The Falcons May Have an Easier Schedule This Year

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA - JULY 30: Head coach Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons changes up drills during Falcons Training Camp at the Falcons Training Complex on July 30, 2011 in Flowery Branch, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Figuring out a team's strength of scheduled without the advantage of hindsight is, to say the least, relatively difficult. The traditional method used is just adding up every opponent's 2011 schedule and just figuring it out that way.

The problem with that? It's entirely dependent on last year's schedule, which as we know often has little bearing on how a team will do the next year. It's a weak method, to say the least.

While it's far from perfect, there's a new method in time that's worth your consideration. After the jump, we'll take a closer look.

The good people at Beyond the Betstook the Vegas sportsbook and a set of pre-season power rankings and put it all together, coming up with a new set of rankings for the upcoming season. What they come up with is fairly encouraging for all of us who love the Falcons.

Basically, what they find is that the Falcons have the 24th strongest schedule in the league. That places them in the bottom quarter of the league, which is a good place to be if you like your season with a side of destruction.

Now, is this necessarily more accurate? I wouldn't go that far. I will say that it paints an encouraging picture of the team's 2012 strength of schedule, though, and I always like a little extra hope.

What do you think?

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