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Reason Pats strength of schedule is easier than Miami's

When the schedule came out yesterday and even the day before when I posted the so-called strength of schedule chart, many of you wondered angrily how it is the NFL can possibly allow the New England Patriots to have the easiest schedule in the NFL.

I posed the question on my radio show -- Armando and Perkins on 640-AM in South Florida and streaming live right here every day 6-10 a.m -- to see if I could get an answer to your question.

Well, it didn't take my co-host Chris Perkins very long to have an answer.

"Look inward," he said.

What he meant is the Patriots get an easier schedule basically because they get to play the Dolphins twice a year. And the Dolphins are not a very good team.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, play a harder schedule despite finishing lower in the standings because they have to play the Patriots twice a year. And the Patriots are a very good team.

Simple as that.

Based on 2011 opponents' records, the Patriots will face teams that compiled a 116-140 record. Based on the same criteria, the Dolphins will face teams that compiled a 127-129 record in 2011.

That's an 11-game difference.

But the truth is in two of those games the Patriots line up against the 6-10 Dolphins. While in two of those games the Dolphins line up against the 13-3 Patriots.

So in those two games alone the Patriots are facing a team that adds 12 wins and 20 losses to their combined strength of schedule figure. The Dolphins in those two games face a team that adds 26 wins and only six losses to their strength of schedule figure.

So the Pats are plus-20 on Miami's strength of schedule. And the Dolphins are a minus-8 to New England's. The difference is HUGE -- a 28-game difference. That more than accounts for the 11-game gap between Miami's total opponents' records of 127-129 and New England's total opponents'' records of 226-140.

Confusing?

Think of it this way: The Patriots have an easier schedule because they play a poor Miami team. And the Dolphins have a harder schedule because they play the AFC Champion. And the teams play twice.

Simple.

Comments

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that's not the only reason. do the math.

Ohio, not sure, but that's the first "leak" I've heard during the Philbin era. Wonder if it's meant to be a sleight-of-hand thing, so other teams get off the scent of who they really want to Draft.

Obviously some here don't understand strategy. This COULD be legit, or not. It COULD be a ruse. We're hearing now teams thinking of moving up to get Tannehill, many in the press propping him up like some hidden gem.

This will all play out in a week. Can't wait.

Yeah, I see what you're talking about Ohio, my posts aren't coming up either.

wow, some bloggers are just figuring out there is spin and smokescreen in the days leading up to the draft. i wonder if gm's are aware of this.

"San Francisco General Manager Trent Baalke told reporters that the 49ers would consider trading up or down from No. 30, but if they don’t do that, he has a specific player in mind for the 30th overall pick. That player, Baalke said, is someone the 49ers like a lot and think will be available after the first 29 players are chosen.

“We have one person that we feel real good about that if we’re not able to make some moves, if we choose to do that, up or back,” Baalke said. “You got to be prepared to make the pick at 30, which we’re prepared to do. You see how the board falls. We certainly have more than one person. But there is one in particular that we feel will be there. And if he is, we’ll be prepared to make the pick.”

This guy is a heck of GM. Sure Harbaugh has done an outstanding job but you also need the right players. There's NO WAY we would have finished 13-3 if Ross & Ireland got Harbaugh. Ireland should be taking notes on everything Baalke does starting with what he has for breakfast.

My guess is that he's looking at either Lamar Miller to go with Gore & Kendall Hunter or Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech who should both be there. Considering they have the best defense in the NFL either guy has the potential to put the Niners over the edge to win a SB this year.

Look out for Lamar Miller. Whoever takes this kid is going to get a steal at the bottom of the first.

Why the hell did I get banned??? B/c I ripped Mando for not knowing why the Pats had an easier schedule than ours. LOL!!!!

tiredphinfan is right. Armando your math is wrong. If the Pats won 7 more games than Miami last year, then on a two game basis it's a 14 game difference not 28.

Tannehill is not the answer. I don't think B. Weadon and Tannenhill are that far appart. Take a DE then Weaton in the 2nd.

"Last year was basically his first year since he missed his rookie year due to injury. If you can't see he played very well for his first year then you are just hell bent on bashing Ireland for any reason. Odrick was impressive."

Zazo,

If anything I'm trying to stay positive!!!

The coversation I was having with Greg Z was about drafting "ballers" & "playmakers." Yeah...Odrick had a NICE first year. With that said don't tell me that Odrick doesn't need to take his game to another level this year to validate that he deserved to be a first round pick. That's just silly.

To paraphrase the immortal words of Denny Green--If you want to crown him then crown his a@@.

"Why the hell did I get banned??? B/c I ripped Mando for not knowing why the Pats had an easier schedule than ours. LOL!!!!"

Mando,

This site has some ODD kinks going on. However please eradicate all TROLLS at all costs.

"Tannehill is not the answer. I don't think B. Weadon and Tannenhill are that far appart. Take a DE then Weaton in the 2nd."

