16 Teams the Arizona Cardinals Will Play in 2012

Chad MiddletonContributor IJanuary 2, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the football after a reception against the Seattle Seahawks during overtime of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After an exciting finish to the second half of the season, many Cardinals fans are already looking toward next year. There seems to be a great deal of things to build on. 

As the 2011 NFL regular season concluded today, we can now clearly see who the Arizona Cardinals will play next year. Granted, the dates and times won't be released to April, but the opponents are known as of now.

According to the Arizona Republic, the home opponents are:

1. Bears 

2. Lions

3. Bills

4. Dolphins

5. Eagles

6. 49ers

7. Seahawks

8. Rams


The away games are: 

1. Packers

2. Vikings

3. Patriots

4. Jets

5. Falcons

6. 49ers

7. Seahawks

8. Rams

If you look at this schedule there are some games that are very intriguing, and some that look downright scary, at least based on this year's performance. 

Road games against the Packers and Patriots do not look fun. The last time the Cardinals traveled to New England, they gave up 47 points.

Of course, that was the game that changed the tide for the Cardinals. They then went on their illustrious Super Bowl run.

Another horrible memory for the Cardinals will be the return trip to the Meadowlands to play the New York Jets. The Jets put up 56 points on the Cardinals defense in a game that featured a terrible injury to former Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin.

I feel pretty safe in saying we won't see Brett Favre coming out of that tunnel for the Jets, and I don't see Mark Sanchez putting up 56 points on anyone.

Let's hope Arizona can get some prime time coverage this year—whether it's Monday Night Football or Sunday night. The way they finished the year, it's hard to imagine that they are not primed to be a candidate for at least one game in a national forum.

If I had a vote, and I clearly do not, I think NBC or ESPN may love the matchup of Calvin Johnson vs. Larry Fitzgerald. However, the rivalry of the 49ers and Cardinals may be too good to pass up. 

I guess we will have to wait until April. Judging by the opponents, what kind of record do you think they will have next year?