This morning, CBS Sports’ John Breech unveiled the 2019 NFL strength of schedule report, in which the 2018 records of all teams were compiled and the strength of schedules (SOS) of each team was computed.
Last year, the Los Angeles Rams were tied for the 5th ranked SOS (0.523 record) and still ended up at 13-3 in the regular season. This year, the LA Rams are tied for 27th in SOS, facing teams with a cumulative record of 120-134-2 (0.473). The Rams will of course face each team from the NFC West twice (6 total games), as well as the NFC South (4 total games), AFC North (4 total games), the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.
Here is John’s description of the SOS formula:
If you’re curious about the scheduling formula, here’s how the NFL does it. Under the formula implemented in 2002, every team plays 16 games as follows:
Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
Two intra-conference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
Beginning in 2010, a change was made to how teams are paired in the schedule rotation to ensure that teams playing the AFC West and NFC West divisions would not be required to make two West Coast trips (e.g., at Los Angeles Chargers and at Oakland), while other teams in their division had none (e.g., at Kansas City and at Denver).