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Early NightLink: Strength of Schedule Minus the Lions

A lot was discussed about where the Bears would have stacked up against the rest of the league if we had not played the winless Lions last season.  Because, as it is now, we have the easiest schedule in 2009.  But, the ever-clever Kevin Seifert over at espn.com adjusted the strength of schedules by removing all of the Lions' games from the equation.  Much to my surprise, the Bears didn't move up that much.

Everyone moved up a bit, but some more than others. Below are the three non-Detroit teams and where they would rank in a SOS chart that eliminates the Lions entirely:

Green Bay: No. 21 (up from No. 30)
Minnesota: No. 24 (up from No. 31)
Chicago: No. 29 (up from No. 32)

(Detroit, predictably, fell from No. 21 to No. 30.)

Still, with us playing the Steelers, Cardinals, Falcons, Eagles, and Vikings, how could that possibly still be the 29th easiest schedule in 2009?