The Cardinals’ 2012 opponents

Posted by Darren Urban on December 6, 2011 – 12:08 pm

With a month left on the schedule — and since this info was held back at the beginning of the season as the league sorted through the post-lockout world — it’s a good time to take a look at what the Cards face schedule-wise in 2012.

Dates and times, of course, aren’t out until April.


  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • St. Louis Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • NFC East match (wherever place the Cards finish vs. same place in East. As of today, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles)


  • Green Bay Packers
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • St. Louis Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • NFC South match (as of today, it’s the Carolina Panthers).

Some heavy-duty road trips there, based on what’s going on this season. Things change from year-to-year, of course. And the last time the Cards went to play the Patriots and Jets on the road, while the games didn’t turn out great, the season ultimately did.

UPDATE: Many are asking about trips to the Jets and Pats, when the Cards did the same the last time they played those teams. The NFL, I believe is just working backward with AFC vs NFC. The  Cards have played the Ravens and Bengals on the road two straight times, for instance, including this year, and will host the Steelers and Browns for a second straight time. Same thing happened in 2007. So for 2012, they are repeating 2008. I’d assume, in 2016, Cards will visit Miami and Buffalo and host Jets, Pats.

Posted in Blog | 63 Comments »

63 Responses to “The Cardinals’ 2012 opponents”

  1. By AZbelgium on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply


    Well i was feeling like that we have quite a chance to get to the play-offs this year.
    And seen the evolution of our teams D and O (in time when kolbs can get used to them a bit more) i thought if not this year we might have like a 99% to get it next year.

    However, seen this schedule we need a damn good team to get trough if you ask me. Do the Niners have a difficult schedule too? would give us the chance we need.

    Anyway i still believe in it. what are your thoughts?

  2. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Azbelgium —

    RE: Niners in 2012

    San Francisco sked is actually the exact same as the Cards in 2012, except they will play the first place team of the NFC East at home and the first-place team of the NFC South on the road (the latter being the Saints, probably).

  3. By CardsFan on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    RE: NFC East match

    Let’s see – the Cards have a good shot at finishing 2nd in the West, and there’s a good chance that NY will win the East and the Cowboys finish 2nd… I’m not a very religious man, but if that happens I might have to rethink this whole “divine intervention” concept.

  4. By Anthony C. on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Wow, playing the Packers in Green Bay. It’s gonna be a rough game for all the Packer fans when they have to watch their awesome team get stomped by the Cardinals.

  5. By Cardinalchris on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Carolina was also on the schedule that year. Hmmmm.

  6. By Marcus on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    thats some bullstuff. before i get started, how many times are we going to play @vikings?

    @Packers @Pats @Jets?? c’mon yo. what the hell is that? we played @Jets and @Pats last time. bring them to ARI. heck, it seems the Pats dont even travel except to San Diego for that routine beat down.

  7. By RelayTV on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    A brutal schedule to be sure. We’d better make some serious progress during the off-season and training camp.

    It will be a make or break season.

  8. By Jzoully on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS…I think the best way to get better on defense is trading Greg Toler and then signing a guy like Cortland Finnegan who can bring a tenacity to our defense where they won’t have a single place to throw the ball. And the fact that an inside linebacker might be needed how about Sam Achos’ brother Emmanuel Acho in the 3rd Round, who could bring stability to inside game.

  9. By J-BIRD on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren! If I may go off the subject for a moment; I wanted to request that you post more video’s of the Cardinals locker room after a game, maybe even before; just to give all us fans a feel of what goes on inside there before and after. I mean I know as a former player myself, but as a huge fan of the Cardinals I always wondered about that, plus their locker room looks really nice in there with the Red Carpet and alll haha! As for the schedule for next season, ofcoarse that was the same schedule we had the year we wnt to the Super Bowl. Not saying Cards will make it next year; then again they could haha! but either way I believe the Cardinals will have a much better outcome against those AFC teams then we did that season, and will have a far much better record then the previous seasons this one included, all coming next season.

  10. By Phoenixraven1 on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Anybody notice all our home games are against names of animals lol!

  11. By bobf on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Looks to be notched up a bit in difficulty. That’s a lot of time out east.

  12. By CJ on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    that schedule looks really tough what do you think Darren?

  13. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    CJ —

    RE: Schedule difficulty

    I think there is a long time and a lot that can happen before September of next year.

  14. By CJ on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply


    was the last time we played the bears at home the “they are who we thought they were incident?”

  15. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    CJ —

    RE: Bears at UoP


  16. By Saul on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply


    This can change though right? for instance, if we place 2nd in the division as opposed to 3rd? Wouldn’t that mean the Jets come here and we go to the Bills?

