NFL Strength Of Schedule 2023: Ranking 1-32 Easiest To Hardest

New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) speaks at Ochsner Sports Performance Center.
Image Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL strength of schedule for the highly anticipated 2023 season has been unveiled, providing football enthusiasts with valuable insights into each team’s level of competition. DraftKings Sportsbook has win totals provided on each team, and we used those to determine who has the hardest and easiest schedule for 2023.

This approach offers a more accurate depiction of the upcoming challenges awaiting each team in the league. Take a look below.

NFL Strength Of Schedule 2023

1New Orleans Saints
2Atlanta Falcons
3Indianapolis Colts
4Carolina Panthers
5San Francisco 49ers
6Chicago Bears
7Houston Texans
8Pittsburgh Steelers
9Tennessee Titans
10Seattle Seahawks
11Detroit Lions
12Jacksonville Jaguars
13Philadelphia Eagles
14Green Bay Packers
15Los Angeles Rams
16Cleveland Browns
17Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18Dallas Cowboys
19New York Giants
20Cincinnati Bengals
21Baltimore Ravens
22Arizona Cardinals
23Denver Broncos
24Washington Commanders
25Minnesota Vikings
26New York Jets
27Los Angeles Chargers
28Kansas City Chiefs
29Buffalo Bills
30Miami Dolphins
31Las Vegas Raiders
32New England Patriots

Strength of schedule determined by win totals from DraftKings Sportsbook as of June 6, 2023.

Easiest Schedules: The Saints & NFC South

The New Orleans Saints find themselves with a favorable schedule that’s as appetizing as a plate of Jambalaya from the Big Easy. The NFC South is unproven at this point in time, and the Saints also have a crossover with the weak AFC South. Throw in a few suspect encounters with the NFC North, and the Saints have a real shot at success.

As the “de facto” favorites in the shaky NFC South, their solid defense and stable quarterback position — after bringing in Derek Carr — gives them an edge over their competitors. So let the good times roll, because the Saints are ready to dance their way through this season’s easiest schedule.

Because of that, the Saints have an over/under of 9.5 wins according to DraftKings Sportsbook. They also carry -180 odds to make the playoffs, which is the fourth-best mark in the NFC.

It is worth noting that three of the four NFC South teams find themselves in the top five easiest schedules, which is due to the shakiness of the division, the absence of Tom Brady from Tampa Bay, and a cushy crossover with the AFC South.

Hardest Schedules: The Patriots & AFC East

There’s a good chance Freddy Krueger put together the Patriots’ schedule because it’s a nightmare. See what I did there? Bad jokes aside, the AFC East is arguably the toughest division in football this season from top to bottom. As if that weren’t enough, the Patriots must also contend with the formidable teams from the NFC East and AFC West. Take a look at their first eight games:

  • Week 1 vs. Eagles
  • Week 2 vs. Dolphins
  • Week 3 at Jets
  • Week 4 at Cowboys
  • Week 5 vs. Saints
  • Week 6 at Raiders
  • Week 7 vs. Bills
  • Week 8 at Dolphins

The Raiders are the only game where you are banking on a win, and that one is on the road across the country. Things don’t get much easier, as New England finishes the season vs. Kansas City, at Denver, vs. Buffalo, and vs. the Jets.

On top of that, the Pats will pack their lederhosen and head to Germany to face the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 12. Whether this European excursion will bring them luck or simply add more chaos to their already tumultuous journey remains to be seen.

Interestingly, three of the four AFC East teams, including the Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins, face the most difficult schedules. The arrival of Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets adds an additional layer of complexity to an already tough division. Rodgers’ presence elevates the Jets’ status and raises the level of competition within the AFC East, making it even more challenging for the Patriots to contend.