The NFL’s 2020 schedule is out and the season will begin with the Houston Texans facing the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, September 10, 2020. Week 1 will also see Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the New Orleans Saints.
As usual, the schedule has its winners and losers because every schedule isn’t created equal. Some teams drew the toughest schedules and then some got the benefit of the draw.
For this article, we will take a look at the winners after the NFL 2020 schedule was announced. You can use the information on this article to place your NFL futures bets.
The Baltimore Ravens have the easiest schedule in the NFL during the 2020 season. With the AFC North getting matchups against the NFL’s worst division in 2019- the NFC East, the Ravens got the benefit of the draw. The combined 2019 record of their opponents is 112-144 or a .438 winning percentage with five teams which made the playoffs.
After a bye in week 8, the Ravens’ will have five straight games against teams that have at least a 57% chance of making the playoffs. They play at Indianapolis, New England, and Pittsburgh and host the Titans and Cowboys. Baltimore then has a favorable finish against the Browns, Jaguars, Giants, and Bengals.
Baltimore is the co-favorite ( along with the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs ) to win Super Bowl 55 st +750. They are also at +400 to win the AFC championship, second behind the Chiefs who are at +375. With current MVP Lamar Jackson in tow, the sky is the limit for the Ravens this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs won big during the offseason acquiring Super Bowl champions Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski without having to give up any assets. Brady’s opening week is going to be a match-up against Drew Brees and that’s no easy task. However, things look good the rest of the way for “Tompa Bay”.
After that, the Buccaneers face only one 2019 playoff team until Week 9, when they meet the Saints again at their home field. From Week 9 to 17, Tampa Bay plays five home games with a perfectly timed bye week in Week 13. Brady gets Mahomes before the bye week and the Vikings after it so, it’s a well-divided schedule for Tampa Bay.
The Bucs close out the season against the Falcons, Lions, and Falcons again, allowing them to finish strong. It seems that the stars have aligned for Tampa Bay this season. Let’s see if Brady can take advantage of that.
Dallas has an easier opening than they had the previous season. They also have a doable December and January schedule that will be a buffer in case they suffer another late-season slump. Looking at it, they have a better schedule than their NFC East rivals Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys only have two 2019 playoff teams in their first-half schedule. These are the Seattle Seahawks in week 3 and the Philadelphia Eagles in week 8. Dallas faces the Atlanta Falcons at Cowboys Stadium in week 2 and they host the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, and Arizona from Week 4 to 6.
During the second half of the season, Dallas has tough road assignments against the Minnesota Vikings in week 11 and the Baltimore Ravens in week 13. However, they have games against the Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Giants to balance out their schedule.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs face the Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, and New England Patriots in three of their first four games of the season but only one of those is on the road.
After Kansas City plays these three fellow 2019 playoff teams, their three toughest games are spread out evenly. The Chiefs play the Buffalo Bills in week 6, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 12, and the New Orleans Saints in week 15. Don’t forget that KC takes a bye in week 10 too.
The Chiefs also have games against the New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, and Atlanta Falcons during their second-half schedule with three of those games at their home field. The AFC West remains a weak division so the Chiefs have an easy path of returning to the postseason and defending their Super Bowl title.
The Indianapolis Colts have a tough assignment in week 2 as they face the Minnesota Vikings. But other than that, their first-half schedule gives them a shot at making the playoffs.
Phillip Rivers will open his Colts career with a road trip to Jacksonville in a winnable game. From week 3 to 8, the Colts will face the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and Detroit lions with the team taking a bye in week 7.
Indianapolis has a matchup against the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans after week 8 but if they play things right, they will have the momentum going to their toughest stretch of the season. They also have games against the Ravens and Packers but both games are at home.
Cleveland opens the season against the Baltimore Ravens in week 1 but after getting Lamar out of their schedule on opening week, they don’t face a 2019 playoff team until week 10. The Browns have a pair of games against the Cincinnati Bengals, and games against the Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts, and Las Vegas Raiders at home before they take a bye in week 9.
During the second half, Cleveland faces tough tests against the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens. However, they also have winnable games against Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, and New York Jets during that stretch.
The playoffs have eluded the Browns but they have a real shot at ending their drought this year. With Kevin Stefanski, they should be able to maximize their talents and potentially have a breakthrough season.
The Houston Texans are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the 8th hardest schedule in 2020 based on their opponents’ 2019 record. The Texans will play the 2020 season against teams with a combined 2019 record of 132-123-1 or s .518 winning percentage. However, if you factor in the travel, the Texans should be smiling.
The Texans visit the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs in week 1 and host Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in week 2. Those two are early opportunities to score big upsets. After that, the Texans don’t travel any further west than Houston in 2020.
Because the Texans do not play the NFC West, then Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are out of the schedule. Likewise, because their same-place finisher is the Kansas City Chiefs, who play in the Central time zone, jet lag won’t be an issue. With the Texans missing out on frequent flyer miles this season, they are also winners with their 2020 schedule.