Don't believe any athlete who says they don't circle dates on the schedule.
Whether it's a matchup with the team that ended last season's playoff run, a one-on-one showdown with a personal rival, a hyped-up national TV holiday showcase or just an opportunity to know when they get to visit South Beach or L.A. or New York City, every athlete scans the schedule when it first comes out looking for something to anticipate.
NFL players are wired not to be afraid of anything in pads, but that doesn't mean some games on the schedule don't inspire a healthy nervousness.
Super Bowl contenders know when they'll get their toughest tests, up-and-coming contenders know when they'll be able to determine whether or not they're for real and the rest, well, they'll know which games to forget to mention to Mom and the boys back home.
Here are the scariest games on the 2011 schedule for each NFL team.