49ers

NFL strengths of schedule for 2021, ranked hardest to easiest

49ers
Ben Roethlisberger will have his work cut out for him against some of the NFL's best defenses in 2021.
USA Today Sports

The NFL is about to embark on its biggest season yet with an expanded 17-game schedule. While an extra game will likely present its own challenges for players, some teams will be up against a tough strength of schedule this season, as well.

The Steelers top the list of 2021 strength of schedule rankings. Their 17 opponents have a combined 2020 record of 155-115-2 and a combined 2020 win percentage of .574. With games against the Chiefs, Bills and Packers, the Steelers will have their work cut out for them as they look to repeat as AFC North champions.

The Baltimore Ravens are the only other team whose opponents have a combined 2020 win percentage over .550. Baltimore will face the division-rival Steelers twice, as well as the Chiefs and Packers in 2021.

Despite winning the NFC East, the Washington Football Team sits in the bottom half of the hardest strength of schedules heading into 2021. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Co. will still have their work cut out for them as Washington's schedule ranks 22nd hardest this season.

While the Steelers, Ravens and Chicago Bears have the hardest schedules in 2021, the Philadelphia Eagles round out the list with the easiest. The Eagles' 2021 opponents went 117-155 in 2020 for a combined win percentage of .430. Philadelphia is the only team facing a combined win percentage below .450, due in large part to the fact that only three of their opponents finished above .500 last season.

 

Below is the 2021 strength of schedule ranked from hardest to easiest based on opponents combined record from last season:

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