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Ranking each NFL team’s schedule based on opposing QBs: Chiefs have toughest path


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The Kansas City Chiefs play the toughest schedule of opposing quarterbacks this season. The Washington Commanders face the easiest.

I’ve stacked the league 1-32 using 2022 Quarterback Tiers results while setting aside games against the Cleveland Browns until Deshaun Watson’s status is resolved.

The results for all 32 teams are below, beginning with the Chiefs, whose schedule projects as the toughest whether Watson or Jacoby Brissett is the starter, and when games against Cleveland are removed.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (2.28)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 1 | 1 | 1

The Chiefs play 12 games against Tier 1-2 quarterbacks, four more than last season. No other team plays more than 10. That leaves Kansas City with a league-low five games against Tier 3-4 quarterbacks. The Chiefs’ AFC West schedule got tougher as Justin Herbert rose into Tier 1, Derek Carr rose into Tier 2 and Russell Wilson joined the division. AFC West teams draw their 17th games from the NFC South this season, which means the first-place Chiefs will face the first-place Buccaneers, which is why Tom Brady is also on the schedule. The scheduling rotation also delivers Josh Allen and Joe Burrow to the Chiefs, plus Matthew Stafford, who was the top quarterback in Tier 2.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16
1
1.22
1
1.28 (2)
1
1.34
2
1.68
2
1.72 (2)
2
2.10 (2)
2
2.32
2
2.46
3
2.90
3
3.40
4
3.88
4
3.94
4
4.24

2. Tennessee Titans (2.47)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 2 | 2 | 2

The Titans have 10 games against quarterbacks in the top two tiers, tied for second-most in the league. Matt Ryan’s addition to the AFC South was one factor in the Titans’ schedule getting tougher. AFC South teams draw their 17th games from the NFC North this year, which accounts for the first-place Titans facing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The scheduling rotation also matches the AFC South with the AFC West, the toughest quarterback division.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.02
1
1.22
1
1.28
1
1.34
2
1.72
2
2.10
2
2.10
2
2.46 (2)
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.40 (2)
4
3.88 (2)
4
4.00

3. Denver Broncos (2.52)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 4 | 3 | 3

Playing in the AFC West is not the only reason Denver’s schedule is tough. The Broncos’ last-place schedule isn’t as favorable as it could have been. That is because last season marked the first time since 2007 that Baltimore finished last in its division. As a result, Denver faces former MVP Lamar Jackson instead of, say, Mitch Trubisky if Pittsburgh had finished last in the AFC North. Denver plays another last-place matchup with Carolina, which recently upgraded from Sam Darnold (4.12 Tiers average) to Baker Mayfield (3.24).

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02 (2)
1
1.28 (2)
2
1.68
2
2.00
2
2.10 (2)
2
2.32
2
2.46
3
2.90
3
3.24
3
3.40
4
3.88
4
3.92
4
3.94
4
4.24

4. Los Angeles Rams (2.55)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 5 | 4 | 4

The Rams caught a break when Seattle traded Wilson and San Francisco began the transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance. But with the schedule rotation matching the NFC West against the AFC West, the Rams still face Wilson once, plus Mahomes, Herbert and Carr. Los Angeles draws its 17th game from the AFC East, which means facing Josh Allen, while rotational matchups with NFC South teams mean facing Brady as well.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.02
1
1.16
1
1.22
1
1.28
2
1.72
2
2.10
2
2.10
2
2.32 (2)
3
3.24
3
3.46
4
3.94 (2)
4
4.04
4
4.24 (2)

5. Las Vegas Raiders (2.56)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 6 | 5 | 5

Playing in the AFC West is only getting tougher for the Raiders with Wilson joining Denver while Herbert ascends into Tier 1. Ryan’s addition to the Colts and rotational games against the NFC West (Stafford, Murray) offset some of the schedule’s softness at the bottom.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02 (2)
1
1.28 (2)
2
1.68
2
1.72 (2)
2
2.32
2
2.46
3
2.90
3
3.06
3
3.40
3
3.46
4
3.88
4
3.94
4
4.16
4
4.24

