The NFL will be releasing the 2009 season schedule on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. For the first time, it will be announced on the NFL Network, as part of a a schedule-specific show on the NFL Network and NFL.com. NFL Network's Total Access, airing at 7pm on April 14th, will release and analyze each team's schedule as part of a two hour special called, NFL Total Access: 2009 Schedule Release Presented by GMC Sierra.
Of course we already know who the Baltimore Ravens 2009 opponents will be, but not the specific dates of each game. So far, we know we play each team in the AFC North twice each year (Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland), which covers six of the 16 games. The other ten are equally divided between home and away games and are:
Home: Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis
Away: Oakland, San Diego, Green Bay, Minnesota, New England
(Note: I can't wait for another crack at Indy, and who wants to join me for a roadtrip to the "Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field?")
Each year we rotate playing another division in each conference. This year you can see it is the NFC North and the AFC West. In addition, we play the other two 2nd place teams in the remaining divisions ofthe AFC that we are not already playing, which is based on the Ravens finishing in second place in the AFC North last year.
I believe the NFL is the only major sport that bases its schedule on a specific formula and rotation, based on what place the team finished the year before. I realize that MLB rotates the inter-league play by division, but that is a strict rotation and not based in any way on where a team finished the prior season. Therefore, if you really wanted to, you could actually figure out a majority of the Ravens schedue for whatever future years you wanted to, based on understanding the formula and rotation schedule.
Check out the NFL's entire exclusive announcement of the 2009 season schedule release here.