Sherif,

I believe this is very possible. I can see Ireland taking Coples & then Weeden if he's still there BUT my QB sleeper is Russell Wilson. He's smart, he's polished, he's a leader, he's a GREAT athlete & I could care less that he's 5'11". IMO--The Troy Smith comparisons are a joke.

WHDP, you're right. I'm going back on my "bust" claim for Odrick, since he has impressed at times last year. But no one can seriously claim this guy has done ANYTHING yet to deserve his first-round draft position.

I think he CAN become a dominant lineman. This should be his breakout year. But this pick falls in line with MOST of Ireland's picks, and the reason many feel he hasn't done a masterful job acquiring talent in the Draft. His picks have all been role-players, b-player types, who are good "team" men, but none are stars. And the one star Ireland DID pick, is a LT, so not exactly a TD machine.

With that said, I don't know if we can blame solely Ireland for these faults. It's in dispute who actually did the drafting during the Trifecta era. And then there's the lack of development of ANY player under the Sparano Coaching Staff. This year will give us a better understanding to Ireland's effectiveness and ability to acquire stellar talent.

We'll see.

Gusy don't get hung up on this 'first round' thing on Odrick. He was the 28th player chosen in the draft. Do some research and you'll find that not all guys chosen around that time become stars. For my money, Odrick contributed last year. Would we like to see more? Of course. But for his rookie year it wasn't a bad start. Let's cut this guy some slack here. Our season doesn't hunge on Odrick. He's already given us more than guys like Avery, Yatil Green and Fletcher gave us. Chill a little....

Sure, lets judge players of their draft position value after one season of play. Impatient fools expect players, even first rounders, to be at pro bowl level after one year of experience. Pay attention, it doesn't work that way. Players need time to develop. Some of you just live to label any of Irelands picks a bust. You are afraid if he does something right you will look foolish. Well, you already do.

Why does the dolphins play in Foxboro every year for the last game?

bunch of crap!
why is a div champ playing a team at the bottom of div? this is a problem with playing a different div every year. the pat schedule should like the giants schedule.
arizona - detroit
seattle - giants
st.louis - saints
colts - pit
jack - cin

Fools, here is the bottom 12 of last years draft, tell me how many were stars. You'd call every one a bust and say they were overdrafted if Ireland drafted them in those same spots.

Phil Taylor
Anthony Castonzo
Danny Watkins
Cameron Jordan
James Carpenter
Jonathan Baldwin
Jimmy Smith
Mark Ingram
Gabe Carimi
Muhammad Wilkerson
Cameron Heyward
Derek Sherrod

With the exception of a few, you'd say oh they need to step up this year to justify the pick.

This analysis is, in a word, wrong. Every single division has a 13-3 (or thereabouts) and a 4-12 (or thereabouts) team. And every division has every team play each other twice. Yet the other 13-3 division winners (with one exception) are nowhere near the "top" of the easy schedule list. Hmmmmmmm.

Where is San Fran on the list?

beezer,

A lof of really good points. Well said. Welcome to the beloved Miami fanbase.

Who cares...shut up and play the games. I guarantee you the players & coaches spend no time worrying about their strength of schedule.

It is the least of concerns.

Everyone in the AFC East plays the AFC South and the NFC West. There are only two games that are based on how good a team was the previous year. For the Patriots, its division winners Baltimore and Denver while the Dolphins have Oakland and last wild card in Cincy. As much as I dislike the Patriots, there was no bias towards them when the NFL put together the schedule.

The home schedule is pretty boring.

That was common sense and if you didn't know that from the begining you are an absolute moron.

Ireland's draft picks develop into busts. See Pat White, Chad Henne, D Thomas, Merling, Misi, Turner, etc etc....

TGH, Parcells pick though guys duck face.

This blog fukkin sucks

Can anybody recommend a (hot) Bolivian manservant? I need some vacuuming done.

I'm not really interested to get into this conversation again (we've re-hashed this over and over). All I'll say, is if people can't see that SOME OF US will question why a GM moved back to get Odrick, and then pick-up a 2nd round pick (Koa Misi), when there were MUCH better prospects out there, then I'm sorry (that you choose to be blind).

Here's a small sampling of who we could have gotten:
- Earl Thomas
- Jason Pierre-Paul
- Maurkice Pouncey
- Bryan Bulaga
- Demaryius Thomas
- Dez Bryant
- Rob Gronkowski

All of the above players have produced more than both the players we got, and they all filled a need we had on our team in that Draft.

AGAIN, with ALL THAT SAID, it is what it is. I don't need anyone telling me I'm being SO HARD on poor little Jeffy Ireland. I'm actually NOT calling for him to be fired. I'm giving him the opportunity to prove my skepticism wrong. I'm simply suggesting what MANY in the football world have, that many of the picks made in the last 4 years have been less than stellar. That's it.

And for some to say I'm asking for ProBowl talent from every pick, that's false. EFFING READ! Stop putting up straw men arguments to make yourself feel smarter.