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (2.57)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 3 | 9 | 6

There’s volatility built into the Steelers’ schedule pending resolution of Watson’s situation, but it’s a top-10 schedule regardless. It ranks third if Watson starts all season for Cleveland, ninth if Brissett starts and in between if we remove Cleveland from the equation. The AFC North is matched with the AFC East, which means facing Buffalo’s Allen, and also with the NFC South, which brings the Buccaneers’ Brady. Burrow’s ascension keeps pressure on the Steelers to continue their strong play against Jackson and the Ravens.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16
1
1.22
1
1.34
2
2.00
2
2.10
2
2.46
3
3.06
3
3.24
3
3.36
3
3.46
4
3.78
4
3.92
4
4.04

7. Los Angeles Chargers (2.65)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 7 | 8 | 7

It’s a top-heavy schedule of opposing quarterbacks for the Chargers, marked by six games against Mahomes, Wilson and Carr, plus rotational games against Stafford and Murray. Ryan’s move to the AFC South also factors into the equation, and if Trevor Lawrence ascends under Doug Pederson in Jacksonville, the schedule gets a little tougher.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02 (2)
2
1.68
2
1.72 (2)
2
2.10 (2)
2
2.32
2
2.46
3
2.90
3
3.40
4
3.78
4
3.88
4
3.94
4
4.04
4
4.24

8. Seattle Seahawks (2.66)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 9 | 6 | 8

The season opener against Wilson jumps out for obvious reasons, but having to face the rest of the AFC West is more problematic. Can the Seahawks beat Mahomes, Herbert and Wilson while suiting up the two lowest-rated quarterbacks in the Tiers survey? Drew Lock was 34th and Geno Smith 35th. Rotational games against the NFC South mean facing Brady as well.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02
1
1.16
1
1.28
2
1.68 (2)
2
1.72
2
2.10
2
2.32 (2)
3
3.24
3
3.38
3
3.46
4
3.92
4
3.94 (2)
4
4.00
4
4.04

9. San Francisco 49ers (2.67)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 10 | 7 | 9

The 49ers did get Wilson out of the division, but they still face him once this season. Four of the six toughest quarterbacks on the 49ers’ schedule play for AFC West teams. Games against the NFC South include one against Brady, while the Panthers’ trade for Mayfield probably means facing him instead of the lower-regarded Darnold (same goes for Seattle and Arizona).

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02
1
1.16
1
1.28
2
1.68 (2)
2
1.72
2
2.10
2
2.32 (2)
3
3.24
3
3.36
3
3.46
4
3.74
4
3.78
4
4.04
4
4.24 (2)

10. New England Patriots (2.69)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 8 | 12 | 10

The AFC East schedule is mostly kind to the Patriots, but facing both North divisions means Rodgers, Allen, Burrow and Jackson are on the schedule. New England will avoid facing Watson unless the Browns’ quarterback is eligible to play in Cleveland’s sixth game of the season.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.22 (2)
1
1.34
2
2.00
2
2.10
2
2.32
2
2.46
3
2.72
3
3.38
4
3.74
4
3.78 (2)
4
3.92 (2)
4
4.16

11. Atlanta Falcons (2.736)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 11 | 14 | 11

The Chargers and Falcons were third-place teams last season, which explains why Herbert is on the schedule for Atlanta. The Falcons get their usual two games against Brady in the NFC South, and they could get two games against Mayfield instead of Darnold when they play Carolina. Drawing Cleveland early in the season — it’s the Browns’ fourth game — reduces the chances Atlanta will face Watson. Facing the AFC North and NFC West means games against Burrow, Jackson, Stafford and Murray.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16 (2)
1
1.28
1
1.34
2
1.68
2
2.00
2
2.32
3
3.24 (2)
3
3.36
3
3.46 (2)
4
3.74
4
3.94
4
4.16
4
4.24

