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.
The NFC North has the toughest overall slate
Jeremiah: Playoff snapshot
As we head toward the playoffs, Daniel Jeremiah breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of all 12 surviving teams. **More ...**
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 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.