As most everyone saw last night, the NFL had a live schedule release show to go through the matchups and by the looks of things, the Packers have a relatively favorable schedule.
Since Green Bay won the divison last year they are suppose to play the toughest schedule but after a rough stretch over the first 9 weeks, things could break their way with a slew of home games to finish off the season.
Here’s an all-too-early prediction for how the season will go week by week:
Week 1: at MINNESOTA
- The season starts off in U.S. Bank Stadium against the team most would consider to be our strongest in-division rival over the past decade. Last year the Packers put their losing streak in Minneapolis to bed with a dominate 23-10 victory where Za’Darius Smith lived in Kurt Cousins’s lap. This year will be more of the same- Packers start the year off with a W.
- Packers Record: 1-0
Week 2: DETROIT
- The Detroit ex-Patriots, or the Lions as they’re known locally, have made massive investments to their defense this offseason with the signings of Trey Flowers and drafting Jeff Okudah with the 3rd overall pick. This game will be more competitive then national experts will probably say as the Lions have always played tough against Green Bay. That being said, the Packers should start off the season strong with a second consecutive division win.
- Packers Record: 2-0
Week 3: at NEW ORLEANS
- The toughest game of the first half of the season, New Orleans is a stacked team that has perennially been at the top of the conference but hasn’t had the postseason success they probably should have had considering their regular-season record.
San Francisco took them down to the wire last year and while I think it will be a good game, this is where the Packers take the first loss on the year.
- Packers Record: 2-1
Week 4: ATLANTA
- The Falcons were a tough team to gauge after last year, when they had a poor record but turned things around towards the end of the year. This is one of the most difficult games to pick this year since they truly are a wildcard and no one knows how they will start the year. If they play like the Falcons of last year, this could be a 21-20 game with either team on top. Since it’s at home, I will give the Packers the edge.
- Packers Record: 3-1
Week 5: BYE
Week 6: at TAMPA
- Ohhhhhhhh boy is this going to be a good one. We are always blessed when Tom Brady takes the field and against Aaron Rodgers, this will really be a meeting of the football gods. The Packers last year did not perform very well coming off rest weeks so hopefully, they’ll be able to turn it around but given where the game is hosted, a loss is more probable than not.
- Packers Record: 3-2
Week 7: at HOUSTON
- Houston had one of the worst offseasons in recent memory this year and they are a couple of early losses away from a full-on implosion. If that happens, the Packers should be able to bounce back after a tough week in Florida.
- Packers Record: 4-2
Week 8: MINNESOTA
- The Packers finish off their season rivalry with the Vikings early on in the year with a game in Lambeau. The Vikings will have adjusted to a new offense by this point but will be facing a battle-tested Packers team who won’t back down from a stiff challenge. Packers finish the sweep of the Vikings.
- Packers Record: 5-2
Week 9:at SAN FRANCISCO
- Everyone remembers how difficult of a time the Packers had played games in California last year and a short week does nothing to help them (this is a TNF game). Packers spent the draft trying to emulate the 49er’s offense but big brother will still hold sway at this point. Packers drop a tough one.
- Packers Record: 5-3
- Jacksonville is the odds on favorite to compete for the #1 overall pick next year and they will continue this winning-by-losing attitude with a motivated Packers team coming off a road trip to San Fran.
- Packers Record: 6-3
Week 11:at INDIANAPOLIS
- Phillip Rivers joined the Colts this past offseason but this is a team in transition who has a lot of really good young players but is trailing in the AFC- this is a win the Packers should have.
- Packers Record: 7-3
Week 12: CHICAGO
- Finally, we come to Chicago. The Bears will be visiting a cold Lambeau field under hostile conditions and with the division title in sight, the Packers should take care of business.
- Packers Record: 8-3
Week 13: PHILADELPHIA
- The Packers lost last year to a resurgent Eagles team at home after losing Davante Adams at halftime to a turf toe injury. If he stays healthy, this would have need. Similarly to the Falcons earlier this year the Eagles are a tricky team to project so I will give them the benefit of the doubt here and give them the win
- Packers Record: 8-4
Week 14: at DETROIT
- The Packers finally go back on the road after a couple of weeks of home cooking and play a nice game in the dome of Ford Field. Anything less then a W at this point is unacceptable for the Packers who have their eyes firmly set on the post-season.
- Packers Record: 9-4
Week 15: CAROLINA
- This game came down to the wire last year and this year will be the same- and in the eyes of the Gods of Karma, the Panthers steal a late game on the road.
- Packers Record: 9-5
Week 16: TENNESSEE
- The LaFleur bowl!! Derrick Henry meets AJ Dillion and Aaron Jones as two teams with a heavy run and play-action focuses meet for a titanic inter-conference match up at the end of the year. Whoever is healthiest will take this game and since it’ll be in the snow at Lambeau, the edge goes to the home team.
- Packers Record: 10-5
Week 17: at CHICAGO
- The Packers come to the end of the regular season either with the division in hand or very much in contention for the post-season. Aaron Rodgers has made a career out of breaking Bear’s fans’ hearts and with Jordan Love’s specter hanging over him, he continues his reign in the north.
- Packers Record: 11-5
Overall Record: 11-5, NFC North Division Champs, 3rd seed in NFC
——————Joe Kelley is a lifelong Packer fan born in Wisconsin and currently living surrounded by Patriots fans in New England- please send messages of support to @Jkelleylol on Twitter or @j.k.lolz on Instagram.