The New England Patriots 2012 schedule is technically the easiest in the NFL. Regardless of the success levels attained by their opponents last year, the Patriots still have a number of tough matchups this season.
And as Mary Poaletti of CSNNE.com explains, it doesn't always matter.
Fifteen out of 43 teams (35%) with the most difficult schedules made the playoffs and 18 of 44 teams (41%) with the easiest SOS went to the postseason.
Here's a look at the top five most important matchups for New England in 2012.