Now that the 2011 regular season is complete, the 49ers know which teams they’ll be facing in 2012.
It’s never too early to look ahead.
In 2012, the 49ers will host the following teams at Candlestick Park: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, and the Miami Dolphins.
On the road, the 49ers will visit the following teams: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and the New York Jets.
The scheduling formula implemented in 2002 with realignment guarantees that all teams play each other on a regular, rotating basis. After the 2008 season, a decision was made to continue with the same rotation in 2010 and beyond.
Under the formula, every team plays 16 games as follows:
Home and away against its three division opponents (6 games).
The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games).
The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games).
Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (2 games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
Beginning in 2010, a change was made to how teams are paired in the schedule rotation to ensure that teams playing the AFC and NFC West divisions would not be required to make two west coast trips (e.g. at San Francisco and at Seattle), while other teams in their division had none (e.g. at St. Louis and at Arizona). The pairings of teams are listed in the digital version of the 2011 NFL Record and Fact Book (attached).
The official 2012 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring.
NFL Kickoff 2012 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 6, and the regular season will conclude on December 30.
Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana will be played on Sunday, February 3.
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