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- Oct 30, 2012
- Reaction score
- Madison, WI
Good analysis, thanks. I too look at bye weeks and back to back road games. I hadn't taken the time to do that yet, so thanks for doing "my work".I agree some of those games should be winnable but a few are actually quite hard. One thing I notice is most people tend to think about strength of schedule only in terms of the opponent's record last year. That's typically how it's mentioned on sites like NFL.com for example. But it's all a bit myopic to me, because a team's record last year doesn't usually track with what their record will be this year. The Vikings were statistically a 7-10 team masquerading as a 13-4 squad. If you treat them off record, yeah, wow, they look really tough, especially on the road. If you go by other stats and metrics, it's not really that intimidating.
Two things I looked for in the schedule release were back to back road games for us and our opponent. I think stats have any given game being 52-48 in favor of the home team, but that changes to 60-40 if the road team is playing its second straight road game, so it's definitely a thing that impacts games in a noticeable way. The Packers play back to back road games twice this season and the second games are Week 2 in Atlanta and Week 17 in Minnesota. Now of course both games are winnable still but the scheduling has made those games quite harder for us than they normally would have been. I think both have to be considered to be likely losses.
On the flip side, we're getting four opponents this year in Lambeau who played a road game the week before. The Saints, Rams, Chiefs, and Bucs. The schedule has given us a bit more of a chance in each game thanks to that.
The other thing to look at is to compare the amount of rest teams have before the game. You generally think of a team coming off a bye week to have some inherit advantages than a team who just played given the more time to prep and heal up banged up players. The Packers have two games, both on the road, against teams this year where we have a rest disadvantage. We play the Steelers in week 10 after the Steelers will have done the Thursday night game in Week 9, giving them three extra days than us for our game. The worse one is the Giants game in week 14 as the Giants have a bye in week 13 but we play. Both games are going to be much harder than normal due to that.
The Packers have rest advantages of three extra days against the Raiders (road), Broncos (road) and Chiefs (home). The Broncos is our game after the bye but the Broncos play on Thursday night the previous week and gain some of the time difference back. Hopefully we'll have a bit more of a chance in those games.
My bottom line is, not knowing how the team will come together, or play, especially Love, and only looking at the schedule as made, I think we've been given a few schedule losses (Falcons, Steelers, Giants) and a few schedule wins (Bucs, Rams, Saints, Raiders). The game we have the biggest scheduling advantages with is the Chiefs game given the extra rest and that it's at home and the Chiefs will be playing back to back road games. That might be this season's 'how in the heck are we winning this' game, but it is the Chiefs, so...
Injuries to the Packers and their opponents is also a very big factor in what happens. How many times have we seen injuries derail a teams season? Throw in free agent losses and player development and you have a whole lot of variables to consider for "strength of schedule". While the previous seasons record should be considered, it can be only a small variable in the big picture.