Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The NFL will not release dates and times for 2009 regular-season games until 7 p.m. ET, but we can still size up opponents from unexplored angles.
I'll start by looking at how we might expect NFC West teams to fare in their non-division road games. The chart shows how the Cardinals' non-division road opponents fared at home last season.
The 49ers and Seahawks face more teams with winning records in this portion of their 2009 schedule; their non-division road opponents posted 28-12 records at home least season. I'll break out those records shortly.
The Cardinals were 3-5 on the road last season, including 0-5 outside the division. They should be able to beat the Lions in Detroit.
Background: John Clayton's recent column on scheduling took a bigger-picture look at how the scheduling rotation can affect standings in predictable ways.