Feb 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak speaks at a press conference during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
There's been a fair amount of belly-aching about the toughness of the Titans's schedule in 2012, but taking a closer look, it's really stacking up well in our favor. With the schedules being released tomorrow, temas will finally know not only who they're playing, but when and where.
Now, all of this schedule ranking is based on how good teams were last year, so it's kind of a fruitless exercise, but to put some of the restless souls to rest, it may interest you to know that Tennessee's opponents held a .480 winning percentage in 2011, good for 28th in the league, meaning that the Titans are looking at about the fourth easiest schedule in football right now.
This is a comforting thought in a vacuum, but this is also the NFL, very bad teams don't often stay very bad for very long. The flip side to this argument is that the rate at which teams improve is basically parallel to the rate at which other teams get worse, so again, it's tough to make any sense of these strengths of schedule.
Something else to consider is when and where these games will be played. I think you can't make a list like this without taking into considerations the home/away splits and the timing of certain games. For instance, a game played at home against a crap team that comes a week after another home game will be much more of a sure thing (yes, in a sport where there really are no sure things) than, say, a game on the road against the same team under, only having come off a nasty road game the week before. Just something to consider, we really shouldn't make any judgements on this ranking until we know who we're playing, when we're playing them, and when the game will take place. Basically, I can understand why they do it, I can't understand really why they do it right now. You'd think they could wait awhile and just get it done after the date/location info comes out, but hey, what do I know? Also take into account trades, injuries, etc.
Overall takeaway from this though without looking at it too hard is that the Titans are going to be in a lot of winnable games next year, while it isn't uncommon to see a bad team get better, some bad teams stay bad. I believe Jacksonville and Indy will be among the teams that will stay bad.