Thursday, November 01, 2007

The 2007 NFC East Contenders Strength of Schedule

First a Summary of the Season So Far
Excluding the games played against the NFC East team in question, the following is the combined winning percentage of the opponents of each of the contenders for NFC East (through games played last weekend):

Giants 0.420
Cowboys 0.447
Redskins 0.622

Clearly, the Redskins have had a much tougher schedule than either the Giants or the Cowboys so far.

To date, Redskins opponents have a win percentage differential that is 20.2% greater than the Giants opponents and 17.5% greater than the Cowboys opponents. Annualizing those numbers, the opponents that the Redskins have played to date would finish the year with an average record of 10 – 6; The Cowboys opponents would finish 7 – 9; and the Giants opponents would finish with just under 7 wins. Considering that we are talking about an average, that is a HUGE difference. Imagine if you had a schedule that showed that EVERY week you had to play a team that was 10-6? On average, the Skins have done that, have a winning record, and are within striking distance of the NFC East title.

So what should we expect the rest of the year?
The following shows the strength of each of the NFC East contenders' remaining schedule (excluding the remaining games against each other because if the team in question doesn’t win those games, the rest of its schedule really doesn’t matter):

Giants 0.545
Cowboys 0.512
Redskins 0.356

It is almost a perfect inverse of the strength of schedule so far.

The Redskins are two games back in the loss column from the NFC East title because their NFC East competition has played the softest parts of their schedules already and the Redskins have played one of the most difficult schedules in the NFL in 2007. Now, there will be a reversal of fortunes. I’d say the Redskins are sitting pretty.

Just look at that remaining schedule. If they can get a couple of players back (including an O-lineman), the Redskins will march through the second half and take the NFC East title.


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