NFL announces 2016 regular-season opponents for all 32 teams
The dates and times of the 2016 NFL schedule won't be released until the spring, but the NFL has announced each team's opponents for the 2016 regular season.
For 20 of the NFL's 32 teams, the 2015 season is officially over, which means it's the perfect time to start talking about the 2016 season and we can do that now because we know every team's opponent for every game.
On Monday, the league announced the 2016 home-and-away opponents for all 32 teams.
If you're Dallas Cowboys fan, your mouth should be watering righ nowt: Dallas will get to play six games in 2016 against teams that will have just hired a new coach (two games vs. the New York Giants , two games vs. the Philadelphia Eagles , one game vs. Cleveland and San Francisco).
The 2016 season will also give us a third-straight year of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers playing Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks . The two teams are scheduled to play at Lambeau Field next year.
For anyone who thinks that Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers had it too easy in 2015, that likely won't be the case next season. In 2016, the Panthers play three teams that finished in the top-5 in total defense this year ( Denver Broncos , Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals ).
Anyway, back to they subject at hand. Under the scheduling formula implemented in 2002, every team plays 16 games as follows:
- Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
- The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
- The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
- Two intraconference games based on the prior year's standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions that 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 2016 regular season will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 8, and end after Week 17 is played on Jan. 1, 2017.
Here's the complete home-and-away opponent list for each NFL team. The dates and times of each game will released at some point during the spring.
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