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Saul —

    RE: “Changes”

    The only thing that could change is the lone road game at NFC South and the home game against the NFC East. That all depends on matching up with the teams in those divisions that place in the same spot as the Cards. All other 14 games are set in stone, in terms of home and away.

  18. By Redbird Ninja on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Will the Patriots EVER Play us at the UofPhx Stadium????

    So Bummed!!!

  19. By Disciple Of Kratos on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    By Phoenixraven1 on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Anybody notice all our home games are against names of animals lol!

    What kind of animal is a 49er?? LOL

  20. By Bostonjohn on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Was that released by the nfl? I had looked at road trip Johnny that tried to forecast the opponents using the old methodology and they had the home/away inverted this yr….thanks

  21. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Bostonjohn —

    RE: Schedule info >

    At least when it comes to NFL/Cards info.

  22. By Scott on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Question – back in 2008 the Bills and Dolphins came here. Wouldn’t the AFC East FLIP and the Patriots and Jets would come here next season?

  23. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Scott —

    RE: Visits

    You are right about 2008.

    And no.

  24. By C on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    This schedule looks pretty brutal, but the Cards have gone 1-2 (really should be 3-0) on the east coast roadies (Washington, Philly and Baltimore). Point? It’s way to early to be counting W’s and L’s now. The development of Kolb going through a full year of OTAs and Training Camp, getting Toler back, addressing the O-Line nearly exclusively in FA and the draft.. I really don’t see us being in bad shape if Kolb continues to progress and the O-Line personnel improves the way it should.

  25. By Eric Fontana on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Darren.

    I’ve been looking all over for this. Didn’t know the home/away, especially regarding the AFC east teams. How do they determine this? I know it’s predetermined, but that’s twice in a row facing the Jets/Pats on the road and the Bills/Dolphins at home. Hoping they don’t give us another December snow game in New England.

    Might as well play the Packers on the Road, it’s not likely to be a win anyway.

    Redbird Ninja: The Pats have played here. They were 18-0 and lost to the G-Men.

    Game vs. Bears: There are going to be a couple of scared punters that game.

  26. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Eric Fontana —

    RE: Schedule

    This year Cards faced Steelers/Browns for a second straight time at home, at Balt/Cincy for a second straight time.

  27. By Steven Aranda on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Looks like we have a easy home schedule, the road schedule looks ok. Can’t wait to beat New England and Green Bay.

  28. By BIll on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply


    Isn’t it time for the Jets and Pats to come out here? I thought we were there 4 years ago. Unless the NFL is doing another change.


  29. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Bill —

    RE: Jets/Pats

    Not the way NFL is putting together the schedule. My math says 2016.

  30. By TUCSTEVE on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    i see cards winning 7 to 9 with that schedule

  31. By Paul H on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    I thought we had played NE and Jets away in 2008.The year Anquan was hurt bad and the snowstorm game. We played Miami and Buffalo at home. So next year that’s the same? I had thought the NFL flips the sites every 4 years.

  32. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Paul H —

    RE: Flipping

    Nope. 2007: Pitt, Cleve come to Az; Cards at Balt/Cincy. Same in 2011.

    I think they are doing AFC/NFC schedules like a snake draft in fantasy football. Think 1,2,3, 3,2,1.

  33. By Stevie on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    I’m with all those who wonder why we never get to play teams like the Pats and Jets at home. I don’t understand how the home/away schedule is determined. It seems to make more sense to schedule the east teams with outdoor stadiums away than to take a team like the Cards and send them there. If the 49ers play the same schedule, does that mean that they get to play the Pats at home or in New England? This year they seemed to have the advantage of playing teams we played on the road, but at home. When a division plays all the teams in another division, how do they determine which plays on the road and which at home? Thanks, Darren.

  34. By BIll on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    This is that Johnny Road Trip is showing: Pats & Jets coming to AZ.

    Thanks Darren

  35. By cardsalltheway on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    I wonder if this schedule will now convince Ken W. to draft an Offensive Tackle ? Instead of the Cowboys we get the Pats, Packers, and Jets, FANTASTIC !

  36. By cowboysEATER on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    I want the Cowboys again…… Cards have won 4 out of 5 last games

  37. By jocards on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Tough road schedule to be sure but life on the road is always tough in the NFL. Playing Green Bay, New England and the NYJ in Arizona wouldn’t be a cake walk either… at home, break even on the road and you’re in good shape.

