American Football Wiki
2012 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 6, 2012 – December 30, 2012
Start date January 5, 2013
AFC Champions
NFC Champions
Super Bowl XLVII
Date February 3, 2013
Site Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Champions {{{sb_champions}}}
Pro Bowl
Date TBD
National Football League seasons
 < 2011 2013 > 

The 2012 NFL season, is the 93rd regular season of the National Football League, began Thursday, September 6, 2012, with the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion hosting the annual Kickoff game; and will end with Super Bowl XLVII, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 3, 2013, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.



The 2012 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to April 28, 2012 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.[1]

Under the NFL's scheduling formula, the intraconference and interconference matchups will be:[2]

What is known of the 2012 schedule is as follows:

  • NFL Kickoff Game: The entire 2012 season tentatively will begin on Thursday, September 6, 2012, at the home of the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion. September 6 is also the last day of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which will be held at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, and the league has yet to announce if it will repeat what it did four years earlier, when the Kickoff Game was moved to 7:00 p.m. EDT, instead of its usual 8:20 p.m. EDT start, to accommodate the last day of the 2008 Republican Convention. As a result of the convention, the Panthers will very likely play on the road during the first weekend of the season.[3]
  • 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. This will mark the first of three consecutive International Series appearances for the Rams.[4] Though the league had originally promised to add a second game in Ireland,[5] Scotland,[6] or Wales[7] beginning in 2012,[8] the league reneged on that promise for the second time in three years, this time citing the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as their excuse (the league had reneged on a second International Series game in 2010 as well, that time citing ongoing negotiations with the collective bargaining agreement).
  • Thanksgiving Classic: These games will occur on Thursday, November 22. The Detroit Lions will host an AFC team—either the Houston Texans or Indianapolis Colts—at 12:30 p.m. EST on CBS, while the Dallas Cowboys will host an NFC team, which is yet to be determined (the possibilities are the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Chicago Bears), at 4:15 p.m. EST on Fox. The prime-time NBC game, featuring opponents yet to be announced, will be featured at 8:20 p.m. EST.
  • Bills Toronto Series. The fifth and, under current contract, final regular-season game of the series, which sees the Buffalo Bills play in Toronto's Rogers Centre, is still being planned. Due to a re-emergence of late-season attendance problems at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Toronto Series is likely to return to its original December schedule, after the end of the 2012 CFL season. A preseason game will also be played as part of the series.
  • Christmas Eve: Christmas Eve falls on a Monday in 2012. The NFL tries to avoid scheduling games on the evening of Christmas Eve; however, in 2007, a Monday Night Christmas Eve game between two western division teams was played at 8:00 p.m. EST (5:00 p.m. PST). The league may also choose to have an afternoon game on Christmas Eve, as it did in 2004, when Christmas Eve fell on a Friday, although this will be dictated by the terms of the most recent contract extension agreed to in December 2011.
  • Playoffs: The last regular season games will be held on Sunday, December 30. The playoffs would then start on Saturday, January 5, 2013. Conference championship games will be held on Sunday, January 20; the NFC Championship will be played at 3:00 p.m. EST on Fox, and the AFC Championship will follow at 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS. Super Bowl XLVII, the league's championship game, will occur on February 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, and will be televised on CBS.

The league announced that it will consider trying to avoid scheduling Thursday Night games in which the visiting team has to travel two or more time zones.[9]

The opponents for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game will be announced sometime in February (likely at the same time as the announcement of who made it into the Hall), while the entire regular season schedule will be announced in April.

Media changes

On December 14, 2011, the NFL announced that the Thanksgiving game night will move from the NFL Network to NBC.[10]

Also on that day, the league extended their contracts with their TV broadcasters through 2022, although many of new provisions (such as expanding flexible scheduling to allow the shifting of AFC and NFC games between CBS and Fox; and NBC giving up one of its two wild card playoff games in exchange for a divisional round game) will not take effect until 2014.[10]


The Denver Broncos will switch their primary home jersey color from navy blue to orange. The orange jerseys that were the team's alternate colored jersey from 2002–2011 will become the primary home jersey, while the navy blue jerseys that were the team's primary home jersey from 1997–2011 will switch to alternate designation. The change was made due to overwhelming popularity with fans, who clamored for the team to return to wearing orange at home, which was the team's predominant home jersey color from 1962–1996.[11]

Nike will now be the official uniform provider for the NFL, succeeding Reebok, which had a decade-long partnership in that capacity.

