The NFL dropped the 2023 regular season schedule on Thursday, May 11. We already knew each team's opponents, but now we know the order. While you could argue that it doesn’t matter overall when they play, it could mean an early build of momentum that could set the tone for a successful season or an early suggestion a team may need to make some changes if they suffer from early struggles.
We’ll take a look at which teams get the toughest and easiest schedules to start the 2023 NFL season.
Easiest schedules to start the season
New Orleans Saints
The Saints open the season with the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New Orleans will have its work cut out for it with the addition of new quarterback Derek Carr. They get two divisional games out of the way early and could end up 4-0 heading into Week 5. Alternatively, if they come out of this stretch worse than 2-2, it could set the tone for a disappointing year for the Saints.
The Eagles play the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, Buccaneers and Washington Commanders in their first four games. When you are coming off an appearance in the Super Bowl, you want to get off to a hot start the next season to show it wasn’t a fluke. The Eagles have a good chance to do just that with these matchups.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers start off with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals in the first four weeks. San Francisco is dealing with a quarterback battle between Brock Purdy and Trey Lance. This stretch to begin the year could be enough to solidify the starting spot for one of them if they can play well.
Toughest schedules to start the season
Tennessee starts with the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. The Titans are in a weird place. They are either going to trot Rayn Tannehill out under center or pull the trigger and see what they have in Will Levis. Despite being only a handful of games, a tough start to the season could result in an early quarterback change for the Titans.
New England Patriots
The Patriots open the season with the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. The Pats have to face four teams with better quarterbacks than they have, and two of the matchups are also in the division. Opening your season with a team that was in last year’s Super Bowl is also no easy feat.
New York Jets
Aaron Rodgers is going to get tested early in his first season with New York. He will be greeted by the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, New Egland Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs the first four weeks of the season. He and his teammates will have to start the season on the same page and can’t afford to slowly figure things out this year.