I'm asking for ONE PLAYMAKER at LEAST every year (it can be the 3rd or 4th round gem, but isn't it easier to get that from one of your TOP PICKS?). If some feel that's too much to ask, then so be it (that's your problem, not mine).

Good Post DC, way to prove that Ireland fukkin sucks.

Winning cures all. Houston will not continue to dominate the Dolphins. That game for the most part is always close. Dolphins have a tendency to play Pats close also. That's where coaching comes in. We will see just how good Philbin and staff are. Come game-day, toss out that strength of schedule crap and just line up. I'm tired of reading all this irrelevant garbage in print,strength of schedule and Tannehill. Whoever hits the hardest wins. Winning will cure all.

This place is becoming As The World Turns (I confess I borrowed that original phrase from Clue, so i hope he feels stroked I gave him credit for it, yesterday he was peeved when someone else used it)

col mustard, I wasnt peeved, I just stated he got that from me

Clue, not trying to prove that (don't get me in trouble bro).

I'm not making a black and white statement here. I don't think it's either one way or the other. Ireland's done some good things here, and some others I question. I guess it's like that for all GM's. I will say he's been better than the last 2-3 jokers. I'm interested to see what he can do with a HC worth a damn (if that's what we have in Philbin, that's a wait and see too).

And on Odrick, it's no secret I didn't like that pick. But I liked what he blossomed into last year. I hope he takes another big step this year, and I'll come back and say I'm sorry I questioned him. But I did. And I'm still skeptical. Sorry to those that don't understand that.

I'm making a nuanced argument, I know that's hard for posters here to digest, since they like to make it and either/or thing to prove their own point. But that's not me, it's not either/or. It's maybe/and/but. It's a grey area, because there IS NO clear evidence one way or the other yet on many of these issues.

Armando, I enjoy Dolphins in Depth on a daily basis and think you do a great job, but I'm a little disappointed that someone had to point out to you the reason that the Pats have a tougher schedule than the Dolphins. You should know that the only variability in schedules between two teams in the same division are as follows:

1) The two in-conference games that they play against the two conference divisions that are not on the schedule (you play these teams according to standings), and

2) The two games that they will have to play against each other

When looking at a "strength of schedule" table like the one you posted, it really would be best to take out the division games as every team in the division plays 6 games against each other. When doing that, then the 1st place team in each division will have the toughest schedule among teams in that division, 2nd will have second toughest among teams in that division, 3rd will have third toughest, etc. due to the two games that are determined by standings.

It will ALWAYS be the case that the 1st place team in each division will have the easiest 6-game division schedule, due to the fact the 6 games will not include themselves and will include the three worst teams from that division. Conversely, it will ALWAYS be the case that the last place team in a division will have the hardest 6-game division schedule in that division.

Also, I'm a huge Dolphins fan and hate the Patriots, but for everyone complaining on here about the Pats schedule, you do realize that the schedule is determined the minute the previous season ends, right? In fact, 14 games are determined several years in advance and the remaining two are determined as soon as the previous season ends.

Schedule is as follows every year:

6 division games (two games against each of the remaining 3 division opponents - for the AFC East, they play these 6 games within the AFC East this year)

4 games against a pre-determined in-conference division (this year, for the AFC East, all 4 teams play all 4 teams in the AFC South)

4 games against a pre-determined out-of-conference division (this year, for the AFC East, all 4 teams play all 4 teams from the NFC West)

2 games determined by standings in the two in-conference divisions you don't play (this year, the AFC East doesn't play the AFC North or West, so each team plays the team from those divisions that finished in the same place within the division. For example, the Dolphins finished 3rd in the division, so they play the Raiders and the Bengals who finished 3rd in the AFC West and North, respectively. And instead of the Raiders and Bengals, the Patriots will play the Broncos and Ravens as they all finished 1st in their divisions).

Hopefully this clears things up. All these "strength of schedule" tables show us is which divisions play the easiest divisions from last year. I just wonder why people wait to put them out until the dates and times are determined - they could be put out as soon as the last game of the previous season ends.

The AFC East plays the NFC West (weak division) and AFC South (fairly weak division), which is why they all have relatively easy schedules. The Patriots games against the remainder of the AFC East more than balances out the two 1st place teams they have to play from the AFC West and AFC North.

I'm not really interested to get into this conversation again (we've re-hashed this over and over).

Posted by: DC Dolfan | April 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM


But you are interested, and felt the need to hash it over again. Please, how many more times will you bore us with what we all have read 1000 times???

Trannyhill at #8.

I'm starting to believe DC is unable to breathe unless he is typing.

I am also in the camp that believes Ireland sucks.

However, This is a draft with new minds behind his decisions. And people can learn from mistakes. In 8 days we will see if Ireland can and does. So I do go into this optomistic.

Now please explain to me why the Bills who had the same record as Miami and also have to play NE and the Jets twice have an easier schedule than Miami?

Armando,

Should have just read my comment to your post about the schedule:) In addition to what you mention above, a mere 2 games of the 16-gm schedule are based on the team's previous year performance.

Alabama Crimson Tide can beat the Dolphins.

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