With the Super Bowl merely a glimmer in the past and the new season seemingly much too distant in the future, the release of the league schedule provides a great outlet for fans. Trash-talking with friends, analyzing all of the upcoming opponents, setting travel plans for away games—these are all in play at this point of the offseason.
Another phenomenon that comes into play at this time is a great amount of speculation.
Fans and NFL pundits alike project team records, win-loss ratios, playoff teams and fantasy football studs for the foreseeable future.
Another thing that is subject to speculation is each teams' strength of schedule.
It is always fun to project which teams are going to have it rough during the upcoming season and which teams will have a cakewalk to the playoffs.
The criteria for the following strength-of-schedule power rankings are not solely based upon 2012 records. There are plenty of details that are considered here. Examples are 2012 playoff teams, teams with winning records, free-agency losses and gains, prime-time schedule and short turnaround weeks.
Each of these aspects are strongly considered and combined into a formula that creates strength-of-schedule power rankings not seen elsewhere.
Teams are ranked from the easiest to most difficult schedules.