NFL.com published an article the other day listing each team's strength of schedule for the 2013 season. According to the data, the Cleveland Browns have the 11th easiest (or 21st toughest, depending on how you look at it) schedule in the NFL. They are actually in a two-way tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers for that slot, because the record for both teams' combined opponents is 126-130-0 for a winning percentage of .492.
Here is a breakdown of the strength of schedule for each of the teams in the AFC North:
- Baltimore Ravens (5th toughest, 137-119-0, .535)
- Cincinnati Bengals (12th toughest, 130-126-0, .508)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (21st toughest, 126-130-0, .492)
- Cleveland Browns (21st toughest, 126-130-0, .492)
Heading into last season, the Browns had the 3rd toughest strength of schedule, when opponents had a record of 135-121-0 for a winning percentage of .527. That could explain some of Cleveland's struggles last season. Then again, the Ravens had the 4th toughest strength of schedule and proceeded to win the Super Bowl.
Here are the home and away opponents for the Browns in 2013:
Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions
Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings