Green Bay Packers

The Packers Schedule Tells Us the NFL Believes They'll Be A Contender Again

Photo credit: Mike De Sisti (USA TODAY Sports)

With the NFL schedule release in the books, many Green Bay Packers fans are highlighting their favorite games on the docket and planning trips to Lambeau Field — and perhaps London.

Green Bay’s schedule features seven teams that made the postseason a year ago. Still, the most important factor may be the stretch run of the schedule, which is set up in favor of the Packers. After a Dec. 4 game against the Chicago Bears on the road, the Packers will only be outside of Wisconsin one more time in the regular season.

Head coach Matt LaFleur and general manager Brian Gutekunst have spoken numerous times about preferring a late-season bye week, and the league granted that wish again this year. The bye doesn’t come until Week 14 for Green Bay, following the trip to a run-down, embarrassment of a stadium they call Soldier Field.

After the bye week, the Packers will play a Monday Night Football game against the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams. Matthew Stafford is no stranger to playing in cold-weather games, having played in the NFC North for most of his career. But the same can’t be said about many of his teammates. Getting the Rams in late December at Lambeau Field in a game that could decide, or help determine, playoff seeding is exactly what Green Bay wants.

The schedule concludes with back-to-back divisional home games against the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions. The former could be a game that has massive NFC North implications. The latter figures to be a super-favorable matchup for the Packers despite the Lions being a pesky bunch.

Green Bay will be on the road once from Dec. 5 through Jan. 8. That trip comes sandwiched between the Rams and Vikings games, when Green Bay heads to South Beach for a Christmas Day matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins are a super intriguing team entering 2022. They have a new head coach, Mike McDaniel, who comes from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree. They also traded for Tyreek Hill in the offseason, who may be the most electric wideout in the NFL. Still, Christmas Day in Miami isn’t too shabby for Green Bay, and it’s the only road trip in the last month of the regular season.

A late-season bye week coupled with three of the last four being at home is a dream come true for the Packers. They can’t be anything other than thrilled that the dominoes fell that way.

Three of those four teams in the last month very well could be playoff teams: the Rams, Dolphins, and Vikings. Still, only having to go on the road once and having the bye week sprinkled in right before the final push towards the postseason is as advantageous as it can get for the Packers.

As for the primetime games, there are plenty of them.

Green Bay will play in primetime five times. That does not include the trip to London to take on the New York Giants, the aforementioned Christmas Day game in Miami, or the New Year’s Day contest against the Vikings.

The first national-spotlight game for the Packers will come in Week 2 when they welcome the Bears on Sunday Night Football.

It borders on torture that the NFL continues to force the Bears to play the Packers in primetime year after year. For the record, Rodgers has been lights out against the Bears in those scenarios.

They’ll be back in primetime about a month later when they head to western New York to take on Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. That tailgate scene will be what dreams are made of.

Starting Nov. 17, Green Bay has a stretch where three out of four games will be in the national focus. It begins with a Thursday Night Football tilt at Lambeau Field against the Tennessee Titans. They’ll be back on Sunday Night Football in Philadelphia the following week. On Dec. 19, it’s Monday Night Football against the Rams.

That’s five games on national television, and again, it doesn’t count the London game, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Day. It feels safe to say that the league believes Green Bay will be near the top in the league again, which in their eyes warrants all the spotlight they will be soaking up.

It’ll all start on Sep. 11 when the Packers head to Minneapolis to take on the Vikings. It concludes in January when the Lions come to Green Bay. The last month sets up about as nicely as Green Bay could’ve hoped for, and they’ll have more than a fair share of opportunities to put a stamp on games that will be consumed by the masses on NBC, ESPN, and even Prime Video!

It’s time to start filling in the wins-and-losses predictions now.

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Photo credit: Mike De Sisti (USA TODAY Sports)

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