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The 2012 National Football League schedule has been released and experts and fans alike are analyzing the games and dates. Here’s my evaluation of the schedules based on the number of last year’s playoff teams that each team plays on its 2012 schedule. Each NFL team plays 16 games against 13 different opponents. Denver, the New York Giants and Philadelphia each play seven 2011 playoff teams this season, most in the league.
First is a look at how many 2011 playoff teams are on each teams’ schedule. After that is a quick breakdown of how those games against last season’s playoff teams fit into the structure of each teams’2012 schedule.
Note: For those of you who have forgotten, here are the 2011 playoff teams: AFC-New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston and Denver; NFC-New York Giants, Green Bay, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta and San Francisco.
Number of 2011 playoff teams on 2012 schedule, Teams
7: Denver, New York Giants, Philadelphia
6: Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego, Washington
5: Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New Orleans, San Francisco, Tennessee
Here’s a snapshot look at each team and some interesting notes about their 2012 schedule and the 2011 playoff opponents on their ’12 schedule
Arizona-Play three straight games against 2011 playoff teams (San Francisco, Green Bay and Atlanta).
Atlanta-Only play two 2011 playoff teams in their first 11 games; they play New York Giants and Detroit in Weeks #15 and #16.
Baltimore-With two games apiece against division foes/fellow 2011 playoff teams Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, half of their 16 games in 2012 are against 2011 playoff teams.
Buffalo-Their last game against a 2011 playoff team is Week #11 against New England.
Carolina-Three of their first four games are against 2011 playoff teams.
Chicago-They face three 2011 playoff teams in a five-week span starting 22.
Cincinnati-Face off against Denver and the New York Giants at home the first two games in November after their bye week.
Cleveland-Half of their 16 games in 2012 are against 2011 playoff teams.
Dallas-Play Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New Orleans in three consecutive weeks in December.
Denver-NFL schedulemakers are going to make Peyton Manning work early in the schedule: six of their first eight games are against 2011 playoff teams, including four of their first five.
Detroit-Play 2011 playoff teams Green Bay and Houston in five days in November.
Green Bay-Three away games against 2011 playoff teams in six weeks between Week #6 and Week #12.
Houston-Have Green Bay and Baltimore in back-to-back weeks in October.
Indianapolis-Four games in five weeks against 2011 playoff teams from Nov. 18 to Dec. 16.
Jacksonville-Face NFC Central teams Green Bay and Detroit in consecutive weeks (Week #8 and Week #9).
Kansas City-Brutal three-game stretch when they play Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Denver in three consecutive weeks.
Miami-Open december with back-to-back games against New England and San Francisco.
Minnesota-Two of their first four games are against 2011 playoff teams.
New England-Do not face a 2011 playoff team from Oct.14 to Dec. 2.
New Orleans-Play San Francisco, Atlanta and New York Giants in three consecutive weeks.
New York Giants-In an eight-week stretch from Nov. 4 to Dec. 23, they play six 2011 playoff teams, Washington, and have a bye.
New York Jets-Four of their first seven games are against 2011 playoff teams. A rematch against division foe New England is the only 2011 playoff team they face over the last 10 weeks of the season.
Oakland-Six of their nine games from Sept. 23 to Nov. 25 are against 2011 playoff teams.
Philadelphia-The first half of their season is against six 2011 playoff teams.
Pittsburgh-Open against Denver and then don’t play a 2011 playoff team until Week #7.
St. Louis-Play Green Bay and New England prior to their bye and then face San Francisco after their bye.
San Diego-Play the three AFC Central playoff teams (Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati) in three straight weeks (Weeks #12, #13, #14).
San Francisco-Open the season against NFC Central playoff teams Green Bay and Detroit.
Seattle-Last three games in October are against 2011 playoff teams New England, San Francisco and Detroit.
Tampa Bay-Back-to-back games against 2011 playoff teams Atlanta and Denver in Weeks #12 and #13.
Tennessee-Four of their first six games are against 2011 playoff teams.
Washington-Five of their eight games the first half of the season are against 2011 playoff teams.
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