12. New York Jets (2.739)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 12 | 15 | 12

The Jets longed for the day when Brady would no longer dominate their division, but now they must contend with another Tier 1 quarterback, Allen, twice each season. The scheduling rotation also delivers both North divisions, which means facing Rodgers, Burrow and Jackson. The format for determining the 17th game did work in the Jets’ favor, however, as it means facing Seattle after the Seahawks swapped out Wilson for Lock or his Jets alum backup (Smith is projected as the backup in our calculations here). The Jets also appear likely to avoid Watson in Week 2.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.22
1
1.34
2
1.72
2
2.00
3
2.72
3
3.06
3
3.38
3
3.40
4
3.74
4
3.78
4
4.16
4
4.24

13. Miami Dolphins (2.740)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 13 | 16 | 13

The Dolphins’ nine victories last season included games when the opponent started Ian Book, Zach Wilson, Mike GlennonCam NewtonJoe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor. The Watson situation is interesting for the Dolphins this year because an eight-game suspension would make the quarterback’s Cleveland debut fall against Miami in Week 10, following the Browns’ bye week. Either way, the Dolphins play five games against Tier 1 quarterbacks, tied for most in the league.

Miami could catch a couple breaks. The formula for determining 17th opponents produced a likely date with Lance instead of Garoppolo, while Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement could mean facing Trubisky instead. But with Miami finishing third in the AFC East last season, the Dolphins drew the AFC West third-place Chargers with Herbert. Games against both North divisions mean facing Rodgers, Burrow and Jackson as well.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.22 (2)
1
1.28
1
1.34
2
2.00
3
2.72
3
3.06 (2)
3
3.38
4
3.74
4
3.88
4
3.92 (2)
4
3.94
4
4.16

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (2.748)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 17 | 10 | 14

It’s a bad year to face the AFC West, which serves up the three highest-rated quarterbacks on the Jaguars’ schedule. The Jaguars do not face the Browns, but whether Watson or Brissett plays for Cleveland produces a seven-spot change in the rankings for Jacksonville. This is because quite a few teams directly above Jacksonville do face Cleveland, and pushing Brissett into the Browns’ lineup would weaken those teams’ schedules enough to make Jacksonville’s tougher in comparison.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02
1
1.28
2
1.72
2
2.00
2
2.10
2
2.10
2
2.46 (2)
3
2.90 (2)
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.38
4
3.88 (2)
4
3.92
4
4.00

15. Houston Texans (2.749)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 14 | 17 | 15

The Texans play the Browns in what will be Cleveland’s 12th game of the season, so if Watson is eligible by then, Houston’s schedule will become tougher. If Watson does not play against the Texans, then Houston’s four toughest quarterback opponents will be from the AFC West in Mahomes, Herbert, Wilson and Carr. The formula for determining each team’s 17th opponent matches Houston against Justin Fields and the Bears.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02
1
1.28
2
1.72
2
2.10
2
2.10
2
2.46 (2)
3
2.90 (2)
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.40 (2)
4
3.74
4
3.78
4
4.00

16. Arizona Cardinals (2.76)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 18 | 11 | 16

Swapping in Drew Lock and Trey Lance for Russell Wilson and Garoppolo had to be fine by the Cardinals. They still face Wilson once, along with the rest of the tough AFC West, and their rotational matchups with the NFC South means they’ll face Brady as well. They get Marcus Mariota instead of Ryan when they play Atlanta. Mac Jones is the opposing quarterback for the Cardinals’ 17th opponent.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02
1
1.16
1
1.28
2
1.68 (2)
2
1.72
2
2.10
3
2.72
3
3.06
3
3.24
3
3.36
3
3.46
4
3.94 (2)
4
4.04
4
4.24 (2)

17. Cleveland Browns (2.79)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 21 | 13 | 17

Facing the NFC South in the scheduling rotation puts Mayfield in play for Cleveland. The Browns’ third-place finish last season delivers games against Herbert from the AFC West and Mills from the AFC South, plus Wentz from third-place Washington in the 17th game.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16
1
1.22
1
1.28
1
1.34 (2)
2
2.00 (2)
3
3.06
3
3.24
3
3.36
3
3.46
4
3.78
4
3.88
4
3.92
4
4.04
4
4.16 (2)

