During the offseason, I make it a goal to have many conversations with Packers fans. The answer is the same, “the offseason is too long. ” In all my years of embracing the NFL offseason, the NFL draft is the official start to the countdown clock of the 2019 season.
However, the hypocritical brilliance of the NFL serves up a nice appetizer by releasing the 2019 schedule for all 32 teams. It is smart when you want to be a 12 month cycle sport where everyday you wake up, there is always something football related…you do know that the Packers locker room turmoil had high traffic on social media and the fanbase was busy defending Aaron Rodgers.
I love schedule release day, it’s like the professional version of those silly “National” days that people come up with. It is Saturday and there is a National Husband Appreciation Day and Look-Alike Day (looking at you, Rob Gronkowski). I’m not making it up. It is fun. I saw the Panthers release theirs with a Sega-inspired montage, Chargers did a stock footage version, Falcons did a Game of Thrones impression and your Packers came up with a Pac – Man inspired idea. So why not? Now I’m not going to breakdown every game, but I will at least give a one word shout-out.
Most Anticipated Matchups of the 2019 Packers Season…
Week 1: Packers @ Bears.
When this was announced back in March, I did not care if it was played at Lambeau Field or Soldier Field. We get the “oldest rivalry in the NFL” on primetime TV with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth in the booth. Packers and Bears. The new-look Packers defense with names like Za’Darius Smith and former Bears safety Adrian Amos get to welcome back Mitchell Trubisky”in style” while the outspoken Aaron Rodgers looks to rip back his championship belt in the den of the Bears. Game on.
Week 2: Vikings @ Packers
How in the world did the Packers get the Bears and the Vikings in the first two weeks? Whoo, buckle up for this one. While there is a respect among Bears and Packers fans, there is none…zero…zip…nada with the Minnesota Vikings. It is the kind of matchup where they should play this game in the back of an alley but the home opener for Lambeau Field will do nicely. We know how good the Vikings defense is, but also know the flaws of quarterback Kirk Cousins and inability to win big games. Well, guess what? Packers fans never forget about that 29-29 tie (roughing the passer…yeah get that out of here) and there is new energy in Green Bay. New head coach Matt LaFleur gets his first crack in the “border battle.”
Week 4: Eagles @ Packers – Thursday Night Football
Ohhh. I been waiting all week for…Thursday night? Wait, what? Lambeau on a Thursday night and the Philadelphia Eagles come flying in. Sign me up, because one of two things can happen either we are going to witness a white-knuckle brawl of Mike Pettine and Jim Schwartz-style defense or Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz are going to give us a air show that we will be talking about for 10 days. Regardless I can’t wait for this one.
Week 8: Packers @ Chiefs – Sunday Night Football
Okay. Making a note. I need popcorn popped, Jack Daniels whiskey poured, pizza ordered from a New York style pizza place (they exist in Florida, I promise), wings, and lots of friends over that night. Patrick Mahomes vs Aaron Rodgers…two MVPs clash…defenses better watch a lot of gamefilm because that football will be flying through the air in a “sea of red” at Arrowhead Stadium in the Kansas City moonlight. Packers have only won 3 of the last 11 matchups at KC. You thought Rams – Chiefs was the showstopper, this could be the 2019 version.
Week 15: Bears @ Packers
Ah, December…a time for joy, a time for making a list and checking it twice to find out who is naughty or nice. Oh, forget that. The Bears come rumbling into town and as fans we will have a strong feel on how the season turned out for the Packers. However, the rule in Packers – Bears is you throw the schedules out the window and watch with the legendary ghosts of Vince Lombardi and George “Papa Bear” Halas as these two legendary franchises battle in the storied “Cathedral of Football.”
Week 16: Packers @ Vikings – Monday Night Football
I am sure you are looking at me and saying, “Jake, the Vikings on primetime why should I anticipate that?” Hear me out because I will help you through this so it possibly does not ruin your Christmas. Make sure you have the following done…Christmas gifts wrapped, house is cleaned, the sheets are washed, the airport pickup is scheduled because you want to be prepared for any scenario like Clark Griswold in “Christmas Vacation.” As you throw on your Packers jersey to watch this one and it will keep you from having a expletive-laden fit and searching for the aspirin. I love that movie…ha-ha.
Week 17: Packers @ Lions
They embarrassed us at Lambeau without Rodgers, a coach and threw salt on the wounds with a Matt Prater – led TD pass. It is our turn to embarrass them at their house in Motown. I’m talking 2015 on Thursday Night Football level.
You can make a lot of arguments for the other matchups such as the LA Chargers – Dallas road trips or watching the intriguing Raiders at Lambeau. However, these are the matchups that will make you grin or sweat it out.
Before we continue on that, we have a draft in Nashville to watch.
Thursday. Green Bay is now on the clock with pick #12.
Until next week, Packers fanatics!