The season kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 5, with the Cowboys visiting the Giants.
The defending Super Bowl Champion Giants have the most difficult schedule next season, based on the record of all 32 teams in 2011. In addition to playing the NFC East and AFC North, the Giants play the Packers and 49ers, both of whom had a combined record of 28-4 last season. New York also plays five prime time games.
The Patriots have the easiest schedule, despite making it to the Super Bowl. New England's opponents had just a .453 winning percentage last year.
Peyton Manning will make his Broncos debut on the first Sunday night game of the season. Denver will host the Steelers in Week 1. The Broncos have the second-most difficult schedule in 2012.
The biggest difference in this year's schedule is the number of Thursday night games. There will be an NFL game every Thursday night from Week 2 through Week 15. There will be three games on Thanksgiving, concluding with the Patriots at the Jets at 8:20 p.m. ET.