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NFL announces 2002 Opponents

The opponents for all 2002 regular-season games in the realigned NFL have been determined and a complete list of each team's home and away matchups
was issued today by the NFL.

The NFL will expand to 32 teams next season with the addition of the Houston Texans. The league will realign for the first time since 1970
-- into eight divisions of four teams each – and a new scheduling formula will guarantee for the first time that all teams play each other on a regular, rotating
basis. Although the number of teams will increase to 32, the number of playoff teams will remain the same at 12.

The new scheduling formula will produce many exciting matchups in 2002, including Pittsburgh-Oakland, New England-Chicago, New York Jets-Chicago,
Miami-Green Bay, Oakland-San Francisco, Philadelphia-St. Louis, St. Louis-Chicago, San Francisco-Philadelphia, Pittsburgh-New England, and Green Bay-New York Jets.

Under the new NFL scheduling formula, every team within a division will play 16 games as follows:

*     

Home and away against its three division opponents (6 games). *
The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games). *
The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games). *
Two intraconference games based on the prior year's standings (2 games). These games will match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference will be matched in the same way each year. *

"The new scheduling formula is one of the most positive aspects of realignment," said NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE. "The new formula guarantees that NFL fans will see every team play each other on a regular, rotating basis. The formula will eliminate the many aberrations of the past in which teams either did not play for long periods of time or did not play in another team's stadium for many years."

The new schedule format will take each team through a cycle of games --home and away -- against every other team in the league. In the next eight seasons, every team will play every other team at least twice -- once home and once away. After the 2009 season, a decision will be made on whether to continue with the same rotation or modify it.

In determining how to begin the divisional rotation in 2002, the displacement of teams from their old divisions in the new alignment was taken into account. Preference was given to scheduling games with former division rivals and other regional opponents for clubs realigned from otherwise intact divisions.

For example, in 2002 the new NFC West will play the AFC West to match Seattle with its old rivals from the AFC West (Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego). The NFC West also will play the NFC East in order to match Arizona with its old NFC East rivals (Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington).

Also in 2002, the AFC North and AFC South are matched so that Jacksonville and Tennessee will play their former rivals from the old AFC Central (Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh). The NFC North and NFC South pairing in 2002 will give Tampa Bay games against its former NFC Central rivals (Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota).

Other regional 2002 matchups include Dallas visiting Houston in the Texans' inaugural season (NFC East vs. AFC South) and San Francisco at Oakland (NFC West vs. AFC West).

Games matching other previous division rivals or regional rivals that could not be scheduled in 2002 were put into the rotation as early as possible. Indianapolis will play its former AFC East rivals (Buffalo, Miami, New England, New York Jets) in 2003 with the AFC East-AFC South matchup. The New York Jets will host the New York Giants in 2003 when the AFC East plays the NFC East. San Francisco and St. Louis will meet their old NFC West rivals (Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans) in 2004 when the NFC West and NFC South meet.

The new scheduling format includes the following elements:

*     

There will be an increased common-opponent emphasis with every team in a division playing against 14 common opponents. *
All teams will play each other on a regular basis, home and away, for a more consistent presentation of attractive games, the many schedule aberrations of the past. *
Teams are guaranteed to play all nondivision opponents in their conference at least once every three years, and at home at least once every six years. *
Every AFC team will play every NFC team once every four years, and at home once every eight years. *
A team's record from the previous year will have less of a bearing on its schedule, with only two (rather than four) opponents being based on the previous year's standing. Thus, the so-called "easy" fifth-place schedules are eliminated. *
The division in which a team resides will be less of a factor in a team's won-loss record with 10 of 16 games each year being against non-division teams. *

Some of the past schedule aberrations that no longer will occur under the new formula:

*     

Oakland did not play in Pittsburgh from 1981 through 1999. *
Miami and Denver played once between 1983-97 when Dan Marino and John Elway were in their primes. *
Green Bay and Washington did not play from 1989-2000 and have not played in Washington since 1979. *
Atlanta and the New York Giants did not play from 1989-97.

