These 15 NFL Teams Have the Easiest Schedules in 2018

Some NFL players have all the luck. The best of the best are among the highest-paid athletes in the United States, and the luckiest of the bunch seem to have yellow brick road straight to the Super Bowl since their teams have the easiest schedules in 2018. The Cleveland Browns, who went 0-16 in 2017, don’t have one of the easiest schedules, but they play the team that does.

15. Buffalo Bills

Stephon Gilmore of the Buffalo Bills warms up during a game against the Miami Dolphins.

An easy schedule might help the Bills get back to the playoffs. | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 127-129

Before sneaking into the postseason after the 2017 season, the Bills hadn’t been in the playoffs since well before The Office debuted on TV. Nothing is given in the NFL, but Buffalo has a great chance to be back in the playoffs with one of the easiest NFL schedules in 2018.

Next: A 2017 playoff team has a cushy schedule.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (TIE)

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action

An easy schedule helps QB Patrick Mahomes in his first season as the Chiefs’ starter. | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 126-130

New starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes earned Offensive Player of the Week honors after throwing four touchdowns in Week 1, but he had a little help. The opponents on the Chiefs’ schedule were four games under .500 and combined for a .492 winning percentage in 2017.

Next: It’s time to celebrate again.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (TIE)

nick foles and carson wentz celebrate

There could be more of this in the future thanks to the Eagles’ soft schedule. | Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 126-130

Some of the world’s biggest celebrities partied hard after the Eagles’ Super Bowl win. They might want to start planning another bash. Philadelphia has a great chance to play in Super Bowl 53, according to Vegas, and it has one of the easiest schedules, too. Playing moribund division rivals Washington and New York helps, as do inter-conference games against Houston and Indianapolis, teams that each went 4-12 in 2017.

Next: A return to glory?

12. Baltimore Ravens

Joe-Flacco easiest schedules NFL 2018

Baltimore and quarterback Joe Flacco have one of the NFL’s easiest schedules in 2018. | Rob Carr/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 125-131

Baltimore won the title in 2013, but things have been kind of rough in the years since. The 2018 season is shaping up to be a little different. In addition to playing struggling division rival Cleveland twice, the Ravens also get the Raiders, Broncos, and Buccaneers at home. All three of those teams had lackluster 2017 seasons.

Next: The makings of another long playoff run.

10. New England Patriots (TIE)

NFL's easiest schedules 2018

Tom Brady can’t believe how easy New England’s 2018 schedule is. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 124-132

Aside from fans in and around Boston, everyone wants to know when Tom Brady will retire and what will happen to the Patriots when he does. For now, though, it looks like we’re going to have to deal with another long playoff run for New England since it has one of the easiest 2018 schedules in the NFL despite the fact it plays the three other teams that made the divisional round of the playoffs.

Next: One of the easiest schedules might help this team get back to the postseason.

10. Indianapolis Colts (TIE)

Andrew Luck Colts easiest schedules

This could be the year Andrew Luck and the Colts return to the playoffs. | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 124-132

If you want to make the argument that the Colts are wasting Andrew Luck’s prime years, then you have a compelling case. He’s back from a shoulder injury that kept him on the sidelines in 2017, and he and his teammates have a great chance to be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2014 thanks to one of the NFL’s easiest schedules in 2018.

Next: It’s all an illusion.

9. Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on November 23, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers will be even more excited if the team returns to the playoffs. | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 123-133

The Chargers have one of the easiest schedules in 2018, but we think it’s all an illusion. They start off facing three playoffs teams from 2017 (the Chiefs, Bills, and Rams), play another playoff team (Tennessee) before the bye week, and face a resurgent San Francisco team in the first half of the season. While Los Angeles’ opponents posted a .480 winning percentage in 2017, the schedule looks a lot tougher in real life than it does on paper.

Next: A playoff team with a cupcake schedule.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (TIE)

Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers seem destined to make the playoffs in 2018. | Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 122-134

All four teams that played in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs have some of the NFL’s easiest schedules in 2018, and that includes Pittsburgh. Playing the Browns twice skews the win-loss record, and even though the Steelers face six playoff teams from the 2017 season, they also get to play Tampa, Denver, and Oakland along the way.

