Strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams: Which teams have the hardest, easiest schedule for 2024?

Before the NFL enters its quietest stretch of the year, the spectacle that is the league’s schedule release will give fans something to look forward to for the fall.

All 32 teams already know their opponents for the 2024 season, and they know which games will be at home along with which will be on the road. The NFL schedule release will finalize 2024 plans by revealing when each game will be played and when teams will be featured in prime time.

If the past two seasons are any indication, prime-time games don’t necessarily guarantee success. The 2022 NFL schedule was loaded with prime-time games involving the Broncos, only for Denver’s anemic offense to bore fans throughout the year. The Jets were the darling of the schedule release in 2023, receiving six prime-time games in Aaron Rodgers’ first season with the team, but Rodgers’ Achilles tear in the first of those six made New York a tough watch under the lights.

Still, the NFL schedule release is a sign of progress for some of the league’s budding teams. The Bengals played just one prime-time game in 2021 but found themselves all over the schedule the following season after reaching Super Bowl 56. The Texans didn’t even land a prime-time game in 2023, but that’s sure to change in a major way now that C.J. Stroud has emerged as a premier talent. 

As the schedules are finalized, here’s a look at each team’s strength of schedule in 2024.

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Toughest NFL schedule 2024

Cleveland Browns (.547 opponent win percentage)

Based strictly on 2023 winning percentage, the Browns have the NFL’s hardest schedule in 2024. Cleveland’s opponents had a combined .547 winning percentage last season, buoyed by the success of AFC North rivals in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. The Browns also have the Chiefs, Cowboys, and Dolphins on their schedule in 2024, though they host all three. 

With the Steelers’ quarterback situation potentially more stable and Joe Burrow returning for Cincinnati, the path forward for the Browns may be even more difficult than that .547 mark indicates.

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Fortunately for the Browns, many of their toughest matchups do come at home. On the flip side, Cleveland faces the Broncos, Commanders, and Raiders on the road. No game is easy in the NFL, but those will be prime opportunities for the Browns to make up the difference and snag wins on the road.

Here’s a complete look at the Browns’ home and away opponents in 2024. 

Home Away
Bengals Bengals
Chargers Broncos
Chiefs Commanders
Cowboys Eagles
Dolphins Jaguars
Giants Raiders
Ravens Ravens
Steelers Saints
  Steelers

Who has the easiest NFL schedule in 2024?

Saints, Falcons (.453 opponent win percentage)

Based on 2023 winning percentage, the Falcons and Saints share the easiest 2024 schedule. Atlanta and New Orleans both face opponents who had a combined .453 winning percentage in 2023, aided by the reality of a weak NFC South.

The Saints and Falcons also face the entire AFC West in 2024, which can be taken as good news. While the Chiefs are a monumentally tough opponent, the Broncos and Raiders have unstable quarterback situations, and the Chargers have major questions outside of QB Justin Herbert after missing the playoffs last season. 

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Here’s a look at the opponents the Saints and Falcons will face in 2024.

Saints

Home Away
Broncos Buccaneers
Browns Chargers
Buccaneers Chiefs
Commanders Cowboys
Eagles Falcons
Falcons Giants
Panthers Packers
Raiders Panthers
Rams  

Falcons

Home Away
Buccaneers Broncos
Chargers Buccaneers
Chiefs Commanders
Cowboys Eagles
Giants Panthers
Panthers Raiders
Saints Saints
Seahawks Vikings
Steelers  

2024 NFL strength of schedule rankings

Rank Team Opponent win pct. (2023)
1. Cleveland Browns .547
2. Baltimore Ravens .536
3. Pittsburgh Steelers .533
4. Green Bay Packers .526
  Houston Texans .526
6. Buffalo Bills .516
  New York Giants .516
8. Jacksonville Jaguars .512
  Las Vegas Raiders .512
  New England Patriots .512
11. Detroit Lions .509
12. Dallas Cowboys .505
  Los Angeles Rams .505
  New York Jets .505
  San Francisco 49ers .505
16. Cincinnati Bengals .502
  Kansas City Chiefs .502
  Minnesota Vikings .502
  Washington Commanders .502
20. Denver Broncos .495
21. Indianapolis Colts .491
  Philadelphia Eagles .491
  Tennessee Titans .491
24. Arizona Cardinals .488
  Miami Dolphins .488
  Seattle Seahawks .488
  Los Angeles Chargers .488
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers .478
29. Carolina Panthers .467
  Chicago Bears .467
31. Atlanta Falcons .453
  New Orleans Saints .453
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Last season’s win percentage is not a perfect way of evaluating each team’s strength of schedule, particularly after a busy offseason that saw some teams upgrade and others lose key pieces.

Below is a look at Sharp Football Analysis‘ strength of schedule rankings based on their opponents’ projected 2024 win total, from hardest (Steelers) to easiest (Falcons). 

Strength of schedule rank Team
1 Pittsburgh Steelers
2 New England Patriots
3 Cleveland Browns
4 Baltimore Ravens
5 Minnesota Vikings
6 Tennessee Titans
7 Houston Texans
8 Denver Broncos
9 Las Vegas Raiders
10 Buffalo Bills
11 Dallas Cowboys
12 Detroit Lions
13 New York Giants
14 Green Bay Packers
15 San Francisco 49ers
16 Los Angeles Rams
17 Arizona Cardinals
18 Seattle Seahawks
19 Jacksonville Jaguars
20 Washington Commanders
21 Kansas City Chiefs
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
23 Carolina Panthers
24 Philadelphia Eagles
25 Miami Dolphins
26 Indianapolis Colts
27 Cincinnati Bengals
28 New Orleans Saints
29 New York Jets
30 Chicago Bears
31 Los Angeles Chargers
32 Atlanta Falcons

How is the NFL schedule determined?

If you believe your team has a difficult or easy schedule, no one is to blame. The NFL schedule makers only determine when teams play the games, not which opponents they face. That’s determined by a set of rules, and it’s why each team already knows its home and away opponents for 2024.

The NFL uses this formula to put together each team’s schedule:

  1. Each team plays six divisional games, facing each divisional opponent three times at home and three times on the road (six games).
  2. Each team faces all four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
  3. Each team faces all four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games)
  4. Each team faces two more intraconference opponents based on the prior year’s standings. For example, because the Browns already play the entire AFC North and AFC West in 2024, they face the teams in the AFC South and AFC East that finished in the same spot in the standings as Cleveland did (second) the previous season. In their case, it’s the Dolphins and Jaguars (two games).
  5. Each team plays one additional game against a team from the other conference based on the prior year’s standings on a rotating four-year cycle. These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in each division are similarly paired. The home conference for this game rotates each season (one game).
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