This story from CBSSports.com that rated the strength of schedules for NFL teams in 2015 has been making the rounds the last few days.
And as you can see, it has Seattle pegged as facing one of the meatier schedules in the NFL, with a combined opponent record of 142-112-2 in 2014, 55.9 percent.
That’s similar to last season when Seattle’s opponents had a combined winning percentage of 56.1.
What’s also similar is that each year, Seattle had lots of company at the top of the ratings in its fellow NFC West rivals.
And that’s largely because of the NFL schedule rotation which for a second straight year has the NFC West teams playing divisions that fared pretty well the year before — in 2015, that’s the AFC North and the NFC North. Five of the eight teams in those divisions won 10 or more games in 2014, and all but one won at least seven.
To recap Seattle’s scheduled for 2015, te Seahawks will host: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Seattle will play on the road: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings.
Only four of those teams finished 2015 with losing records: Rams (6-10), Bears (5-11), Browns (7-9) and Vikings (7-9).
Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas and Green Bay all made the playoffs, making for nine games against playoff teams against five with losing records. The other two are against the 49ers.
So yeah, on paper it’s a meaty schedule. But other than the fact that Seattle has to play the winners of the NFC South (Carolina) and East (Dallas), the schedule is the same as the other teams in the NFC West. So that makes it fairly relative in terms of winning the division.
As key as the teams Seattle plays will be the order, and that won’t be determined until late April when the schedules are revealed.
It’s also worth remembering how quickly things change in the NFL and that what looks like a tough game now might not look as daunting by the time the game is played.
That was most evident in 2013 when Seattle had games at teams like Atlanta and the New York Giants that looked menacing when the schedule was released but turned out to be against struggle squads playing out the string by the time the games were played.
Regardless, expect lots of allusions to Seattle’s tough schedule as another impediment to making it to three Super Bowls in a row.