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2011 NFL Schedule: Remaining NFC Strength Of Schedule

The NFL released a rundown of the remaining playoff contenders and their strength of schedule (PDF) the rest of the way. It shouldn't really surprise anybody when I say the 49ers have the "weakest" strength of schedule the rest of the way. They do have a Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but other than that, it's a whole lot of NFC West action. Two games against St. Louis and one each against Arizona and Seattle will do that to strength of schedule. If this were college football, the 49ers would be looking at a declining BCS rating by the week. Thank goodness that's not an issue.

The most difficult schedule the last five weeks belongs to the New York Giants. Their remaining opponents are 35-20 (.636). Of course, two of those remaining five games are against the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants are a game back of the Cowboys, and given how the next couple weeks look, the Cowboys could go three up with three to go. The Giants host Green Bay and then travel to Dallas. The Cowboys travel to Arizona and then host the Giants.

For the 49ers playoff positioning battle, the New Orleans Saints have a relatively low strength of schedule remaining (.455), but they face some tricky games. They host Detroit this week and then travel to Tennessee next week. Both of those games are tough to figure out. The Saints are strong at home so I would imagine they'll handle the Lions. But heading into Tennessee? The Titans are a very tricky squad to figure out, so I honestly have no idea how they'll fare against the Saints. Go Titans!