2021 NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings for all 32 teams

By Kevin Kelley -

2021 NFL Strength of Schedule rankings for all 32 teams have been calculated for the upcoming season, and a couple of different methods are available.

The first method, the winning percentage method, is far from an exact science due to player trades, free agency, injuries, and the draft. This method is based solely on the combined record of a team’s opponents from the previous season.

Below are the strength of schedule rankings using the winning percentage method, which includes the combined opponent record and winning percentage from the previous season (2020).

Winning Percentage Method

Rank Team Opp. Record (2020) Opp. Winning % (2020)
1 Pittsburgh Steelers 155-115-2 .574
2 Baltimore Ravens 152-118-2 .563
3 Chicago Bears 149-122-1 .550
4 Green Bay Packers 147-124-1 .542
5 Minnesota Vikings  144-127-1 .531
T-6 Cincinnati Bengals 144-128 .529
T-6 Detroit Lions 143-127-2 .529
8 Las Vegas Raiders 142-128-2 .526
9 Cleveland Browns 140-130-2 .518
10 LA Rams 140-132 .515
T-11 Kansas City Chiefs 138-132-2 .511
T-11 Seattle Seahawks 139-133 .511
T-13 Tennessee Titans 138-134 .507
T-13 Arizona Cardinals 138-134 .507
T-15 Washington FT 136-134-2 .504
T-15 Houston Texans 137-135 .504
17 LA Chargers 133-137-2 .493
18 Jacksonville Jaguars 133-138-1 .491
T-19 San Francisco 49ers 132-138-2 .489
T-19 New York Jets 132-138-2 .489
T-19 New England Patriots 133-139 .489
22 New Orleans Saints 131-140-1 .483
T-23 Buffalo Bills 130-142 .478
T-23 Indianapolis Colts 130-142 .478
25 New York Giants 128-142-2 .474
26 Carolina Panthers 128-143-1 .472
T-27 Denver Broncos 127-143-2 .471
T-27 Miami Dolphins 128-144 .471
29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 126-145-1 .465
30 Atlanta Falcons 123-148-1 .454
31 Dallas Cowboys 122-148-2 .452
32 Philadelphia Eagles 117-155 .430

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the toughest schedule in 2021 using the winning percentage method, just ahead of the Baltimore Ravens. Chicago is third, followed by Green Bay in fourth and Minnesota in fifth.

The distance from first (Pittsburgh) to fifth-place (Minnesota) is 11 games in the win column.

The Eagles have the easiest schedule in 2021, according to the winning percentage method. Their schedule is easier than the 31st-ranked team, Dallas, by five games in the win column and seven games in the loss column.

SportsBettingDime offers an alternative NFL strength of schedule ranking again this season, saying that “this is how we should be calculating SOS.”

They use 2021 NFL win totals to provide their own NFL strength of schedule rankings. This is determined by “adding the projected wins of each team’s 17 opponents this season.”

Below are their rankings using that method. Their rankings differ of course, but you’ll notice some similarities, especially with a few teams with the toughest and easiest schedules this season.

Projected Win Totals Method

Rank Team Proj. Wins of 2021 Opp.
1 Las Vegas Raiders 153.5
2 Pittsburgh Steelers 152.8
3 Houston Texans 151.8
4 Cincinnati Bengals 150.8
5 Detroit Lions 150.1
6 Washington FT 150.0
7 Arizona Cardinals 149.1
8 New Orleans Saints 148.9
9 Chicago Bears 148.6
10 New York Giants 148.3
11 Kansas City Chiefs 147.9
12 Baltimore Ravens 147.8
13 Los Angeles Rams 147.2
14 Minnesota Vikings 146.9
15 Green Bay Packers 146.3
16 Seattle Seahawks 145.6
17 New England Patriots 145.4
18 Philadelphia Eagles 145.1
19 Atlanta Falcons 145.0
20 Los Angeles Chargers 144.9
21 New York Jets 144.1
22 Tennessee Titans 143.8
23 Carolina Panthers 143.3
24 Buffalo Bills 143.2
25 Miami Dolphins 142.9
T-26 Indianapolis Colts 142.8
T-26 Dallas Cowboys 142.8
28 Jacksonville Jaguars 142.7
29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 142.6
30 Denver Broncos 142.4
31 Cleveland Browns 141.9
32 San Francisco 49ers 138.2

The Las Vegas Raiders have the toughest schedule in 2021, while the San Francisco 49ers have the easiest, according to the projected win totals method.

To compare, the Raiders are eighth while the 49ers are tied for 18th, according to the winning percentage method. The Steelers’ 2021 slate is ranked toughest by the winning percentage method and second-toughest by the projected win totals method.

The 2021 NFL Schedule is set for release on Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00pm ET. Week 1 of the 2021 season will be revealed on Wednesday morning.

NFL Schedules

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