The 2012 NFL schedule is going to be released this evening at around 7:00 PM eastern time, but until then, fans can speculate what their team's schedule may look like.
First off, certain parts of the schedule are self-explanatory. Each team will face each of its three divisional opponents twice. For example, the New York Giants will always play the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins each once at home and once at each of their stadiums.
There is rotation between which intraconference division that each division will play in a given season. For the 2012 season, each AFC East team will play each AFC South team, the AFC North teams will play the AFC West teams, the NFC East teams will face off against the NFC South teams, and the NFC North teams will face off against the NFC West teams.
As for the interconference games in which each division plays each team from another division in the opposite conference, the matchups will be AFC East vs NFC West, AFC North vs NFC East, AFC South vs NFC North and AFC West vs NFC South.
The only area of the schedule left to determine would be each team's final two games against a member of each of the other intraconference divisions. These games though can be a huge difference as to whether a team has a tough or easy schedule. So it will be fascinating to see how the schedule itself unfolds.
Here are five NFL teams that should be praying for an easier 2012 schedule.