Thoughts on 2012 NFC West opponents

January, 2, 2012
1/02/12
12:13
AM ET
The New York Giants' victory over the Dallas Cowboys affected 2012 schedules in the NFC West.

The Giants won the NFC East. The Cowboys dropped to third, behind Philadelphia. That means the Eagles will visit the Arizona Cardinals in 2012. The Giants will visit San Francisco once again. Dallas will visit Seattle.

Those were among the revelations Sunday.

Your thoughts? Here are a few of mine relating to NFC West non-division opponents:

San Francisco 49ers

Home: Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Miami and the New York Giants.

Road: Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, the New York Jets and New Orleans.

Thoughts: Finishing first in the NFC West meant the 49ers drew the champs from the NFC East (Giants) and NFC South (Saints). The 49ers already beat the Lions and Giants at home this season. They could face the Saints and/or Packers in the NFC playoffs. They'll be familiar with some of these opponents. Facing Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees on the road will not be easy. Can the 49ers keep pace offensively? Can their defense hold up? The next few weeks could provide some answers. Jim Harbaugh gets a chance to shake Jim Schwartz's hand at Candlestick.

Arizona Cardinals

Home: Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Miami and Philadelphia.

Road: Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, Jets and Atlanta.

Thoughts: I could see the Cardinals winning most or all of those home games, but perhaps only one of the road games. That is just an early feel. These things are tough to predict. If the Cardinals can go 5-5 in those non-division games, a winning record in the division would get them to 9-7, at least.

Seattle Seahawks

Home: Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, the Jets and Dallas.

Road: Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Miami and Carolina.

Thoughts: Another season, another trip to Chicago. The Seahawks will have played the Bears eight times since 2006, counting playoffs. The scheduling rotation sent the third-place team from the NFC East (Dallas) to the third-place team from the NFC West (Seattle). The Seahawks also drew the third-place team from the NFC South, which means they'll be facing Cam Newton on the road. Also, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are coming to CenturyLink Field. Will the Seahawks have a new quarterback? Marshawn Lynch gets to face his old team, Buffalo, on the road.

St. Louis Rams

Home: Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, the Jets and Washington.

Road: Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Miami and Tampa Bay.

Thoughs: The Redskins are on the schedule for a fifth consecutive season and third in a row in St. Louis. That is because the scheduling rotation called for the fourth-place team from the NFC East to visit the fourth-place team from the NFC West.

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