Based on opponents' 2012 records, the best candidates to emerge as dark-horse playoff contenders this season are in the AFC West and NFC East.
Four of the five easiest schedules belong to the four AFC West squads.
The Chargers lucked into the second-easiest schedule. Among the five teams with the strongest rosters in the NFL, only the intra-divisional Broncos appear on the docket. The Chargers also have the benefit of playing at home in their two "Monday Night Football" games against the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.
With head coach Chip Kellythreatening to revolutionize the NFL, the Eagles already are a trendy pick to bounce back from their 4-12 record from last season. One of the most active teams in free agency, the Eagles now have the benefit of a schedule that is in the bottom-third of the league in difficulty.