Earlier this week, CBS Sports put together their thoughts on strength of schedule for the 2016 season. We covered the SOS a week ago, and as we said then, offseason SOS is always more discussion piece than valuable analytical device. It's based on 2015 records, and we know teams are going to be different in 2016. The draft and free agency, as well as annual regression and improvement means some opponents will be better than expected, and some opponents will be worse than expected.
Here is a rundown of the 49ers opponents, along with their 2015 record. From this group, which do you see most likely to regress vs, most likely to improve? Over the course of the offseason, we'll be reviewing where each team stands. We'll do something prior to free agency, then something prior to the draft, and then something prior to training camp. Hopefully this gives us all a good look at where teams stand heading into the 2016 season.
The easiest choices for regression are the 15-1 Panthers and 13-3 Cardinals. Both could still be really solid in 2016, but those records are not the most sustainable. On the other end of things, I think we see an improved Dallas Cowboys team if Tony Romo can remain healthy. If the Chicago Bears can add some defensive help and remain healthy, they're another team we probably see improve. What do you think?
Arizona Cardinals (home/away): 13-3
Los Angeles Rams (home/away): 7-9
Seattle Seahawks (home/away): 10-6
New Orleans Saints (home): 7-9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (home): 6-10
New England Patriots (home): 12-4
New York Jets (home): 10-6
Dallas Cowboys (home): 4-12
Atlanta Falcons (away): 8-8
Carolina Panthers (away): 15-1
Buffalo Bills (away): 8-8
Miami Dolphins (away): 6-10
Chicago Bears (away): 6-10