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2022 NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings for All Teams Updated After Week 1

Matt McEwan

by Matt McEwan in NFL Football

Updated Sep 14, 2022 · 2:07 PM PDT

Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts
Aug 12, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) looks for a receiver against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
  • We have updated our NFL strength of schedule rankings after seeing each team play in Week 1
  • There are new teams believed to have the easiest and toughest schedules versus our pre-season rankings
  • See updated NFL strength of schedule rankings for all teams below

Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season is officially in the books, and what a week it was! We saw a lot of teams come out look much worse than expected—Rams, Cowboys, Bengals, Packers, Cardinals, Colts, and Broncos, among others—and others look much better than anticipated—Giants, Seahawks, Vikings etc.

Now that we’ve had a better look at how good/bad each team is in 2022, I have updated my NFL strength of schedule rankings. As you may know, I use my own proprietary calculation for NFL strength of schedule, which calls upon NFL win totals. Here’s what the SOS rankings look like after being adjusted to consider Week 1’s results:

*1 equals the toughest remaining schedule, while 32 is the easiest.

NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings

Rank Team Strength of Schedule
1 Pittsburgh Steelers 158.7
2 New York Jets 151.5
3 Kansas City Chiefs 151.3
4 Arizona Cardinals 150.5
5 New England Patriots 149
6 Atlanta Falcons 148.2
7 Los Angeles Rams 148.1
8 Cincinnati Bengals 147
9 Las Vegas Raiders 146.3
10 Miami Dolphins 146
11 Buffalo Bills 144.4
12 Green Bay Packers 144.4
13 Seattle Seahawks 144.3
14 Cleveland Browns 144.2
15 Dallas Cowboys 144.1
16 Tennessee Titans 143.7
17 Denver Broncos 143.5
18 Houston Texans 143.1
19 Minnesota Vikings 143
20 Carolina Panthers 142.7
21 Chicago Bears 141.8
22 Detroit Lions 141.8
23 Los Angeles Chargers 141.8
24 Baltimore Ravens 141.3
25 San Francisco 49ers 140.6
26 New Orleans Saints 140.6
27 Jacksonville Jaguars 139.1
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 138.1
29 New York Giants 136.2
30 Washington Commanders 136
31 Indianapolis Colts 134.1
32 Philadelphia Eagles 130.8

The strength of schedule metric above is the sum of each team’s opponents’ win totals. For the sake of comparison to the preseason NFL strength of schedule, I have left every team’s Week 1 opponents in the calculation.

The Pittsburgh Steelers now have the toughest remaining schedule in the 2022 NFL season, while the Philadelphia Eagles still have the easiest. The Steelers were believed to have the second-toughest schedule entering the season. So, they experienced a little movement, but nothing significant.

Let’s dive into the teams whose NFL strength of schedule did change significantly following Week 1 results:

Teams Whose NFL Strength of Schedule Got Tougher

  • Cleveland Browns: 27th-toughest –> 14th-toughest

The Browns were lucky to escape Carolina with a win in Week 1. But they shouldn’t spend any time celebrating the win, since their remaining schedule looks a whole lot tougher than it did back in the preseason. Many of Cleveland’s opponents looked better than expected in their respective Week 1 games.

We saw the Ravens look more like the team we had gotten used to in Lamar Jackson’s first few seasons under center, not the injury-riddled version we saw last year. (This one even seems to push the ball downfield more!) As a result, Baltimore’s win total went up from 9.5 to 10.5. This one is especially significant since the Browns have two games against the Ravens this season.

The Chargers looked good in a win over the Raiders, sending their average win total from 9.8 to 10.8. Cleveland hosts the Chargers in Week 5. The Dolphins dominated the Patriots in Week 1, and their average win total improved from 8.5 to 9.8. The Browns head to Miami in Week 10. The Bills looked scary good in Week 1 against the Rams. Their already-high win total went up from 11.5 to 12.5, which is an NFL-high. Cleveland will go from Miami to Buffalo in Week 11.

