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With 2012 in the books, every NFL team knows its 2013 opponents

Denver Broncos v New England Patriots Getty Images

Although the 2013 NFL schedule won’t be released for a few months, every NFL team knows who its 2013 opponents are.

That’s because the NFL uses this formula to determine each team’s opponents:

1. Six games consist of home and away against three division opponents.

2. Four games are played against teams from another division within the conference on a rotating three-year cycle.

3. Four games are played against teams from another division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle.

4. Two interconference games are based on the prior year’s standings. So that the first-place teams play each other, the second-place teams play each other, the third-place teams play each other and the last-place teams play each other.

Using that formula, we know every game that will be played in the 2013 NFL regular season, including what will surely be one of the marquee games of the season when Peyton Manning and the Broncos travel to New England. Here’s the full list of 2013 opponents for all 32 NFL teams.

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11 Responses to “With 2012 in the books, every NFL team knows its 2013 opponents”
  1. godofwine330 says: Dec 31, 2012 3:35 PM

    It is a great system. Too bad they couldn’t have had this back in the day so that Dan Marino and Elway could have played one another.

  2. psilenttype says: Dec 31, 2012 4:11 PM

    But how do they know who they play at home and on the road already?

  3. justintuckrule says: Dec 31, 2012 4:34 PM

    Skins fans better enjoy it now while it lasts. For once in your pathetic existences, you’ll see what it feels like playing GB, SF and Atl every year like we do. In other words, don’t get too used to wearing that NFC East crown. Where we get Seattle (at home) and Carolina, you get SF and Atl.

  4. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Dec 31, 2012 4:46 PM

    What is the formula for who gets the home games. Asking because the Broncos had to play the Pats at their place this year and again next year?

  5. jeffp12 says: Dec 31, 2012 5:25 PM

    Broncos at Colts – Manning Returns to Indy against Luck.

    Broncos at Giants – Manning Bowl 3.

  6. frankpm says: Dec 31, 2012 5:29 PM

    echoing the question that others have asked – is there a pre-set formula for who gets homefield in the 4 games against the same-conference division and the 4 games against the other-conference division? i think there is a general rule on the 3-year and 4-year cycles that they try to rotate the home field, but there seems to be exceptions, particularly for games involving coast-to-coast trips for one of the teams…

  7. mgpet says: Dec 31, 2012 5:45 PM

    You mean “intraconference”.

    Interconference is between the conferences, intra is within.

  8. pensacolavolfan says: Dec 31, 2012 6:27 PM

    How many times has the NFL made Peyton play New England in New England? Wonder how the Patriots always seem to have home field throughout the playoffs you know now.

  9. nicepak381 says: Dec 31, 2012 6:45 PM

    No, Pensacola; the reason the Patriots often secure home field advantage in post-season is that they have a tendency to beat the bag out of their opponents, week in and week out. They will be playing Peyton and Co. In their own house in a few weeks and you’ll see what I mean.

  10. ch1ggs says: Dec 31, 2012 8:55 PM

    I can’t wait to watch the Patriots lay another postseason egg in Denver…shades of January, 2006. We had Jake Plummer then, now we have Manning.

    Beantown. Is. Going. Down.

  11. rc33 says: Jan 2, 2013 5:50 PM

    The Broncos’ winning streak consists of beating opponents that’re a combined 40+ games under .500.
    …but keep telling yourselves how invincible you are.

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