Well, John Clayton is trying to keep up with the stat happy fandoom that is out there, but he is just too stupid to do a halfway decent job of it. Take this article on teams that he feels the schedule will aid in a turnaround. I will focus on this paragraph: Admittedly, Clayton is correct that SD's 2005 opponents were more difficult that their 2006 foes: 2005 - NFCE, AFCE, Pitt/Indy 2006 - NFCW, AFCN, Buff/TN but I hardly think that the difference is worth 5 games. Really, the divisions largely cancel each other out (2006 AFCN > 2005 AFCE / 2005 NFCE > 2006 NFCW) leaving the primary difference coming from the other two foes. All that said, here is where the gap in Clayton's mental process is: He is using same season results in his earlier comparisons but he is using prior year results in his projections. If he instead kept the criteria the same, the 2006 SD team would have been expected to face a terribly difficult schedule that included a very strong AFCN division with two 11 win teams, a 13 win team twice and another 10 win team twice. Leave the quantitative thinking to the big boys John.