In Part 1 of the 2022 NFL season preview, the Green Bay Packers get to open the year against two divisional opponents and two teams traced to Tom Brady. But their games during Weeks 5 through 8 carry different levels of competition, testing this team in all the right (hopefully) ways.
vs. New York Giants (London)
Making their first regular-season trip ever to play football in London, the Packers ‘host’ the New York Giants in their first of two consecutive games against ‘New York’ teams. Green Bay is coming off a Week 4 affair against the New England Patriots, and their 8:30 AM kickoff while across the pond certainly will make for a tough Week 5 to get through.
The Giants welcomed Brian Daboll as their next head coach, and he will be tasked with trying to get anything out of Daniel Jones and getting Saquon Barkley back on the right course. Coming over after being the OC in Buffalo, Daboll will face an uphill battle in his first season, but should be one of the better new HCs in the league.
There is not a ton to really talk about with the Giants – they have questions on both sides of the ball, and while their recent player development and draft choices have pointed their future in the right direction, they have a lot of work to do. If Daboll can help get Barkley back to his MVP-like days and help Jones cut down on his bad decisions, then this team could very well expedite its rebuild.
vs. New York Jets
Heading home after their Week 5 London game, the Packers welcome in Zach Wilson and the New York Jets. The second-year QB was in the news recently for a situation involving his love life and a weird love triangle/rectangle that only players in the Big Apple seem to experience.
Outside of Wilson, the Jets have a lot of intriguing pieces on offense, highlighted by WRs Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson, and RB Breece Hall. Defensively, big names like C.J. Moseley, rookie Sauce Gardner, and Quinnen Williams will be tasked with helping install Robert Salah’s scheme, and while this team is still a ways off, they should be a bunch better this year.
@ Washington Commanders
Mired in controversy from their front office (as seems to be the constant environment with this franchise), the Washington Commanders mark the second NFC East team on the early docket for Green Bay. With Carson Wentz their new QB and their feared front seven looking to wreak havoc, this team could be a sneaky threat to Green Bay early.
Chase Young, Da’Ron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat are all known for their abilities to get after the QB, so the OL will be on high alert for the Packers. Similar to the Giants, the Commanders are still not quite at the level to be a playoff contender, but they have a lot of good pieces in the right spots to build around.
@ Buffalo Bills
While Green Bay is certainly in the hunt to be a Super Bowl contender, this season will likely all be about everyone playing catchup to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Stout on both sides of the ball, the Bills are one of the most well-rounded squads the league has seen in years, so Green Bay will need to play A++ football to have a shot.
Allen, Stefon Diggs, and the offense as a well-oiled machine will give defenses fits all year, even a highly-ranked unit like the Packers. Even with Daboll having departed, QB coach Ken Dorsey was elevated to OC and will likely incorporate similar elements to keep this offense on track.
Defensively, old friend Micah Hyde gets to face off against the team that should have never let him leave in free agency. Jordan Poyer, offseason signee Von Miller, Tre’Davious White, and other standout defenders will likely make this a game that Aaron Rodgers will need to will the team to win, seeing as how there are so many players that will make things tough for the Packers.
If things go right in this game, the Packers will, at a minimum, understand where their weak points are as a team, giving them enough time to make improvements before the playoffs come around.
Which of these four games are you looking forward to the most?뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23