  38. By wayne on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply


    What’s all the fuss about, I think we have it easy at home, 7 teams with losing records(Bears will finsh at 7-9 or 8-8) and one with a winning record(49ers), we could go 8-0 at home, Minn, Carolina, Seattle, Rams all wins on the road. Looks like 12-4 to me, even if we go 7-1 at home and 3-5 on the road it’s still 10-6. But we still have a chance at playoffs for 2011 if we get to 9-7, anything can hapen.

    Thanks for all the hard work, we have won 4 out 5, now lets win the rest.

  39. By Matt H on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    What are the chances we pull the ‘Boys again for the NFC matchup? Almost bringing the rivalry back but at 1 game a season.

  40. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Matt H –

    RE: Cowboys return in ’12

    Very possible. You could see both finishing in second.

  41. By Nick on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Ok the reason why we have same matchups as 07 08 09 is becAuse the NFL switched the cards and rams 3 years ago. We used to have the rams as a partner ie same schedule. But the pats and jets complained they had to travel west to many times so they switched us with San fran and I think 2 teams in afc west, otherwise we would have our entire schedule flipped this year and so on. We should have been in ny Dallas Pitt and clev, but we were switched to San frans rotation.

    Plus if we have a team move to la in next few seasons we would half to realign the league anyways and could end up with whole new rotation.

  42. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Nick –

    RE: why repeats in home/away

    That, my friend, is a good peice of info. Thanks. I had forgotten about that.

  43. By Scott H on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Damn…the road schedule is NOT friendly. Green Bay…New England…New York…and the usual trip to San Fran? Hope they can balance this out by being tough at home.

  44. By AndyStandsUp on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    So there is the possibility of 7 out 8 road games as 10 or 11 am starts? (Doesn’t SF have to have an early game if OAK has a late contest?) Don’t know the Cards record in early starts, but a recent stat had West Coast teams playing East Coast times as having a 35% chance of winning as opposed to 47% in late evening ESPN-biased region games. (SF kind of threw a wrench in that statistic this season.)
    Darren, Goodell kinda poo-pooed the topic during the lockout, but you think there’s a chance the broadcast committee will take a look at it this offseason?

    And Disciple Of Kratos, the 49ers represent one of the most feared animals ever known to man – the Gold Digger.

  45. By Darren Urban on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    RE: early kickoffs

    No idea. We’re gonna have some 3-day trips, though.

  46. By NIck on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully Cardinals will host giants. I also feel really bad for the packers cause they are gonna witness cardinals win in lambeu field. Once kevin kolb gets used to the teams Cardinals will be the best team in the NFC!

  47. By Chuck 1 on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    Count me among those Cards’ fans who were pleasantly surprised that the Cards upset the “Boys. After all, they were 4 1/2 point underdogs at home.
    I realize that they seem to have the ‘Boys number in recent years.

    NOW, if they can be competitive (and, hopefully win) against the ‘9ers, I’ll become a believer.

  48. By Chuck 1 on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply


    I’m not sure that ANYTHING will convince GRAVES to draft OR sign (in Free Agency) what they need to become an elite team e.g. OT,s DTs monster LBs and a #2 WR threat.

  49. By Tim Lowtower on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    The home games and road games need to be swapped for the Cardinals to have a chance at a decent season…the only winnable road game looks like St. Louis? On the other hand, they should kill the home schedule. Hopefully that’ll give them confidence when they get whooped on the road by the Packers, Pats, and the Vikings too…The cards can never seem to get the dub in the land of lakes — aka Minnesota. Who knows though…usually injuries play a larger role than the teams’ schedule

  50. By in fitz we trust on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    all this schedule stuff, never knew it was so technical, hey darren off topic but why does the organization mainly send our “average” players to the events like the childrens hospital an things like that, never really see beanie, fitz, kolb at those events as much??? only events fitz throws usually involves spending 500$ on a steak or 3000k to bowl with celebrities ???

  51. By Darren Urban on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    In Fitz We Trust —

    RE: Events

    For charity events, the players are the ones who sign up. The organization doesn’t “send” anyone.

  52. By in fitz we trust on Dec 6, 2011 | Reply

    like if i was a dying child ( no disrespect intended ) i would want to meet fitzgerald, not rex hadnot or brandon keith lol just sayin

  53. By Eric Fontana on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    “most feared animal ever – the Gold Digger”.
    Absolutely hilarious, Andy.

    Nick- thanks for the input on the switch with St. Louis as the partner. I don’t really get the big difference of traveling to Phoenix, Arizona or Seattle (all pretty far from NE/NY), but it makes sense now why we keep playing the same teams consecutive times thru the rotation.

