As part of the NFL's rotating schedule format, teams have known the majority of their future opponents in advance. The purpose of the rotating schedule format was to take each team through a cycle of games -- home and away -- against every other team in the league.
So from 2002-2009, every team played every other team at least twice -- once home, once away. After the 2008 season, a decision was made to continue with the scheduling format in future years.
In looking ahead to 2012, divisional matchups have tentatively been set, and teams in the AFC East are tentatively set to face the AFC South and NFC West. Home and away pairings for 2012 have yet to be set.
If these plans are finalized, it would mean the Patriots and Colts face off for the 10th straight season. Since 2002, the teams will have played each other 13 times (including playoffs), which is the most games between two non-division opponents over the last decade.