Cleveland Browns: 2017 strength of schedule not too important

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns have a favorable strength of schedule in 2017, but it isn’t much to get excited about based on how the team has played in the past.

One of the perks of having a bad season is getting a few games the next year against teams with similar records. Such is why the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets happen to play seemingly ever year.

The Browns enter this season tied for 21st in terms of strength of schedule based on their opponents’ combined winning percentage from a season ago.

This number should inspire some confidence in fans, but the fact the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars are on the schedule this season help skew the strength of schedule. Those five teams combined for 60 losses in 2016.

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The good news is that those five games appear to be winnable for the Browns in 2017. However, no matter how easy these five games are, there are still 11 other games that will be difficult to win.

Regardless of the strength of schedule any given season, the Browns also have six games against divisional opponents who have collectively dominated the Browns over the past two decades. And until the Browns change that, it won’t matter who they play in the other ten games.

This season also features games against the Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and the Indianapolis Colts, so the strength of schedule number looks even more deceiving.

Next: 5 most difficult road games in 2017

Football is a sport where a team can go worst to first in any given season, and teams who had great records a year ago can pile up losses fast. So when it comes to the 2017 Browns schedule, the only thing the team can do is focus on the next opponent, because it is possible this slate of games could end up being one of the tougher schedules in the NFL.