Coaching changes

Team: 2011 head coach:
at start of season
2011 interim head coach: 2012 replacement: Reason for leaving: Story/Accomplishments:
Jacksonville Jaguars Jack Del Rio Mel Tucker Mike Mularkey Fired Del Rio was fired after compiling a 69–73 (.486) record (including postseason games) in 8¾ seasons as head coach; the team has not made the playoffs since 2007. Del Rio was fired at the same time that Wayne Weaver, the owner of the Jaguars, announced his intentions to sell the team to Pakistani-American automotive parts builder Shahid Khan.[12] Mularkey, previously the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2004 to 2005, had most recently been offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
Kansas City Chiefs Todd Haley Romeo Crennel Fired Haley compiled a 19–27 (.413) record, including one postseason loss, in nearly 3 seasons with the Chiefs. Team ownership cited inconsistent play and a lack of progress in their decision; Haley was also cited for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in what turned out to be his final game. Crennel had previously served as head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2005–2008.
Miami Dolphins Tony Sparano Todd Bowles Joe Philbin Fired Sparano compiled a 29–33 (.468) record, including one postseason loss, in nearly 4 seasons with the Dolphins. Ongoing speculation regarding Sparano's future in Miami prompted Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to dismiss Sparano prior to the end of the season instead of letting the speculation become a further distraction. The Dolphins intended on hiring someone from outside the organization in the 2012 offseason[13] and followed through on that intent by hiring Philbin, the former offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.
St. Louis Rams Steve Spagnuolo Jeff Fisher Fired Spagnuolo compiled a 10–38 (.213) record in three seasons as head coach of the Rams, including a 1–15 record in 2009 and a 2–14 record in 2011. He and general manager Billy Devaney were dismissed concurrently on January 2. Fisher, who had spent the previous season out of football, had coached the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans from 1994 to 2010.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raheem Morris Greg Schiano Fired Morris compiled a 17–31 (.354) record in three seasons as head coach of the Buccaneers and ended the 2011 season with a ten-game losing streak.
Oakland Raiders Hue Jackson Dennis Allen Fired Jackson compiled an 8–8 (.500) record in his lone season as the Raiders' head coach, but set a league record for penalties. He was dismissed as part of the new owner and general manager's overhaul of operations in the wake of Al Davis' death. Allen had previously served as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.
Indianapolis Colts Jim Caldwell Chuck Pagano Fired Caldwell was fired after compiling a 28–24 (.538) record (including postseason games) in three seasons as head coach; the team suffered through a 2–14 record in 2011, in which quarterback Peyton Manning sat out the whole season after recovering from multiple neck surgeries. This record was the worst in the league and brought Caldwell's firing as well as that of 15-year general manager Bill Polian. Pagano had previously served as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.


  1. Aiello, Greg (December 6, 2011). Greg Aiello's Twitter account. Retrieved on 2011-12-06.
  2. 2012 Opponents Determined. NFL (January 2, 2012). Retrieved on January 23, 2012.
  3. "Carolina Panthers to play first game away because of DNC", Charlotte Observer, January 17, 2012. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. 
  5. Fahey, Cian (January 28, 2011). Croke Park Director addresses the NFL's visit to Ireland. Irish Central. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  6. Template error: argument title is required. 
  7. "NFL ponders second UK game option", BBC News, May 13, 2009. 
  8. Goodell: Some NFL teams could be London regulars. Associated Press. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  9. Brinson, last (2011-12-11). NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule. CBS Sports. Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Best, Neil (2011-12-14). NFL renews lucrative TV deals. Newsday. Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  11. Klis, Mike (October 3, 2011). NFL approves Broncos' switch back to orange uniforms. Retrieved on October 3, 2011.
  12. Jags fire Del Rio, announce team sale. ESPN (2011-11-29). Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  13. Jackson, Barry (2011-12-12). Miami Dolphins fire coach Tony Sparano. Miami Herald. Retrieved December 12, 2011.

External links

NFL seasons

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Modern Era (1970-present)