18. New Orleans Saints (2.80)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 16 | 18 | 18

Some have compared Burrow to a young Brady, which might not bother the Saints. New Orleans owns a 4-0 record against Tampa Bay since Brady joined the Buccaneers. Burrow is the other Tier 1 quarterback on the Saints’ schedule this season.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16 (2)
1
1.34
2
1.68
2
2.00
2
2.10
2
2.32
3
2.72
3
3.24 (2)
3
3.36
4
3.94
4
4.04 (2)
4
4.16
4
4.24

19. Cincinnati Bengals (2.82)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 15 | 25 | 19

The Bengals’ two games against Cleveland are key variables in Cincinnati’s strength of schedule. Both are late enough in the season for Watson to potentially factor if he does play this season. The Bengals face the Browns in Cincinnati’s eighth and 13th games.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02
1
1.16
1
1.22
2
2.00 (2)
2
2.10
3
2.90
3
3.06
3
3.24
3
3.46
4
3.78
4
3.92
4
4.04
4
4.16 (2)

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.83)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 19 | 21 | 20

The Bucs’ three games against Tier 1 quarterbacks — Rodgers, Mahomes, Burrow — are all at home. They face Cleveland on the road in the Browns’ sixth game, which means Tampa Bay will avoid facing Watson if any suspension runs at least six games.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.02
1
1.34
2
1.68
2
2.00
2
2.10
2
2.32
3
3.24 (2)
3
3.46 (2)
4
3.94
4
4.04 (2)
4
4.16
4
4.24

21. Buffalo Bills (2.84)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 20 | 23 | 21

The Bills’ schedule had 10 games against Tier 4 quarterbacks last season. That number is down to four, all of them within the AFC East (two games against Tua Tagovailoa, two against Zach Wilson). Buffalo is scheduled to face Cleveland in the Browns’ 10th game of the season.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.02
1
1.34
2
1.68
2
2.00
3
2.72
3
2.90
3
3.06
3
3.38
4
3.74
4
3.78
4
3.92
4
4.16

22. Carolina Panthers (2.881)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 23 | 24 | 22

The Panthers won’t have to worry about facing Watson unless the Browns’ quarterback is available for the opener. They will have to worry about both Super Bowl quarterbacks from last season (Burrow, Stafford) and, of course, a certain 10-time Super Bowl quarterback (Brady).

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16 (2)
1
1.34
2
1.68
2
1.72
2
2.00
2
2.32
3
3.38
3
3.46 (2)
4
3.94
4
4.00
4
4.04 (2)
4
4.16
4
4.24

23. Dallas Cowboys (2.888)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 24 | 19 | 23

The Cowboys finish the regular season with five consecutive games against Tier 3-4 quarterbacks: Davis Mills, Trevor Lawrence, Jalen Hurts, Ryan Tannehill and Carson Wentz.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
1
1.16
1
1.34
2
1.68
2
2.46
3
2.72
3
2.90
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.38
3
3.4
4
3.74
4
3.88
4
4.00

24. Indianapolis Colts (2.896)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 25 | 20 | 24

The Colts play 12 games against quarterbacks rated lower than their own new quarterback (Ryan) is rated. That’s twice as many as the case would be if Wentz were still Indy’s starter. That’s an upgrade if the ratings for Ryan and Wentz reflect reality.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.02
1
1.28
2
1.72
2
2.10
2
2.10
3
2.72
3
2.90
3
3.06
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.40
4
3.88
4
4.00
4
4.16

25. Minnesota Vikings (2.899)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 26 | 22 | 25

The Vikings went into last season with what projected as the third-toughest schedule of opposing quarterbacks, using 2021 Tiers results. They split with Rodgers, beat Wilson and beat Herbert. The schedule projects as softer this season and could get softer if Ryan continues his recent decline, and if Murray begins fading around midseason (the Vikings play Arizona in the Cardinals’ eighth game of the season).

