The NFL schedule just came out a couple of hours ago, and already there are more Cleveland Browns jokes than you can wave a rubber dog mask at. Chief among them right now: NFL schedule released: Browns already mathematically eliminated from playoffs. Ha ha. Come on interwebz, is that the best you can do? How about some new material?
Here’s the first week of action below, and the first games that jump at me are Packers at 49ers and Ravens at Broncos. Do San Francisco and Green Bay play each other every year? What’s the league’s obsession with this matchup? When’s the last time San Francisco played Dallas, for instance? (Answer: 2011. And they’ve only met twice since 2005). Stop it, NFL. Also in Week 1: Giants at Cowboys, Eagles at Redskins, Vikings at Lions. No need to postpone those inter-divisional donnybrooks. And Alex Smith gets a gentle return to starting duties as the Chiefs visit the Jaguars. He should be sacked no more then six or seven times.
Also, please remove your hats and say a prayer for the Carolina Panthers who, according to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports, have the league’s toughest strength of schedule. Their 0.543 ranking (teams they play have a combined 2012 record of 138 wins, 116 losses, 2 ties) is No. 1 in the league. The rest of the top 10:
2. Detroit Lions 0.539 138-118-0.
3. New Orleans Saints 0.539 137-117-2.
4. St. Louis Rams 0.539 137-117-2.
5. Baltimore Ravens 0.535 137-119-0.
6. Green Bay Packers 0.533 136-119-1.
7. Arizona Cardinals 0.520 131-121-4.
8. Miami Dolphins 0.520 133-123-0.
9. San Francisco 49ers 0.520 132-122-2.
10. Minnesota Vikings 0.516 132-124-0.
All is still not forgiven between the league and the Saints, we see.
Here’s the entire schedule for every team (no weeping).
NFL Week 1 Schedule of Doom: