The end of the regular season amps some fans up for the postseason while others look towards free agency, the draft, and the following season. The end of the regular season also clues fans into who their team will be playing next season thanks to the NFL’s set schedule rotation. Patriots fans have to wait a week to see who their team will be playing January 14, so let’s take a quick look ahead to the 2012 regular season.
We knew before the 2011 season even started that in 2012, the New England Patriots would be facing the AFC East teams home and away, and that they would also be facing the AFC South and the NFC West. We were waiting to see where the Pats finished and where the other divisional would finish. The Pats won the AFC East and will have to face off against the other AFC division winners.
Here are the home and away opponents for 2012, with the order yet to be determined:
Home: Jets, Dolphins, Bills, 49ers, Cardinals, Colts, Texans, Broncos
Away: Jets, Dolphins, Bills, Jaguars, Rams, Seahawks, Titans, Ravens
You never can tell from year to year what teams will rise and which will fall, but the schedule looks fairly balanced, erring on the toughers side. We know that the AFC East opponents will be tough, as will most of the AFC South, especially if Peyton Manning is back at the helm of the Colts. The Pats will likely catch a break with the NFC West teams, though the 49ers will be a challenge and the Seahawks have a tendency of sneaking up on teams, plus the game will be in Seattle.
What do you think?