The NFL announced on Wednesday that the Green Bay Packers will play the Philadelphia Eagles in São Paulo, Brazil. The game is scheduled for Week 1 on Friday, September 6th. At first glance, Packer fans might think this is a tough draw for the Packers, especially after the meltdown in London against the Giants in 2022. However, the Packers got a break and possibly more benefits. Playing in Brazil could pay off big time for the Packers.

The Packers will play in the first ever NFL game in Brazil. It will be definitely be a different opening game feel come game day for Packer fans. The game is scheduled for Friday night. This is not a normal week 1 game for the Packers and their fans. From a fan’s perspective, it will be a unique experience starting the season off in Brazil and on a Friday. This is much different than the normal Sunday game day. However, let’s soak it all in!

The Packers travel plans to get to Brazil are up in the air. During the league meetings in Orlando the other week, Packers’ President Mark Murphy discussed the logistical challenge of playing in Brazil. Murphy mentioned the possibility that the Packers will have to bus to Milwaukee because the runway at Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay is not long enough to accommodate the size of the plane needed to get the team to São Paulo, Brazil. It will be interesting to see how the team finalizes their travel plans.

The Brazilian Fans Affect On the Neutral Site Game

When the Packers’ opponents were announced in January, many chalked up the road game in Philadelphia to be a loss. The Eagles have one of the best home field advantages in the NFL. It is well known that Eagle fans are not the kindest group. The NFL’s choice to send the Packers to Brazil takes the hostile Philadelphia crowd out of the equation. The Packers were already scheduled to play nine games in Green Bay and eight games on the road. Now, the Packers have seven true road games and one neutral site game that might end having more Packer fans than Eagles fan.

My Colleague here at Packers Talk, Felipe Reis Aceti, lives in Brazil. Back in March, he wrote an article discussing the number of Packer fans in Brazil. According to Felipe and Daire Carragher, 12.5% of NFL football fans in Brazil are Packer fans. Anyone who watches soccer knows how enthusiastic Brazil soccer fans are. Expect the local Packer fans to bring the energy. They will be awfully loud!

The Scheduling Benefits of the Brazil Trip

In 2022, the Packers played the New York Giants in London. The game in London fell between two other regular season games. In week 4, the Packers beat the New England Patriots in overtime. Shortly after playing an extended game, the team flew to London, where they lost to the Giants. Exactly one week later, the Packers laid an egg against the New York Jets in Green Bay. Three games in three weeks with long travel in between is not ideal for a sport that requires several days of rest.

This time around it appears the scheduling will be much different and much more favorable. Although the NFL has not released the full schedule yet, it appears the Packers will finish the preseason early. Green Bay will most likely be given plenty of time to prepare for the Eagles and their travel accommodations. On the back end, the earliest the Packers will play in week 2 is Sunday. Nine days after the Eagles games. There is a decent chance the Packers might get an extra day of rest in week 2 and play on Monday night.

This will be an exciting opportunity for the Packers. The chance to play in front of a strong fanbase in Brazil gives the Packers an edge. Avoiding a trip to the hostile Philadelphia environment is a massive break for the Packers as well. Both teams are considered to be contenders in the NFC. Now that this game will take place in a neutral site, winning this head to head matchup might swing the standings in the Packers favor at the end of the season.