At long last, the NFL 2017 schedule was released Thursday. With its release comes a plethora of speculation on who has the toughest road to the Super Bowl in 2017, and how each team will fair individually. Green Bay’s regular season schedule is as follows:
All times are central.
Sun., Sept. 10, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Sun., Sept. 17, at Atlanta Falcons, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Sun., Sept. 24, CINCINNATI BENGALS (Gold Pkg.), 3:25 p.m., CBS
Thu., Sept. 28, CHICAGO BEARS, 7:25 p.m., CBS/NFLN/Amazon
Sun., Oct. 8, at Dallas Cowboys, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Sun., Oct. 15, at Minnesota Vikings, 12 p.m., FOX
Sun., Oct. 22, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 12 p.m., FOX
Sun., Oct. 29, BYE
Mon., Nov. 6, DETROIT LIONS (Gold Pkg.) , 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Sun., Nov. 12, at Chicago Bears, 12 p.m., FOX
Sun., Nov. 19, BALTIMORE RAVENS, 12 p.m., CBS
Sun., Nov. 26, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Sun., Dec. 3, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 12 p.m., FOX
Sun., Dec. 10, at Cleveland Browns, 12 p.m., FOX
Sun., Dec. 17, at Carolina Panthers, 12 p.m., FOX
Sat., Dec. 23, MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Sun., Dec. 31, at Detroit Lions, 12 p.m. , FOX
By early appearances, Green Bay’s schedule seems front-loaded. Bouts with Seattle at home, before a potential revenge game in Atlanta will test Green Bay’s “re-load” this offseason. Packers fans may have wanted to see that Atlanta contest scheduled later, to give young corners Green Bay may add some more time to develop. On the plus side, the Packers figure to be much healthier in Week 2 than they were in the NFC Championship game last season.
The Packers then welcome the Bengals to Green Bay for the first time since 2009, followed by their first division game against the Bears the following Thursday. Mike Glennon could have a Green Bay debut similar to that of Jay Cutler, who threw four picks in a Week 1 matchup with Green Bay in his first year in Chicago.
The Packers will need the rest a Thursday night game provides on the back end, as they head to Dallas and Minnesota before taking on the Saints at home. These games will tell the conference a lot about where the Packers land in terms of contention. A Week 8 bye will serve as a happy medium between some of the early bye weeks in recent years and the occasional late bye.
Green Bay should prepare for a tough slate off the bye, as they face two divisional foes in Detroit at home and at Chicago, before facing two tough AFC North teams in the Ravens and Steelers.
The last five games is where Green Bay could hit their stride in 2o17. Hosting Tampa Bay in the Frozen Tundra in December is a great draw for the Packers. Cleveland will be thinking about whose life to ruin by drafting them in the 2018 Draft, and Carolina might be looking to be playing spoiler by December in their tough division. A prime time date with Minnesota could either be a great game, or flexed out of the time slot, depending on how both teams fair. Having that game at home gives the Packers a slight edge on paper, but certainly a lot of football has to be played between now and then. Finally, the Packers wrap up 2017 in Detroit, which could mean very little if the Packers take care of business before Week 17.
Where do you think the Packers finish in 2017? Which games are you most worried about? Let me know in the comments.
——————Zac Bellman is a sports writer, experienced journalist and Marquette University graduate with a degree in journalism. You can read his current articles here on PackersTalk.com. To connect with Zac, follow him on twitter at @ZacBellman_WNY. or check out his Facebook page Zac Bellman-Sportwriter