UPDATE: The NFL is calling this alleged schedule "bogus."
The official release of the 2012 NFL schedule is still a few weeks away, but it appears that the entire slate of games for next season may have already leaked out. That is what a website is claiming, anyway. According to the site, the schedule has already been uploaded to NFL.com and a way to view it supposedly exists. This certainly wouldn't be the first time something has leaked out thanks to being prematurely uploaded to a website, so it's not like this is totally unbelievable.
Admittedly, I am extremely skeptical. I find it hard to believe the NFL would be that careless, and I'm not even sure if the entire 17-week schedule has already been finalized. Then again, the alleged schedule does look quite legit and is quite comprehensive. I guess, to sum this up, it's not clear if this leaked schedule is real or not. More likely than not it's fake, so take it for what it's worth. At the very least, it provides an interesting discussion about what the 2012 NFL schedule could look like.
If this is in fact the real schedule, the Detroit Lions are going to be a common sight in primetime games in 2012. The Lions' alleged 2012 schedule includes a Monday Night Football game at home against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 and at the Chicago Bears in Week 14, as well as the usual Thanksgiving game and a Sunday night game at home against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3. Here's the full rundown of the alleged schedule (all times Eastern):
Week 1 - Sept. 10 - vs. Packers (7 p.m., ESPN)
Week 2 - Sept. 16 - at(1 p.m., FOX)
Week 3 - Sept. 23 - vs. Seahawks (8:20 p.m., NBC)
Week 4 - Sept. 30 - at(1 p.m., FOX)
Week 5 - BYE
Week 6 - Oct. 14 - at(4:05 p.m., FOX)
Week 7 - Oct. 21 - vs.(1 p.m., FOX)
Week 8 - Oct. 28 - vs. Bears (1 p.m., FOX)
Week 9 - Nov. 4 - vs.(1 p.m., FOX)
Week 10 - Nov. 11 - at(1 p.m., FOX)
Week 11 - Nov. 18 - at(4:05 p.m., FOX)
Week 12 - Nov. 22 - vs.(12:30 p.m., CBS)
Week 13 - Dec. 2 - at(1 p.m., FOX)
Week 14 - Dec. 10 - at Bears (8:30 p.m., ESPN)
Week 15 - Dec. 16 - at Packers (1 p.m., FOX)
Week 16 - Dec. 23 - vs.(1 p.m., CBS)
Week 17 - Dec. 30 - vs. Vikings (1 p.m., FOX)
Again, chances are this is fake. However, if it is indeed real, then I'm very excited about the sight of two Monday Night Football games (including one in Week 1 against the Packers) and one game at home on a Sunday night. If this turns out to be fake, well, then kudos to the person behind this for the clever ruse, because a lot of time had to have gone into this if it isn't real.