The NFL teams will navigate a 17 game regular season for the first time. While that in itself brings its challenges, it is not equally tough for everyone. Some NFL teams play against easier opposition, but other NFL teams must navigate a more treacherous course to reach their ultimate aim of winning the Super Bowl. Here, we will look at five such teams who have the toughest schedule of the 2021 season, based on the performances of the NFL teams they will face in the previous season.
NFL teams with the toughest schedule
#1 - Pittsburgh Steelers
While the Pittsburgh Steelers are definitely a contender every time they enter the regular season, they will have to tough it out if they want to go all the way this time. They face ten playoff teams from last season, including three conference championship finalists in the form of the Chiefs, Packers and Bills. NFL teams that they will play against had a combined 155-115-2 record last season.
#2 - Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are another team that will not have it easy this year and Lamar Jackson will need to get back to his passing and rushing best to have any hope. They are playing NFL teams with a combined 152-118-2 record in the 2020 NFL season. The Bengals and Browns will be licking their lips after seeing their division rivals in the top 2 spots with the toughest schedules.
#3 - Chicago Bears
Whoever starts as the quarterback for the Chicago Bears, whether it be Andy Dalton or Justin Fields, will have their work cut out for them as they seek to navigate the regular season. They will play teams that in 2020 had a cumulative record of 149-122-1.
#4 - Green Bay Packers
If this is indeed Aaron Rodgers' last season with the Green Bay Packers, he will need to be in inspired form to carry them to the playoffs this season. Along with the Steelers, they are the only other team that will face ten playoff teams from last season, with their total opposition having a 147-124-1 record in 2020.
#5 - Minnesota Vikings
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The schedule-dealer seemed to have had a beef with the NFC North teams. With the exception of the Lions, all three rank in the top 5 toughest schedules. The Vikings will be hoping that Kirk Cousins and company can bring their A-game to the field against some of the best NFL teams, who had a combined record of 144-127-1 in the 2020 NFL season.