The sum of Cleveland’s opponents’ win totals was 140.5 when I calculated NFL strength of schedule in the offseason. The sum of their opponents’ win totals after Week 1 is 144.2. Their opponents got better by 3.7 wins.

  • Dallas Cowboys: 23rd-toughest –> 15th-toughest

Things are not looking good in Dallas right now. Not only were the Cowboys the only team not to score a touchdown in Week 1, but also lost Dak Prescott to a broken hand. Now this! Dallas’ NFL strength of schedule went from the 23rd-toughest to the 15th-toughest.

This is largely the result of three of their future opponents looking better than expected in Week 1. First, the Eagles looked to be legitimately in the conversation for Super Bowl contenders in their win over the Lions. Philadelphia’s win total went from 8.5 to 10.5 after Week 1. (Some of that movement did happen leading up to Week 1.) Dallas still has to deal with the Eagles twice this season.

The Giants, another division rival, upset the Titans in Week 1 and saw their average win total go from 7 to 7.8. This is another two games Dallas has to play this season. Finally, the Vikings, who Dallas play on the road in Week 11, saw their average win total improve from 9 to 10.3 with a big win over the Packers.

Dallas’ opponents’ win totals went from a combined 141 to 144.1 as a result.

Teams Whose NFL Strength of Schedule Got Easier

  • Los Angeles Chargers: 9th-toughest –> 23rd-toughest

No team saw their strength of schedule ranking move more than the LA Chargers after Week 1. Many of LA’s future opponents put forth very underwhelming performances in their season-openers.

The Chargers see the Jaguars in Week 3, who lost to the Commanders and saw their win total drop from 6.5 to 5.5 as a result; they play the Browns in Week 10, which is before Deshaun Watson returns from suspension, who have seen their average win total go from 10 to 9.3; the Broncos, who LA plays twice this season, were upset by the Seahawks, resulting in their average win total dropping from 10 to 9.3; the Cardinals looked awful in Week 1, moving their win total from 9 to 7.8, and the Chargers will see them in Week 12; the Titans were upset by the Giants and saw their win total drop from 9.5 to 7.8, making LA’s Week 15 matchup with them look a little easier.

Looking at the full picture, LA’s opponents’ win totals fell from 149 to 141.8!

  • Houston Texans: 8th-toughest –> 18th-toughest

In one of the biggest surprises of Week 1, the Houston Texans tied the Indianapolis Colts. Even though it wasn’t a win, it felt like one for the team who entered the season with the second-worst odds to win the Super Bowl. Now the Texans get another “win” in their strength of schedule looking easier than expected.

Two more of Houston’s divisional foes didn’t impress in Week 1, as the Jaguars lost to the Commanders and the Titans were upset by the Giants. Tennessee’s average win total fell from 9.5 to 7.8—some of that movement happened in the offseason, after the original SOS was released—and Jacksonville’s fell from 6.5 to 5.5.

Houston also plays the Broncos in Week 2, where they’re listed as 10-point underdogs in Denver, and Cowboys in Week 14. The former were upset by the Seahawks in Week 1, resulting in their average win total dropping from 10 to 9.3, while the Cowboys looked awful against the Bucs, seeing their win total fall from 10.5 to 7.5. (The injury to Dak Prescott is the reason for such a sharp dip.)

Overall, Houston’s opponent’s win totals went from 149.5 down to 143.1.

  • San Francisco 49ers: 16th-toughest –> 25th-toughest

The 49ers suffered a miserable loss to the Bears in a monsoon on Sunday. But their remaining schedule at least looks a little easier than originally expected.

To avoid retelling all the same info you heard above on which teams flopped in Week 1, here are the teams on San Francisco’s schedule who saw their win totals drop: the Broncos, Rams (twice), and Cardinals (twice).

The 49ers’ opponents’ saw their win totals go from 145 to 140.6.

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