This is supposed to be a time devoted to the baseball season and playoffs for the two main arena sports. However, it's never a bad time to talk about the NFL. With that being said, here's a look at what teams are facing the most brutal parts of their schedule and which teams have it easy for a period of time.
Brutal First Nine: Denver Broncos: While the Broncos' five of their first nine games are at home, their home opponents are mostly tough. Home games against Dallas, Oakland, the New York Giants, and New England make for intense competition in the Mile High City. Their road games in their first nine games aren't as forgiving, either. The Broncos will be going through a three-game road swing stemming from late October to early November as they take on the Chargers, Chiefs, and Eagles.
Easy First Five: Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons would like to get their revenge on the New England Patriots for their 28-3 comeback in Super Bowl 51, but they don't want to do it in Week 1. Luckily, they get to feast on Bears and Bills to help prepare them for their October 22nd date in Foxboro. What's more is they get the Packers and Dolphins at home before they face New England on Sunday night.
Brutal First Six: New Orleans Saints: Four of the Saints's first six games are on the road, with trips to Lambeau, Carolina, and Miami. Their two home games are against playoff teams from last season (New England and Detroit). Luckily, their next five games are winnable, with stints against Chicago, Buffalo, and a home game against Washington.
Easy Last Five: Green Bay Packers: If the Packers need to make another late-season run like they did last year, the last five games of their schedule are extremely forgiving and open for that to happen again. Three of their last five games are on the road, but they're against the Browns, Panthers, and Lions.
Easy First Seven: Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh can easily get a head start on the AFC North with a 5-0 start. A stretch that only contains two tough games (Road games at Baltimore and Kansas City) could give the Steelers a commanding division lead by week seven and can keep them in the running for home-field advantage in the AFC playoff picture with the likes of New England and Kansas City.
Brutal Last Eight: Oakland Raiders: Really, you can say that Oakland has a rough schedule for the entire 2017 season. However, it's their last eight games that should test the Raiders' mettle. After their road game against Buffalo on October 29, five of their next six games are against last season's playoff teams. However, they do get to play four of those six at home, so it could be a winnable stretch down the road. But don't overlook their last two road games at Philly and Los Angeles; the Chargers and Eagles are viewed by experts as sleeper picks in the upcoming NFL season.