In an offseason so far defined by disappointment, here’s one reason for optimism for Bears fans.
Based on 2015 winning percentages, Chicago will have the second-easiest schedule of all NFL teams next season.
The Bears’ 2016 opponents had a combined 2015 winning percentage of .461. Only Green Bay’s opponents (.457) had a worse record in 2015.
Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit each rank among the easiest schedules next season, thanks in part to games against both the NFC East and AFC South – by far football’s two weakest divisions last year.
Outside of the NFC North, the only 2015 playoff teams the Bears will face in 2016 are Houston and Washington – who combined to lose 14 games last year.
Though, a schedule perceived to be easy prior to the season doesn’t always lead to wins.
The five teams that came into last season with the weakest strength of schedules – Atlanta, Indianapolis, Houston, Tampa Bay and New Orleans – finished a combined 38-42.
The toughest strength of schedule entering the season belongs to San Francisco, whose opponents combined to go142-114 in 2015.