LA, LARNO, TB. KC. LAC. CHI.MIA
NYJJAX, CIN, TEN, NO TB, NO, TENHOU, IND., ATL., CAR., DENPHI
LVBAL, CIN. PHI. WSH. MIA.CLE, PIT, DAL, NYG, BALCHI
PHINO, TB. KC. LAC. SF.ATL, CAR DEN, LV, DETNYJ
PITDEN, LA, CHI. DET, and TENKC, LAC, GB, MIN, BUFSEA
SFGB, MIN. HOU, IND. ATLCHI, DET. JAX. TEN. PHI.@ CIN
SEACHI, DET. JAX. TEN.GB, MIN., HOU. IND., WSH@ PIT
TBDAL. NYG. BUF. MIA. CHI.PHI, WSH. NE. NYJ. LAR@ IND
TENBUF, MIA. ARI. SF. KCNE, NYJ. LAR. SEA. PITNO
WSHNO, TB. KC. LAC. SEAATL, CAR DEN, LV, GBB@ BUF




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