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Which NFL teams have the hardest 2023 schedule

Which teams have the toughest schedules in the 2023 season? We take a look at the three worst.

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The matchups and locations for the upcoming NFL season have been set. With that, DraftKings Sportsbook has assigned win totals to each team, and we’ll use those numbers to pinpoint which three teams have the hardest 2023 schedule.

Miami Dolphins (9.5 projected wins)

The AFC East is arguably the toughest division in football from top to bottom. According to the odds listed at DraftKings Sportsbook, three teams have greater than a 50% chance to make the playoffs.

The Dolphins are included in that list with DraftKings assigning them a win total of 9.5 despite holding the toughest schedule. Playing quality divisional opponents twice isn’t ideal. On top of that, Miami will face each member of the NFC East and AFC West while also playing at the Baltimore Ravens and home against the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans.

Within that, the Dolphins will find themselves in tough road games at the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Philadelphia Eagles.

Miami went 9-8 last season while losing in the Wild Card Round. Now, head coach Mike McDaniel will begin his second year with a healthy quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa along with one of the best wide receiver tandems in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

New England Patriots (7.5 projected wins)

Surprise, surprise — it’s another AFC East team!

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Patriots have the worst odds to win the division. Remember earlier when we said that three teams from the AFC East have better than a 50% chance to make the playoffs? The Patriots are the odd team out.

New England will face the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Dolphins twice. Then, they’ll have the same crossover games as described above, facing the NFC East and AFC West. From there, the Patriots will face the Indianapolis Colts in Germany, the New Orleans Saints at home, and the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road.

The Patriots are one of those teams that could go either way this season. It wouldn’t be a complete surprise if they outperformed their win total of 7.5. However, playing in a tough division with this difficult schedule caps their upside. Bill O’Brien was brought in as offensive coordinator, and his ability to get more out of QB Mac Jones and the offense would go a long way.

Kansas City Chiefs (11.5 projected wins)

Before we dive into the Chiefs, let’s acknowledge that Kansas City is tied with the Bills for the third-hardest schedule (in terms of win totals). You can view the complete list in our sortable table here.

Playing against divisional opponents like the Chargers, Broncos, and Raiders isn’t the most difficult gauntlet. The Chargers have a win total of 9.5, with Denver and Las Vegas at 8.5 and 7.5 respectively.

The Chiefs will play every member of the AFC East, and that’s what makes this schedule tough. We already established that the AFC East is the toughest division in football from top to bottom. The Chiefs will play Miami in Germany, Buffalo at home, and then New England plus the Jets on the road.

Kansas City also has a crossover against the NFC North with road games at the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers — two difficult places to play.

Outside of those division crossovers, the Chiefs will play the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Philadelphia Eagles. The Bengals and Eagles will be in Arrowhead Stadium, but that’s another difficult trio.

Despite all of that, the Chiefs are still favored to win their division, conference, and the Super Bowl. That’s a testament to what head coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs’ franchise has built around MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.