Next: There are only three challenging opponents on the schedule.

5. New York Jets (TIE)

Sam Darnold New York Jets NFL easiest schedules 2018

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold was gifted one of the NFL’s easiest schedules in 2018. | Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 122-134

The Jets’ schedule is one of the NFL’s easiest in 2018, so they have a great chance to improve on their 5-11 record in 2017. The way we see it, there are only three tough opponents on the schedule.

  • A Week 7 tilt against the Vikings, who made the NFC championship game.
  • Playing against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay in Week 16.
  • Two games against New England in the second half of the season.

Next: We might be seeing a lot more of these ugly uniforms.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars (TIE)

Earl Wolff

The Jaguars are looking for another playoff berth. One of the easiest schedules could help them get there. | Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 122-134

Before we glance at the schedule, let’s do a quick recap of the Jaguars’ 2017 season:

  • AFC East champions with a 10-6 record.
  • Winners of two playoff games in the wild card and divisional rounds.
  • Pushed New England to the brink before falling in the AFC championship game.

We might be seeing a lot more of Jacksonville’s ugly uniforms in the playoffs again since it has one of the easiest schedules in the league in 2018. Its opponents combined for a .477 winning percentage in 2017, and that’s including the Patriots and Eagles, the two Super Bowl teams.

Next: Five opponents help give this team an easy slate.

5. Denver Broncos (TIE)

Case Keenum signed a big deal with the Denver Broncos before the 2018 season.

The schedule sets up nicely for QB Case Keenum in his first season in Denver. | Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 122-134

The Broncos have one of the easiest NFL schedules in 2018, and five opponents account for nearly half of the losses listed above. The Browns (0-16), Texans (4-12), Jets (5-11), 49ers (6-10), and Raiders (6-10) combined for 59 losses in 2017. Three of Denver’s last four games in 2018 are against San Francisco, Cleveland, and Oakland.

Next: The schedule could help in this coach’s return to the sidelines.

3. Oakland Raiders (TIE)

Oakland Raiders new head coach Jon Gruden speaks during a news conference at Oakland Raiders headquarters

Jon Gruden is smiling because he just looked at the 2018 schedule. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 121-135

Jon Gruden is back on the sidelines and coaching thanks to a surprising comeback and Oakland’s schedule sets him up for success. The Browns and Colts (combined 4-28 in 2017) cross the country for games in Oakland, and the Raiders also face Miami and Cincinnati squads that struggled last season.

Next: A coach on the hot seat has a favorable slate.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (TIE)

Marvin Lewis NFL Cincinnati Bengals

Marvin Lewis and the Bengals have one of the easiest schedules in 2018. | Rob Carr/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 121-135

It seems like Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis is always one of the NFL coaches on the hot seat, but he’s survived more than a decade leading the Bengals through thick and (usually) thin. With one of the easiest schedules in 2018, this could be a bounce-back year. In addition to two games against Cleveland, the Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Raiders come to town after tough 2017 seasons.

Next: Here they are again.

2. Tennessee Titans (TIE)

Derrick Mason (C) of the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans have one of the NFL’s easiest schedules in back-to-back seasons. | Rick Runion/AFP/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 119-137

The Titans had one of the easiest schedules in 2017, and here they are again. Tennessee has to play defending champion Philadelphia, but it also gets to face Washington and the New York Giants, who combined to go 10-22 last year. Plus, the Titans also get two games each against Houston and Indianapolis (combined 8-24 in 2017). Add it all up, and it easy to see why they have a cupcake schedule once again.

Next: The team with by far the easiest schedule.

1. Houston Texans (TIE)

Jerome Mathis was a return specialist for the Houston Texans

The Texans could high-step into the playoffs thanks to the easiest schedule in the NFL. | Bob Levey/Getty Images

Opponents’ 2017 record: 116-140

Houston has the easiest schedule in the NFL in 2018, and it’s not even close. The 116-140 record its opponents posted in 2017 translates to a .453 winning percentage. In addition to the Colts, who tied with Houston for last place in the AFC South, the Texans also play the last-place Browns, Giants, and Jets in 2018.

Strength of schedule data courtesy of CBS Sports.

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