  54. By clssylssy on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    We are looking good, and if we won all of our homegames (and there’s no reason we couldn’t) and focused on sweeping the Division we would have one foot in the door. The Cards have NEVER done well in the cold so this schedule looks really brutal unless they go to practicing in a meat locker in their underwear. Getting a good OC to compliment Horton and backup Coach Whisenhunt would be sweet …we need someway to give this team some balance and help KK get the ball down the field to his receivers. We have a goldmine of young talent and the heart to win as a team so given a “normal” off season, should be back on top. As Kurt Warner said, it takes patience to rebuild a team, and having unwavering fan support always helps. GO CARDS! FLY HIGH!

  55. By bluepitt on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hay Darren,
    Please tell me your opinion on the odds of these two playoff scenarios..
    With a 9-7 record:

    And Yes with a 8-8 record

    There are actually tons of ways we make it in…. And to tell you the truth most are really not long shots, we can give up the cincy or a non division game and still make it in…. I do think we will tromp the 9ers, if we can keep the D off the field we win! Last game Our D held them with John playing crappy! The score does not reflect what our D Did in that game, Most all SF’s points came in the 3rd Quarter after our d was in for …well 3 quarters!!!

    Frank is going down this game.. he hasent had his yearly 4 game out due to injury stint…

  56. By Darren Urban on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    bluepitt —

    RE: Playoffs

    As I told my son last night when he asked about the playoffs, get back to me when the Cards reach .500. Until then, it’s a moot point.

    And I need to ask: Frank?

  57. By bluepitt on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    I respect that Ill ask in 2 weeks..
    Frank My bad..
    Im still not Buying the Farm on Kolb, but he is doing a touch better.
    Whiz is finnnnnnaly Runing the Darn Ball ! I love it..Win Loose or Draw If We run Wells more than 18 times a game Im happy!

  58. By brad oneill on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    im not through suffering through this year yet.

  59. By Mike on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Here’s what happened with the scheduling.

    The east coast teams complained about hitting both San Fran and Seattle in a single season, and Oakland and San Diego in a single season. (If memory serves, the Patriots and Jets actually had to visit all four in the same year, due to a coincidence of scheduling.) This is much easier on the body clock than having the Cardinals travel to multiple east coast games in a season, but the east coast teams always get what they want, so the NFL switched two scheduling slots:

    Arizona and Seattle switched (so that Seattle is paired with St. Louis now, and AZ with SF, rather than the previous AZ-STL and SEA-SF); and

    Oakland and Kansas City switched (so that DEN is paired with Oakland now, and SD with KC, rather than the previous OAK-SD and DEN-KC).

    The proof is in the pudding: Notice our games against Oakland in 2002, 2006, and 2010 have gone home-away-home, with Denver have gone away-home-home, and we haven’t had San Diego visit for a regular season game since 2002. (They’ll be here in 2014.)

    Also notice the Seahawks have had BAL and CIN at home twice in a row, while we’ve had the opposite, while SF and STL have had the normal home and away switching with the AFC North (and every other interconference foe). Before the pre-2010-season switch, the Cardinals were slated to have the Ravens and Bengals at home this year and the Steelers and Browns on the road. Instead, we’ll next visit Pittsburgh in 2015.

    It’s a bit ridiculous, but after the 2017 season every team will have had two home and two away games, minimum, with every other team since the 32-team alignment began. (And in some cases many, many more). So you won’t have weird situations where Denver and Miami only played three times in a 28-year span through the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. (if memory serves).

    We are getting MIN on the road twice in a row because this year they are our strength-of-schedule game, and next year the NFC West plays the NFC North under the normal intraconference rotation. Remember in 2009 we had MIN at home on SNF and we stomped them and Brett Favre, 30-17. So no, it’s not always a road game. If our SOS game this year had been away at Chicago or Detroit, our game against that team next year would have been a home game instead because in 2012 it’s rotation and not SOS for NFC West-North games.

  60. By CowboysEater on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren!!??!!?? Any Chance We Face the Tennessee Titans Next Year. I think that would be a good game since I live in TN.

  61. By Darren Urban on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    CowboysEater —

    RE: 2012 opponents

    *looks around* Umm, the opponents for 2012 are right above in the blog post. Seemed pretty self-explanatory to me.

  62. By Eazy E on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    My little brother and I yesterday for some reason was just talking about the 2012 schedule because he is a jets fan and hoped they would play the cards next year.

  63. By john c on Mar 15, 2012 | Reply

    Cannot wait for the final schedule release. Need wife to see how great AZ area is and only way is for her to see her Bills and my Cards.
    John in Buffalo, NY

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