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2013 NFL schedule: Which new coach faces big test?

Which new NFL head coach has the easiest schedule this season?

Here's how they rank from easiest to toughest, based on opponents' record in 2012:

  1. Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers: The Chargers have the second-easiest schedule in the NFL, behind only the Denver Broncos. McCoy even has the advantage of two home games on "Monday Night Football."
  1. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs: With an upgraded roster, Reid has a chance to make waves in his Kansas City debut. The two intra-division games with the Broncos are the only games in which the Chiefs should be heavy underdogs.
  1. Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills: The toughest game outside the division is an early December home bout versus the Atlanta Falcons, but the Bills won't have the advantage of playing in inclement weather, because it's indoors at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
  1. Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns: The NFC North is always grueling. The Browns also draw the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears, with only a couple of soft spots in the schedule.
  1. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles' toughest games outside the division are at Denver, at Green Bay and home versus the Bears. Overall it's an average schedule, though the Iggles are one of only two teams with a three-game road trip.
  1. Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears: In addition to the two rivalrygames against the Packers, Trestman draws traditionally tough opponents such as the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints.
  1. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars: The AFC South is hardly a gauntlet run, but the Jags face three Super Bowl contenders in the Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers outside the division. Throw in a bare-bones roster, and Bradley will face an uphill battle as a rookie head coach.
  1. Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals: The 2012 NFL Coach of the Year has the misfortune of playing in the stacked NFC West, with four games against the dominant Seahawks and 49ers.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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