Deeper look at 2012 NFC West schedules

April, 18, 2012
4/18/12
4:30
PM ET

Every NFL coach would covet additional time to prepare for an opponent.

With that in mind, I went through NFC West schedules to see how many times teams from the division had more days than their opponents to prepare. I also looked for the reverse.

The time between the final exhibition games and the regular-season openers did not factor because teams have all offseason to prepare for their Week 1 opponents.

The chart shows how many favorable and unfavorable weeks each team faces, and the gap in total days of preparation.

For example, the Cardinals have two games with more time than their opponents to prepare and three games with fewer days. They are plus-three in total days of additional preparation for the season.

A look at the findings:
  • San Francisco (plus-four days): The 49ers have three more days than the Cardinals (Week 8) and one more day than St. Louis (Week 10) and New England (Week 15). New Orleans (Week 12) has a one-day edge on the 49ers, the only deficit for San Francisco during the regular season.
  • Arizona (plus-three days): The 49ers (Week 8) and Jets (Week 13) each has three more days than the Cardinals to prepare. Green Bay (Week 9) has one additional day. The Cardinals have seven more days than the Falcons (Week 11) and three more than the Buffalo Bills (Week 6).
  • St. Louis (plus-two days): The Rams enjoy a three-day edge on Miami (Week 6) and one-day advantages over Seattle (Week 4) and San Francisco (Week 10). Chicago (Week 3) holds a three-day preparation edge over the Rams, the only time St. Louis faces a deficit during the regular season.
  • Seattle (minus-10 days): Five of the Seahawks' nine opponents from Weeks 2-10 have more time than Seattle to prepare for those games. For the season, the Seahawks' opponents have 10 additional net days. That was by far the worst differential in the NFC West. Dallas (four days), Green Bay (three), St. Louis (one) have additional days from Weeks 2-4. Seattle enjoys four additional days to prepare for Detroit (Week 8) and another four-day edge on Miami (Week 12), but the Dolphins will still have 10 days to prepare for the Seahawks. Minnesota (three) and the New York Jets (seven) will also have more time than Seattle to prepare.

Enjoy your Wednesday. I'll be away from the blog for several hours while my kids take me to the movies for my birthday. They already have an appreciation for smart, sophisticated comedy, which is why we're going to see the new "Three Stooges" flick.

I can hardly wait to read your wise cracks in the comments.

Update: Thanks for all the happy birthday wishes. Much enjoyment from the Stooges. The boys and I were howling. My wife was laughing at us. She has practice.

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