*     

Pittsburgh and Kansas City have played six consecutive times in Kansas City. *
Green Bay played in Dallas four years in a row from 1993-96. *
Tampa Bay has never played in Buffalo. *

The official 2002 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring.

NFL Kickoff 2002 Weekend this year will be on September 8-9, and the regular season will conclude on December 30.

Wild Card Weekend will be Saturday and Sunday, January 4-5; Divisional Playoff games on the weekend of January 11-12; and the AFC and NFC Championship Games on Sunday, January 19.

Super Bowl XXXVII at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California will be played on Sunday, January 26.

The Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii, featuring the AFC and NFC All-Stars, is set for Sunday, February 2.

2002 OPPONENTS

AFC EAST


  1. New England PatriotsHome:Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins,
    New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green
    Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders,
San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

  1. Miami Dolphins

Home:Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Oakland
Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

* Away:* Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets,
Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota
Vikings

New York Jets 4.

Home:

Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Kansas
City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders,
San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

Buffalo BillsHome: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets,
Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Detroit
Lions

Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Denver Broncos,
Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings 5.

AFC NORTH



  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Houston
Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville
Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay
Buccaneers

Baltimore Ravens 3.

Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville
Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston
Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns
4.

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston
Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville
Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cincinnati Bengals

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville
Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay
Buccaneers

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston
Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

AFC SOUTH


  1. Tennessee Titans

Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland
Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington
Redskins

Away:

Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens,
Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

Indianapolis Colts 3.

Home: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore
Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

Away: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland
Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington
Redskins

Jacksonville Jaguars 4.

Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland
Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington
Redskins

Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore
Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

Houston TexansHome: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee
Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys,
New York Giants

Away: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland
Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington
Redskins

AFC WEST


  1. Oakland Raiders

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, New England
Patriots, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks

Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo
Bills, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams

Denver Broncos 3.

Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo
Bills, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams

Away: Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, New England
Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks

Kansas City Chiefs 4.

Home: Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills,
Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams

Away: Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, New England
Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks

San Diego Chargers 5.

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, New England
Patriots, New York Jets, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks

Away:Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo
Bills, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams

*NFC EAST*



  1. Philadelphia Eagles

Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals,
St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Away:Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, San Francisco
49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins 3.

Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals,
St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Away:Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco
49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee
Titans

New York Giants 4.

Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, San Francisco
49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

Away:Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona
Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Dallas Cowboys 5.

Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, San
Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars,
Tennessee Titans

Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona
Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

NFC NORTH



  1. Chicago Bears

Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans
Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, New
York Jets

Away:Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta
Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Green Bay Packers 3.

Home:Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons,
Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Away:Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans
Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, New
York Jets

Minnesota Vikings 4.

Home:Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons,
Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Away:Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans
Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, New York
Jets

Detroit Lions 5.

Home:Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans
Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York
Jets

Away:Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta
Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins


NFC SOUTH



  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Home:Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Green
Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh
Steelers

Away:Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago
Bears, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

New Orleans Saints 3.

Home:Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green
Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh
Steelers

Away:Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago
Bears, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

Atlanta Falcons 4.

Home:Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,
Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati
Bengals

Away:Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,
Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh
Steelers

Carolina Panthers 5.

Home:Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago
Bears, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

Away:Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green
Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh
Steelers

NFC WEST


  1. St. Louis Rams

Home:Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas
Cowboys, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers

Away:Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia
Eagles, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers 3.

Home:Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia
Eagles, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City
Chiefs

Away:Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas
Cowboys, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers

Seattle Seahawks 4.

Home:Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia
Eagles, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Kansas City
Chiefs

Away:Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Dallas
Cowboys, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers

Arizona Cardinals 5.

Home:St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas
Cowboys, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers

Away:St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia
Eagles, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City
Chiefs

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