New England Patriots QB Tom Brady announced on Friday that he won't take any further action against the NFL in appeal of his four-game suspension of Deflategate, meaning that this mess is almost over. The end result of all of this is simply that Brady pushed back his punishment by one year, but that alone will have an adverse effect on the Seattle Seahawks, the team that ultimately lost to Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl immediately after the infamous Deflategate game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Just a reminder: hidden losers of Deflategate are @Seahawks. NFL schedulemakers screw them yet again.— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) July 15, 2016
The Seahawks play New England on Sunday Night Football on November 13, presumably with a healthy Brady. However, the Arizona Cardinals face the Patriots in Week 1, meaning they will draw Jimmy Garoppolo instead, assuming he wins the job. (Jacoby Brissett is currently third string, but New England will probably be adding a veteran QB soon.)
Last season, the Cardinals won the division over Seattle by three games, so it's not like a single game will necessarily make a difference every year, but certainly this one advantage could make a world of difference in looks to be a very tight division race. It's easy to make the case that the Seahawks and Cards are the two best teams in the NFC, if not the NFL.
However, not every schedule is made equal. Not by a longshot.