The NFL has slowly begun the process of releasing the 2012 NFL schedule, as they officially announced that the New York Giants would host the Dallas Cowboys in the 2012 NFL Kickoff game, scheduled for Wednesday, September 5. The NFL has had the Super Bowl champion host the opener every year since 2004, and the defending champions are 8-0 thus far.
In related schedule news, the Denver Broncos appear to have an excellent chance at opening the season in primetime, potentially facing the Pittsburgh Steelers on the season-opener of Sunday Night Football. Although Tim Tebow would have gotten them on plenty of primetime games, the addition of Peyton Manning helps that a bit.
The 49ers official 2012 schedule will be released in a few weeks as we get closer to the draft. The 49ers 2012 opponent list features a mix of strong opponents and a real likelihood of numerous primetime matchups. One interesting wrinkle that may come out with rules voting later today, less travel for Thursday games. The 49ers had to travel to Baltimore last Thanksgiving and that was no easy task. Removing that from the equation would be a big plus.
As the 49ers await their schedule, most of us can agree they will face the Detroit Lions in prime time. Their rematch with the Giants will likely be a prime time affair as well. The Saints, Packers, Patriots and even Bears all could be intriguing. If I had to pick a dark-horse prime time game, I would go with one of the 49ers-Seahawks matchups.