2018 NFL Easiest Calendar Dates: NFL Betting Breakdown
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— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) April 26, 2018
Texans’ 2017 Opponents Record: 116-140 (.453)
Analysis: The Houston Texans could be back in the mix in a big way for a Super Bowl appearance thanks to the returns of gifted quarterback Deshaun Watson, former NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and a couple of other defensive starters that all missed significant time last season with injuries. Those returns, combined with the fact that Houston has, statistically, the easiest schedule in the league next season, meaning the Texans could thrive! In Weeks 3, 4 and 5 Houston plays a trio of non-playoff teams from last season (Giants, Colts, Cowboys). The same goes for Weeks 8, 9 and 10 (Dolphins, Broncos, and Redskins) and Weeks 13, 14 and 15 (Browns, Colts, and Jets).
Titans’ 2017 Opponents Record: 119-137 (.465)
Analysis: Marcus Mariota and the Titans went 9-7 last season, but Tennessee decided to part ways with head coach Mike Mularkey in favor of first-time head coach Mike Vrabel. The former Houston Texans defensive coordinator will have a fairly easy schedule ahead of him with the Titans. Tennessee kicks off their 2018 campaign against the underachieving Miami Dolphins and closes out the season with a trio of matchups against non-playoff teams in 2017 (Giants, Redskins, and Colts).
Bengals’ 2017 Opponents Record: 121-135 (.473)
Analysis: Cincinnati missed out on the playoffs last year after going 7-9 to finish third in the AFC North, but they could potentially get back in the mix for a playoff berth seeing as how they have the third easiest schedule in the league in 2018. Having said that, I don’t see that happening. Cincy’s first two games are against teams that failed to make the playoff last season (Colts and Ravens) but they could very well turn out to be losses for the Bengals. Outside of their Week 5 home date against Miami and Week 8 home date against Tampa Bay, Cincy will face a bunch of non-playoff teams that already have the look of teams that will be vastly improved come next season. The Bengals could very well lose.
Raiders’ 2017 Opponents Record: 121-135 (.473)
Analysis: Oakland went 6-10 last year in Jack Del Rio’s final season at the helm and now, they’ll look to quickly improve after giving Jon Gruden $100 million to lead the franchise in a new direction. Right now, I’m feeling some ‘easy’ wins for Oakland in Week 3 at Miami, Week 4 at home against Cleveland (I think), Week 7 at home against Indy and week 15 and 16 at Cincy and at home against the Broncos.
T-25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars’ 2017 Opponents Record: 122-134 (.477)
Not only did the Jags go 10-6 last season to win the AFC South and make the playoffs for the first time in ages, but they also reached the AFC Championship game where they gave New England a tough way to go before coming up just short in the second half. Now, heading into 2018, I see a bunch of easy wins coming for Jacksonville in Week 1 at the New York Giants, in Week 4 at home against the Jets, in Week 6 at Dallas and Weeks 15 and 16 at home against Washington and at Miami respectively.
Statistically speaking, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos (122-134) have identically easy schedules while the two teams that reached Super Bowl 52, also face a schedule in which their 2018 opponents failed to record combined records that totaled .500 records. New England Patriots (124-132, .484), Philadelphia Eagles (126-130, .492)
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