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00 (2)
1
1.22
2
2.10
2
2.32
2
2.46
3
3.06
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.38 (2)
3
3.46
4
3.74 (2)
4
3.78
4
3.92
4
4.00

26. Baltimore Ravens (2.93)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 22 | 30 | 26

Rodgers, Mahomes, Stafford, Herbert, Carr, Burrow (twice) and Roethlisberger (twice) were on the Ravens’ schedule last season, when Baltimore’s schedule of opposing quarterbacks was the 12th-toughest. The lineup appears more favorable this season, even with Burrow ascending into the top tier.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16
1
1.22
1
1.34
2
1.72
3
3.06
3
3.24
3
3.40
3
3.46
4
3.78
4
3.92
4
4.00
4
4.04
4
4.16

27. Green Bay Packers (2.95)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 27 | 26 | 27

The Packers, Lions and Bears each play a league-high 13 games against Tier 3-4 quarterbacks. Kansas City is at the other end with only five such games.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.16
1
1.22
2
1.68
2
2.10
3
2.72
3
2.90
3
3.06
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.38
4
3.74
4
3.78
4
3.92
4
4.00

T-28. Detroit Lions (2.976)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 28 | 27 | 28

The Lions play 13 games against Tier 3-4 quarterbacks, tied for most in the league. They entered last season with only seven of those lower-tier quarterbacks on their schedule, which was the seventh-toughest by this measure entering 2021. Detroit plays Tier 3-4 quarterbacks in each of its first five games this season.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00 (2)
1
1.22
2
2.10
3
2.72 (2)
3
3.06
3
3.24
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.40
4
3.74 (2)
4
3.78
4
3.92
4
4.00
4
4.24

T-28. New York Giants (2.976)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 28 | 27 | 28

The Giants join NFC East rivals Philadelphia and Washington with a league-low one game against a Tier 1 quarterback (all three teams face Rodgers). The Giants play a league-high nine games against Tier 3 quarterbacks. They’ll have a better chance competing in those games if their own quarterback, Daniel Jones, ascends to play at a Tier 3 level.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
2
2.00
2
2.10 (2)
2
2.46
3
2.72
3
2.90
3
3.24
3
3.36 (2)
3
3.36 (2)
3
3.38
3
3.40
4
3.74
4
3.88
4
4.24

30. Chicago Bears (2.99)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 30 | 29 | 30

Playing Rodgers twice is no fun, but the Bears play only two other games against quarterbacks in the top two tiers, one against Allen and the other against Dak Prescott. Last season, the schedule showed four games against Tier 1 quarterbacks, tied for most in the league. Chicago was the only team entering 2021 with zero games against Tier 4 starters (that number is six this season).

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00 (2)
1
1.22
2
2.10
3
2.72 (2)
3
3.06
3
3.36
3
3.36
3
3.38 (2)
4
3.78
4
3.88
4
3.92
4
3.94
4
4.00
4
4.04

31. Philadelphia Eagles (3.08)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 32 | 31 | 31

In addition to facing only one Tier 1 quarterback (Rodgers), the Eagles face seven of the 14 quarterbacks ranked lower than their own starter, Jalen Hurts, who was tied for 20th with Wentz.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
2
2.10
2
2.32
2
2.46
3
2.72
3
2.90
3
3.36
3
3.38
3
3.40
3
3.46
4
3.74
4
3.88
4
4.00
4
4.16

32. Washington Commanders (3.12)

Watson/Brissett/Neither: 31 | 32 | 32

Washington has only four games against Tier 1-2 quarterbacks, tied for the league low. That figure includes one game against Matt Ryan, who barely avoided Tier 3. Two grudge games stand out. Washington faces its former quarterback, Kirk Cousins, in one of them. In the other, Wentz faces the Colts, who traded him to Washington in March.

OPPOSING QB TIER AVG
1
1.00
2
2.10
2
2.46
3
2.72
3
2.90
3
3.36
3
3.38
3
3.40
4
3.74
4
3.88
4
3.94
4
4.00
4
4.04

 

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

 

Twitter: @HKTheResistance

 

HipKat, on *** other h***, is genuine, unapoli***tically nasty, and w**** his hea** on his ******. jc856

I’ll just forward them to Bridgett. comssvet11

Seek help. soflabillsfan

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