NFL: Tougher Schedules Could Spell Doom for These Seven Teams

Sam SnyderCorrespondent IJune 15, 2009

DAVIE, FL - MAY 02:  Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins watches his team during mini camp on May 2, 2009 at the Miami Dolphins Training facility in Davie, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Playing in the NFL is difficult enough, but when you pile on tough schedules, you either have a recipe for disaster or your team will come out the strongest. But for these teams, it's looking more like a disaster.

1. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins face a murderous schedule, and it will be the first real test to see how far they have come from 2007. They play the Steelers, Chargers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Colts, Titans, and the Patriots (twice). The most likely upset team is the Texans, who are coming into the season with the best Texans squad ever, and a hot offense.

Not easy by any means. Chad Pennington's reward for Comeback Player of the Year? The NFL's toughest schedule.

Hardly seems fair.

2. San Diego Chargers

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It was hard placing the Chargers here considering they get to beat up on two rebuilding teams twice a year.

But outside the AFC Worst, they are going to have to fight it out.

They play the Ravens, Steelers, Titans, Giants, Redskins, Eagles, and Cowboys.

The upset factor here are the Bengals, provided Chad Ochocinco can stay mature and Carson Palmer stays healthy.

3. New England Patriots

Tom Brady's return isn't going to be easy at all. They play the Titans, Colts, Ravens, Falcons, Saints, and the Panthers.

The Houston Texans are again the upset factor, with their red-hot offense.

The Patriots have the firepower to take all these teams, but the teams do, too.

If the Brady-Moss-Welker connection can play like they did in 2007, then they are the most likely to succeed out of the seven teams listed here.

4. Baltimore Ravens

Joe Cool isn't getting any slack this year, because there is no rest for the weary. Having coming off a successful season with the third toughest schedule, the Ravens don't get a break.

They play the Steelers (twice), Colts, Chargers, Patriots, and Vikings. T

he Packers are the possible upset, playing at Lambaeu Field with a strong passing threat.

The Ravens success depends on their stalwart defense and strong running game. But things look optimistic, as they have improved over the offseason, despite high=profile losses.

4. Minnesota Vikings

The Purple People Eaters return might have to be delayed another yearโ€”the Vikings schedule isn't exactly a cakewalk.

They play the Steelers, Ravens, Cardinals, Giants, and Panthers. The upset factor is Green Bay again. The Vikings, however, have Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson, so anything can happen.

5. Arizona Cardinals

The miracle in the desert may just dry up this year. The Cardinals are facing an excruciating schedule this year.

They play the Giants, Colts, Titans, Panthers, and Vikings.

San Fransisco is the upset factor hereโ€”not terribly hard, but you have to take into account the regular-season performance of the Cardinals, not just the postseason.

6. Tennessee Titans

It was tough to put the Titans behind the Cardinals, but the Titans face easier teams than the Cards.

They play the Patriots, Colts (twice), Chargers, Steelers, and Cardinals. The Texans are yet again the upset factor.ย 

Again, tough, but not viciously hard.

The Titans, have a lot of returning talent in the backfield, and have good DBs to protect against the pass-happy offenses they will face.

7. Dallas Cowboys

Not so easy-going for the 'Boys.

They face a tough schedule, but also have a lot of talent.

They play the Chargers, Falcons, Giants (twice), Eagles (twice), Saints, and Panthers.

The Redskins take the upset factor. Looks pretty hard, right?

Well, the Cowboys have a lot of talent coming back. Romo can throw to Williams, Crayton, and Whitten without getting crap for it.

The Cowboys are only this low because they have a very good team that may surprise a lot of people if they can stay together.


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