Green Bay Packers

Green Bay's Schedule Stacks Up Pretty Favorably Following Free Agency and the Draft

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch (USA TODAY Sports)

With both the main wave of free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror, the next milestone en route to the 2022 season is when the NFL releases the schedules on May 12. We already know what teams will play each other, just not specifically when. And for the Green Bay Packers, it’s hard not to notice how favorably the schedule stacks up.

In 2021 we saw the first rendition of a 17-game schedule. Green Bay played nine road games and eight home games last year. The Packers were supposed to play nine home games this year, but they will lose one of them to play the New York Giants in London. That’s one of the main gripes about the matchups next season, but it only highlights how otherwise favorable the matchups are for Green Bay.

Out of the 17 games on the docket, only seven for Green Bay will be against teams that made the postseason in 2021. They will play four of those at Lambeau Field.

Green Bay’s most glaring advantage on the schedule is that they will play three teams that have second-year starting quarterbacks at home. Led by Mac Jones, the New England Patriots made the playoffs a year ago when Jones was a rookie. The back-and-forth between Bill Belichick and Matt LaFleur will provide plenty of entertainment. Elsewhere, the New York Jets are still in the middle of a rebuild with second-year starter Zach Wilson, and the Chicago Bears have Justin Fields under center but did little to put pieces around him in the offseason.

That’s three second-year quarterbacks who were all first-round selections in 2021 who will play at 1265 Lombardi Ave. this year. It’s hard to imagine Green Bay not having a sizable advantage in all three games.

On the away side of the schedule, premier matchups feature the Packers heading to Western New York to take on Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills and visiting Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Neither will be easy. It isn’t far-fetched to suggest that Green Bay could lose both games. But besides those two encounters, the rest of the away games aren’t too daunting.

Green Bay will play in D.C. against Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders, and they’ll visit another NFC East team when they take on Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia. They don’t exactly fall into the same tier as playing Allen and Brady on the road — they don’t even come anywhere close.

The Philadelphia Eagles were aggressive in the offseason, trading for ex-Tennessee Titans receiver A.J. Brown and drafting a pair of Georgia defenders in Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. Still, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Eagles miss the playoffs in 2022 after squeaking in last year, only to get demolished by Tampa Bay.

Washington deserves some credit for being proactive with their quarterback dilemma, but Wentz doesn’t strike fear into anyone’s heart.

These are all ingredients to the formula, but the division matchups ultimately play the most significant role in making Green Bay’s schedule favorable. Green Bay was the only team in the NFC North to make the postseason in 2021. The Minnesota Vikings are the only team that potentially poses a threat in 2022.

The Detroit Lions are on the right path. It’s admirable to see them be so aggressive in their rebuild, but Jared Goff is not the long-term answer at quarterback, and there are still glaring holes on the roster. The trio of Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark, and Jameson Williams at wideout will be enticing for any quarterback who steps into the mix, but it’s still going to take a while for everything to come together. For the first time in a long time, though, there seems to be genuine optimism with head coach Dan Campbell leading the charge.

Chicago has a new regime, but they objectively have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. They showed veterans Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson, and Akiem Hicks the door, and it would be hard for any quarterback to succeed with the pieces that are — or aren’t — around Fields.

The Lions and Bears make up four of the 17 games on the calendar for the Packers. The NFC North isn’t exactly going to be the AFC West, AFC North, or NFC West in 2022.

It’s a tall ask to expect Green Bay to reach the 13-win mark for a fourth-straight season. But if there’s one thing they have going for them, it’s a nice schedule with division crossovers against the NFC East and AFC East, two of the least daunting divisions in the NFL.

Despite having one fewer actual home game than expected, things are looking good for Green Bay’s schedule.

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