Lions top adjusted strength of schedule list

Last Saturday, we took a closer look at how the Chicago Bears compiled a 10-6 record in 2012, noting their dominance of inferior competition and struggles against teams that finished the season with winning records. It wasn't necessarily the definitive analysis of the Bears' season, but it helped explain why general manager Phil Emery didn't allow the final record to impact his decision on coach Lovie Smith's future.

Wednesday, AFC South colleague Paul Kuharsky offers an avenue for weighing the Detroit Lions' 4-12 record. Kuharsky's adjusted strength of schedule removes each team's head-to-head result from the combined winning percentage of its opponents.

Lions opponents were 12-4 against the Lions this season, raising those team's combined winning percentage. When we take those 16 Lions games from the total equation, we get a truer sense of how good the Lions' opponents were.

As the chart shows, they were still good enough to confirm the Lions had the NFL's toughest schedule in 2012. The Minnesota Vikings ranked No. 4 and the Green Bay Packers and Bears tied for No. 7.

The full chart: