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2010 Strength of Schedule - Passing

Philadelphia will face the third-easiest schedule in the league.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In Part II, of our Strength of Schedule series, we will again evaluate teams based on their opponent's defensive prowess instead of won/loss record.

Here's the problem with the basic Strength of Schedule theory which most sites use. They are based on the won/loss percentage of the opposing teams. The theory might work if the 8-8 Denver Broncos defense was identical to the 8-8 Tennessee Titans. However, the stingy Broncos pass defense gave up only 186.3 ypg through the air while the Tennessee "D" gave up an AFC-worst 258.7 ypg.

Which team do you want your quarterback playing against, Denver or Tennessee?

Just because their records are the same, their defenses may or may not be similar. Therefore, the "Strength of Schedule" based on won/loss record must be ignored.

Instead, I have based my "Strength of Schedule" for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends on the passing defenses of the teams on their respective 2010 schedules (I have only used the first 16 weeks because most fantasy leagues end in Week 16).

Based on the chart below, the team with the weakest opponents pass defense is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their opponents yielded 225.7 yards-per-game through the air last season. Unfortunately, the Bucs' passing game might not be able to take advantage of the weakness given their question marks at receiver and their young quarterback.

However, looking at the remainder of the top-five, you can see why I think Philadelphia first-year starter Kevin Kolb could have a solid season. Along with having a coach who loves to throw the ball and the best Eagles receiving corps in years, Philadelphia will face the third-easiest schedule in the league. The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys also have favorable schedules and the talent on offense to take advantage of the situation.

At the other end of the spectrum is the New England Patriots and Tom Brady who will face the toughest schedule in the league to throw against. The schedule also doesn't bode well for the Chad Henne-Brandon Marshall hook up, the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson combination and almost anyone in the AFC North Division.

Beware, these statistics don't mean you shouldn't pick anyone on these teams, only that you should lower your expectations and slightly devalue when to draft these players.

Strength of Defense in Average Passing
Yards-per-game (16 weeks)
Team Pass Yards-per-game
Tampa Bay 225.7
Carolina 225.3
Philadelphia 224.0
Washington 223.9
St. Louis 223.4
New York Giants 223.2
Dallas 223.0
San Diego 222.8
Oakland 222.7
Arizona 222.7
New Orleans 221.9
San Francisco 221.2
Denver 220.8
Atlanta 220.3
Green Bay 219.7
Kansas City 219.4
Seattle 219.3
Jacksonville 218.9
Buffalo 218.3
Indianapolis 218.2
Tennessee 217.8
Chicago 216.6
New York Jets 216.6
Houston 215.5
Minnesota 213.7
Cincinnati 213.6
Pittsburgh 212.3
Baltimore 212.2
Cleveland 210.7
Detroit 208.7
Miami 207.7
New England 206.4


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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