NFL 2012 Season Schedule
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The 2012 NFL season, the 93rd regular season of the National Football League, is set to begin Wednesday, September 5, 2012, with the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants hosting the Dallas Cowboys in the 2012 NFL Kickoff game at MetLife Stadium, and will end with Super Bowl XLVII, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Highlights of the 2012 schedule include:
NFL Kickoff Game: The 2012 regular season will begin on Wednesday, September 5, as the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys. The game was moved from its usual Thursday slot to avoid conflict with the last day of the Democratic National Convention, which will be held at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. As a result of the convention, the Panthers will open up on the road during Week 1, visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Redskins Rule: The last Washington Redskins home game before the 2012 Presidential Election will take place on November 4 against, coincidentally, the Panthers. According to the "Redskins Rule", if the Redskins win the game then Barack Obama will be re-elected for a second term; if the Panthers win instead then Obama will be ousted.
More Thursday night games: On February 3, 2012, commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the number of Thursday night games on the NFL Network will increase from eight to 13 games from weeks 2 through 15, excluding Week 12 (the Thanksgiving night game will now air on NBC). This will ensure that every team will have at least one prime time game.
International Series: The 2012 International Series game will feature the St. Louis Rams hosting the New England Patriots on October 28, at 1:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. GMT) on CBS, at the frequent International Series home—Wembley Stadium in London, England. Though the league had originally promised to add a second game in Ireland, Scotland, or Wales beginning in 2012, the league canceled the game, citing the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as a conflict (the league canceled a second International Series game in 2010 as well, citing the ongoing negotiations of the collective bargaining agreement). This was to be the first of three consecutive International Series appearances for the Rams, but the Rams announced it would no longer take part in the 2013 and 2014 editions due to fan backlash in St. Louis; beginning in 2013, the Jacksonville Jaguars will serve as the permanent International Series tenant instead.
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