There are a lot of things to like about the Detroit Lions' 2016 schedule (which you can view here). The early fall games in Green Bay and Chicago. Finishing the season with no road division games after the Week 10 bye. Consistent start times for each game from the beginning of the schedule to the end.
But the best aspect of the Lions' schedule is their opponents. Based on 2015 records, Detroit has the fourth-easiest schedule in the league. Here's a look at the easiest and hardest schedules across the NFL:
2016 Easiest Strength of Schedule: Green Bay Packers— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 15, 2016
2016 Hardest Strength of Schedule: Falcons & 49ers pic.twitter.com/FDi9uC4YYf
The schedule is eased by four games against the AFC South, whose teams finished a collective 25-39 last season. The bad news, however, is the entire NFC North has an easy schedule. Since divisional teams play nearly identical opponents every year, the Bears, Vikings and Packers all get a crack at the presumably easy schedule. The Vikings are the only NFC North team not ranked in the top 10 easiest schedules. Because of their 2015 NFC North title, the Vikings are forced to play two divisional winners outside of the division.
All that being said, strength of schedule cannot really be determined until the games are played. The NFL is full of parity, and while the AFC South seems like a punching bag right now, teams could surprise in 2016. But for now, things look pretty good for the Lions.