Chiefs projected to have toughest strength of schedule in 2022

·2 min read

Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis expects the Kansas City Chiefs to have the most difficult strength of schedule in the NFL in 2022.

Sharp always has a unique and accurate take on strength of schedule because his model adds much-needed context to a stale model. He doesn’t just look at prior-year win-loss records. He built a model that creates a consensus betting line that factors in juice (the amount of money a sportsbook makes off of your bet). Why is juice important here? It helps understand the perception of how good a team is expected to be in 2022. As teams get better, bigger money bets will come in for those teams.

Coming off of a 12-5 season, atop the AFC West standings, the Chiefs are playing another first-place schedule this season. While they are set to play the AFC South and NFC West, they also have their own improved division and 17th game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get through. Those facts alone have many thinking K.C. is due for a tough schedule in 2022, but Sharp’s analysis seems to agree.

Their projected win total is 10.7 and their current line is 11 wins (+125) according to Sharp. Their schedule is also the toughest in the NFL, ranking No. 32 in the strength of schedule.

It’s worth noting that last season, Sharp’s projected win total for Kansas City came in at 12.5 and the Chiefs only won 12 games (under). Of the 10 NFL clubs that had the hardest schedules at the end of the 2021 NFL season, only Arizona, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh went over Sharp’s projected win totals.

The Chiefs were forecasted as having a schedule in the top 8 in terms of difficulty last year, but they actually came in at No. 20 at the end of the season. Based solely on team records from last season (2021 actual SOS), the Chiefs will have the sixth most-difficult schedule in the league in 2022.

If Sharp’s model follows last season’s trajectory, two things will be true:

  1. The Chiefs are unlikely to win more than 10 games.

  2. Their regular-season schedule won’t actually be the hardest in the NFL.

This has been one of the more accurate forecasting tools in terms of strength of schedule. It’ll be interesting to see if there is any positive movement for Kansas City after April’s draft.

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