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Thoughts on 2013 NFC West opponents

The 2012 NFL season has finished, which means the 2013 opponents are set for each team.

The league will not provide a schedule with dates and times until April. In the meantime, here's a look at 2013 opponents for NFC West teams:

San Francisco 49ers

Home: Arizona, Seattle, St. Louis, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, Green Bay.

Road: Arizona, Seattle, St. Louis, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Washington.

Thoughts: The 49ers have seven games against 2012 playoff teams (underlined). They play three games in the Eastern time zone and three more on Central time. San Francisco is the only team in the NFC scheduled to face 2012 rookie phenom quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. The 49ers have four games against those three, two at home and two on the road. The Packers are visiting San Francisco, a welcome reversal from recent seasons. Another trip to New Orleans awaits.

Arizona Cardinals

Home: St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit.

Road: St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Philadelphia.

Thoughts: The Cardinals play seven games against 2012 playoff teams, including five at home. They play three games in the Eastern time zone and three more on Central time. Arizona's defense generally fared well against top quarterbacks this season. That trend will need to continue. The Cardinals face Colin Kaepernick, Wilson, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Matt Schaub, Luck, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees next season. Sam Bradford is on the list twice as well. He went 2-0 against Arizona this season.

Seattle Seahawks

Home: Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Minnesota.

Road: Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, New York Giants.

Thoughts: The Seahawks play six games against 2012 playoff teams, four of them on the road. The schedule features four games in the Eastern time zone, plus Central time games against St. Louis and Houston. Another trip to Carolina awaits, as does another home game against Minnesota. Seattle will visit the Giants for the second time in three seasons. Wilson goes from facing Griffin in the postseason to facing Luck in the regular season. The Saints visit Seattle for the first time since the teams' memorable playoff game following the 2010 season.

St. Louis Rams

Home: Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Chicago.

Road: Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas.

Thoughts: The Rams play seven games against 2012 playoff teams. They play five of those teams on the road. That looks like a tough road schedule on the surface. The Rams went 5-2-1 this season against the teams scheduled to visit St. Louis in 2013. That included 4-1-1 against the NFC West, plus a victory over Tampa Bay and a defeat to Chicago. None of the non-division opponents for 2013 faced the Rams this season. The Rams play three road games against quarterbacks drafted first overall (Ryan, Newton, Luck).