On the day that the National Football League released its 2015 regular season schedule, fans of the Atlanta Falcons joined fans of all 32 teams in projecting their squad’s success in the upcoming year.
But there was a stat mentioned Tuesday by ESPN that should have the attention of Falcons fans even more.
When using the results of the 2014 season, the Falcons project to have the easiest schedule in the NFL in 2015. ESPN Stats and Info says the combined 2014 winning percentage of all the Falcons’ 2015 opponents is a paltry .410.
This is likely due, in part, to the pitiful records of the other three NFC South teams, of which the Falcons will play twice each this season as they do every year. If the division is as lousy as it was a year ago, the Falcons could have a realistic chance to make the playoffs.
But here’s the even better news. ESPN also looked up the last three teams to enter the season with the weakest schedule in the league, and they all found big success that year. Here are the teams that had the weakest schedule from each of the last three seasons, as well as their end result.
– 2014: Indianapolis Colts – Reached AFC title game
– 2013: Denver Broncos – Reached Super Bowl
– 2012: New England Patriots – Reached AFC title game
After two seasons of mediocrity, would anyone be upset with the Falcons making it back to the conference championship game, or better? Let’s hope the trend holds up for one more season, and a rebuilding project accelerated by playing weak opponents.
The full schedule is below: