2010 NFL Schedule: Which Divisions Have the Toughest Road to Dallas?
If I were Vince Young, I wouldn't be looking too happy either after seeing the 2010 NFL schedule.
Based on last year's records, the Titans have the toughest road to the Super Bowl in Dallas this year. In fact, the whole AFC South has a mighty tricky trek.
Some of this is based on how good your division is. Some of it's just the luck of the draw of your out-of-division opponents.
There's plenty of shockers on the 2010 schedule, including the path to a repeat for the Super Bowl champs.
8. NFC West
The NFL has done all it can to help Matt Leinart put his stamp on the Cardinals.
The Cards open at St. Louis and face opponents that had a 114-142 mark last year.
The entire division has a schedule of opponents that went 462-562 last season. Making things easier is that the NFC West plays the weak AFC West out of conference this year.
7. NFC South
Drew Brees has a surprisingly easy path back to the Super Bowl if you go by the records.
The Saints have one of the easier opponent skeds, with their foes posting a 120-136 mark last year. Who Dat is going to have to get used to the spotlight. They're playing a franchise-record five nationally-televised games this year, including two at night.
The division plays the AFC North out of division, far from a gift.
Overall, the division's opponents are 492-532.
6. AFC West
There is no excuse for the Chargers not to be in the Super Bowl.
Their division is full of uneven expectations and their out-of-conference sked is gift wrapped with the NFC West.
On top of all of it, the Bolts have one of the five easiest skeds, with opponents 116-140 last year.
The division overall faces foes that went 496-528.
5. NFC North
This is one of those times where the numbers might lie.
The NFC North has the AFC East out of conference and the NFC East out of division.
With that said, the Packers are still set up for a 5-2 or 6-1 start. The Vikes have three games before their bye, while the Pack have a Week 10 bye. Go figure.
The Bears and Lions certainly didn't help the division's overall 513-511 opponents' records.
The Lions have the toughest of the division (130-126), followed by the Vikes and Bears (129-127) and the Packers (125-131).
4. AFC East
That's Tom Brady saying, "I'm sick and tired of this stupid Colts matchup."
The Pats are the anomaly of the division, with the sixth-hardest schedule (136-120 opponents' record). That has a lot to do with having the viewer-friendly Indy matchup thrown in for good ratings.
New England comes out of a Week 5 bye like this: Baltimore (who emasculated them in the playoffs), at San Diego, Minnesota, at Cleveland (who will be coming off a bye), at Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, at Detroit and then hosting the Jets.
Ouch, babe. Plus, they're in prime time four times. The NFL definitely likes the buzz coming from the division—the Jets have five prime time games as well.
The rest of the division is much tamer, as the Jets, Bills and Dolphins are all tied for 16th-hardest (128-128 opponents' record).
3. AFC North
Ray Lewis must feel like he just got fed castor oil after looking at the Ravens' schedule.
The Birds are on the road three of the first four weeks—at the Jets, Bengals and Steelers.
The North plays the East out of division and the NFC South out of conference.
The division overall has a 525-499 opponents' record.
The Bengals got the short end of the division stick with the fourth-hardest overall schedule (138-118). The Browns have the 10th hardest (132-124), followed by the Ravens (130-126) and the Steelers (125-131).
2. NFC East
As hard as I tried, I couldn't find one photo of Tony Romo with a frown on his face. The dude just likes to smile.
There had to be plenty of frowns last night. The only upside is the Cowboys only have back-to-back road games twice this year.
Here's their holiday stretch: host the Saints, at Colts, host Philly and Washington, at Arizona and finish at Philly.
My prediction: if they can go 4-2 or better in this stretch, they're going to the Super Bowl.
The entire division all has top-10 difficult schedules. The 'Boys are third (139-117), followed by the Giants at No. 7 (135-121), Redskins at eighth (134-123) and Eagles at No. 9 (133-123).
Overall, opponents are 541-484. The division has the NFC North out of division and the AFC South out of conference.
1. AFC South
I don't know. Maybe the NFL is tired of all of Peyton Manning's commercials.
The division had the best collective record last year and gets rewarded by facing a perfect storm in 2010.
Your divisional opponents only got stronger. You're playing the NFC East out of conference. And your overall opponents are 549-475.
The Titans and Texans tie for the toughest schedule in the NFL (140-116 opponents' records), followed by the Jags at No. 5 (137-119) and the Colts at tied for 10th (132-124)