Nothing we learned when the schedule was released this evening told us anything we didn’t already know about how easy or hard any team’s slate of opponents is, because we already knew every team’s home and road opponents. But we did learn one way in which the schedule-makers helped the Lions and hurt the Patriots.
That is in rest days, where the Lions will have an NFL-best 12 more rest days than their opponents over the course of the season, while the Patriots will have an NFL-worst 13 fewer rest days than their opponents, according to Brian Burke of ESPN.
That’s primarily because the Lions never play an opponent coming off a bye, while the Patriots play three games against opponents coming off their byes. The Lions also benefit from extra rest before playing at Minnesota, after their annual Thanksgiving home game.
Other teams that got favorable schedules from a rest perspective include the Chargers, Buccaneers, Panthers and Bills. Teams that got unfavorable schedules include the Dolphins, Eagles, Packers and 49ers.