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Indianapolis Colts among teams with lucky schedules

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Bottom line: No schedule looks easy to an NFL head coach.

From where we sit in April, though, it's fair to wonder if some clubs made out better than others.

After all, a handful of teams were given byes in the middle of the season or handed a rash of home games to open or close the year.

It's early to call any schedule a gift, but let's examine a cluster of squads that got lucky:

New York Jets


After last year's brutal slate, Gang Green was given a more promising path on paper in 2015. Drawing the Titans, Jaguars and Texans from the AFC South and Cleveland from the North, the Jets have a chance to up their four-win total from a year ago. It helps that a trio of high-octane passers who fried New York in 2014 -- Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning -- aren't on the schedule this time around.

NFC South


I'm throwing the entire NFC South on this list because they play the milquetoast AFC South. Until we see more from the Titans and Jaguars, this remains the AFC division you want on your slate. After the Panthers won this division with an ugly 7-8-1 mark last autumn, that won't cut it in 2015.

Miami Dolphins


Their slate is no cakewalk, but the Dolphins have a chance to finish strong with five home games over the final seven weeks of the season. Miami also made our "uphill schedule" list because of a rugged three-game midseason stretch on the road -- at the Patriots, Bills and Eagles -- but if the 'Fins survive intact, they can write their own story down the stretch.

Indianapolis Colts


The Colts have feasted for years on their own division and the end of their schedule plays out well with dates against the Bucs, Jaguars, Texans and Titans over the final six weeks. Their toughest opponents -- New England, New Orleans and Denver -- are all home games for the Colts. Another playoff berth feels likely.

New Orleans Saints


We already mentioned the NFC South, but it's worth pointing out that the Saints are the only NFL team without back-to-back road games. Their only consecutive away dates come on either side of the team's Week 11 bye.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast delves into the 2015 NFL schedule, grading the primetime games and highlighting the Week 1 matchups. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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