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2013 NFL opponents set: Which teams have an edge?

Twenty NFL teams started their offseason Monday. Seven of them changed head coaches. Six teams are looking for a new general manager. It's never too early to start looking to the future.

Yes, the 2013 opponents are out and available to be viewed right here. A few takeaways:

The NFC North has the toughest overall slate

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They have three 10-win teams in the division and a talented last-place team in the Detroit Lions. Even worse: Their out-of-division schedule is very difficult with games against the NFC East and AFC North. It's very difficult to guess schedule strength ahead of time, but there just aren't many easy spots in these schedules.

The Green Bay Packers have to add the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers to this already brutal slate. It will be tough for the Minnesota Vikings to win 10 games again, and the Chicago Bears' next coach will have an uphill battle.

The Denver Broncos should smile

The AFC West easily was the weakest division in football in 2012. That gives the Broncos a big advantage in 2012, and their out-of-division schedule is favorable. They face the NFC East and the weak AFC South. For the most part, the out-of-division schedules were evenly distrubuted this year. Most schedules don't seem particularly brutal or easy. But the AFC West is set up for a surprise second team to make big-time improvements.

The Pittsburgh Steelers set up for a rebound


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The bad news: The Steelers didn't make the playoffs. The good news: They get a third-place schedule. While the Baltimore Ravens have to face the Broncos and Houston Texans, the Steelers get the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders on the schedule. That's a big difference.

The Philadelphia Eagles could bounce back

They get to face the AFC West out of division. They also get to face the fellow last-place Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals, giving them an edge over the competition.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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