With the 2011 NFL season complete, the Rams and every team in the NFL now knows which opponents it will face in the 2012 season.
The actual date and times of the games will be released with the full schedule sometime around the NFL Draft. But for now, here’s a quick glance at the Rams’ 2012 opponents.
Home and Away:
Arizona – The Rams dropped both meetings with the Cardinals in 2011 in a pair of closely-contested games. Arizona finished the season 8-8 after John Skelton took over at quarterback and led them to seven wins in its final nine games.
San Francisco – The Niners bounced back in a big way in 2011, winning the NFC West Division title going away with a 13-3 record led by a stingy defense and a power running game.
Seattle – Like Arizona, the Seahawks finished the season on a roll, winning five of six before dropping their final two games to finish 7-9. Seattle also boasts a stout defense and a power running game and figures to be back in the mix for the division in 2012.
Green Bay – The Packers remain the standard for all franchises in the league as they look to defend their Super Bowl championship this month. The Rams stood toe to toe with Green Bay in 2011 in Lambeau with their best offensive output of the season in terms of yards.
Minnesota – The Vikings went through some growing pains in 2011, falling to 3-13 under first year coach Leslie Frazier. But they still boast two of the league’s elite players in running back Adrian Peterson and end Jared Allen.
Washington – The team the Rams seem to play every year will come to the Edward Jones Dome for a third consecutive year after the teams split their past two meetings. Washington, which finished 5-11 in 2011, has one of the league’s best up and coming defenses led by coordinator Jim Haslett.
New England – The Patriots haven’t been to St. Louis since 2004 when they came to the Edward Jones Dome and got a victory. New England is still one of the standard bearers in the league after going 13-3 in 2011 and will again likely be led by quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick.
New York Jets – The Jets haven’t played in St. Louis since the regular season finale in 2004, a game the Rams won to earn their last trip to the playoffs. With confident coach Rex Ryan leading the way, St. Louis fans will get their first up close look at Revis Island.
Chicago – The Rams will see former coordinator Lovie Smith and Co. at Soldier Field for the second time in the past four years as the Bears look to bounce back from an 8-8 finish after starting 7-3 and heading toward the postseason before key injuries to quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte.
Detroit – The Rams travel to face the Lions for the second time in the past three seasons and third in the past four. Detroit emerged as one of the league’s best young teams in 2011 and figure to be tough again behind the fireworks provided by quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson.
Tampa Bay – A 10-game losing streak ended the Bucs’ 2011 season on a sour note and they’ll look to recover from a 4-12 year in which they dealt with nearly as many devastating injuries as the Rams.
Buffalo – The Rams travel to Buffalo for the first time since 2004 and will likely see old friend Ryan Fitzpatrick steering the ship at quarterback. The Bills were the feel good story of the early part of the 2011 season but tailed off and finished 6-10.
Miami – The Dolphins got off to a horrific 0-7 start but recovered to go 6-3 down the stretch on the way to a 6-10 record in 2011. In the process, they got running back Reggie Bush up to speed and, like the Rams, will be breaking in a new head coach in 2011.