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Lions tied for 2nd in NFL strength of schedule rankings

With the NFL Scouting Combine just over a week away, and free agency kicking off next month, it's never too early to look ahead to the next season. recently previewed the strength of schedule for each NFL team in 2018 based off the combined record of their opponents in 2017.

The Detroit Lions are tied with New Orleans for the second toughest strength of schedule with an opponent combined record of 137-119. Only NFC North foe Green Bay has it tougher (138-118).

If Detroit Lions players were winter Olympians, here are the sports they might play.

The Lions play the four teams in the NFC West and the AFC East in next year's annual rotation of division matchups.

Along with their usual home and away games against NFC North opponents – Green Bay, Chicago and Minnesota - the Lions will also travel to San Francisco, Arizona, Dallas, Miami and Buffalo.

The Lions will host Los Angeles (Rams), Seattle, Carolina, the New York Jets and New England.

Of those contests, six are against teams that qualified for the playoffs this past season (Minnesota twice). Dallas and Arizona missed the playoffs, but were 9-7 and 8-8, respectively.

Of course, a lot of these teams will look very different in 2018 after the annual roster turnover takes place via free agency and the NFL Draft, which is usually about 30 percent.

As far as the NFC North goes, Green Bay and Detroit have the two toughest schedules, followed by Chicago and Minnesota, who are both tied for the eighth toughest.

Here's the full list:

RankTeamOpp. 2017 recordOpp. 2017 win %
1 Green Bay 138-118 .539
T-2 Detroit 137-119 .535
T-2 New Orleans 137-119 .535
4 Tampa Bay 136-120 .531
T-5 Cleveland 134-122 .523
T-5 LA Rams 134-122 .523
T-5 Seattle 134-122 .523
T-8 Arizona 133-123 .520
T-8 Chicago 133-123 .520
T-8 Minnesota 133-123 .520
T-8 NY Giants 133-123 .520
12 Carolina 131-125 .512
13 Atlanta 130-126 .509
14 Washington 129-127 .504
T-15 San Francisco 128-128 .500
T-15 Dallas 128-128 .500
T-15 Miami 128-128 .500
18 Buffalo 127-129 .496
T-19 Philadelphia 126-130 .492
T-19 Kansas City 126-130 .492
21 Baltimore 125-131 .488
T-22, New England 124-132 .484
T-22, Indianapolis 124-132 .484
24 LA Chargers 123-133 .480
T-25 NY Jets 122-134 .477
T-25 Pittsburgh 122-134 .477
T-25 Jacksonville 122-134 .477
T-25 Denver 122-134 .477
T-29 Oakland 121-135 .473
T-29 Cincinnati 121-135 .473
31 Tennessee 119-137 .465
32 Houston 116-140 .453

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