The long, grueling road to the NFL postseason is still a few months away, but we will be one step closer on Wednesday night when the NFL officially unveils the schedule for the 2014-15 regular season.
Every year, the schedule is more difficult for some teams than others, and this years strength of schedule was not kind to the Oakland Raiders. Oakland enters the 2014 season with the hardest schedule on paper, which could lead to another disastrous season in the Black Hole.
Oakland’s division rival, the Denver Broncos, also have a difficult schedule, coming in at No. 2 right behind the Raiders.
These are two completely different situations, however.
Denver is loaded with talent and they were able to only get better this offseason, so they are prepared for a difficult run and could use the regular season to battle test the team for the postseason.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, their difficult road makes the team’s chances of finally getting back to the postseason even less likely.
Here are the five hardest schedules for the 2014 NFL regular season, according to the strength of schedule:
NOTE: Strength of schedule is determined by the combined 2013 record of all 16 opponents.
1. Oakland Raiders, opponents 2013 record: 148-108 (.578)
2. Denver Broncos, opponents 2013 record: 146-110 (.570)
3. St. Louis Rams, opponents 2013 record: 144-111-1 (.564)
4 (T). San Diego Chargers, opponents 2013 record: 144-112 (.563)
4 (T). San Francisco 49ers, opponents 2013 record: 144-112 (.563)
Will having the hardest schedule in the NFL this season hurt the chances of the Broncos, Chargers or 49ers returning to the playoffs? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts and predictions.