Analyzing the Packers 2018 Schedule week by week. This year’s schedule is filled with diversity. Starting out at home for 4 of your first 6 games is probably the most unusual thing in this schedule. After having to go on the road early the last 2 years, it may be refreshing to travel less early in the season. The roughest stretch follows the week 7 bye. The cross-country extravaganza that will happen weeks 8-11 ending in a short week in Seattle is the true test of this Packers team will occur. This Schedule also provides the chance to finish strong. with 3 of the last 6 games against NFC North Rivals. We are in for an exciting year.
A Special Season
This season should be one to remember. In 1919 the Green Bay Packers had their inaugural season. Now 99 years later they will commence their 100th Season. In a long history of success, bringing in 13 championships to the to the town of Green Bay, this 100th season’s goal is to bring the 14th, and the schedule shows it is possible.
- Week 1: Sunday Night Football vs Chicago Bears
- Week 6: Monday Night Football vs San Fransico 49s
- Week 9: Sunday Night Football vs New England Patriots
- Week 11: Thursday Night Football vs Seattle Seahawks
- Week 12: Sunday Night Football vs Minnesota Vikings
Week 1: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
The intrigue of this matchup is brought by this being the oldest rivalry in the NFL. The Packers kicking off their 100th season against their most bitter rivals is amazing, but it happening on Primetime is the best case scenario. Green Bay has finally taken the Series lead at 96-94-6, but they have been dominate since the 90s in the series. With the additions at WR that Chicago has made, and Trubisky having another year under his belt, this matchup could set the stage for the next 10-15 years.
Week 2: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
This is the first time since in 10 years that Green Bay has had to face 2 NFC North Rivals to open their season. The advantage here is that they are both home games. Winning this week against new QB Kirk Cousins before he gets into a rhythm, is the fast start GB will need to recapture the NFC North throne. This will also be the chance the Packers’ have to have a vengeance game after Anthony Barr ruined the Packers’ hopes last season by injuring Aaron Rodgers
Week 3: Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins
Intriguing Matchup. Alex Smith vs Aaron Rodgers. A matchup we have only seen twice. I’ll take you back to 2005 where Alex Smith was taken 1st in the NFL Draft by San Fransisco and Aaron Rodgers slid all the way to 24th where he was taken by GB. Rodgers who has had the more decorated career seems to have to upper hand in the conversation of better QB, but head to head they are even 1-1. Apart from this The Redskins under this new QB will be looking to define themselves as contenders in the NFC and a win against the Pack in week 3 will help get themselves on the radar.
Week 4: Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers
Buffalo is coming off of their first playoff game in 18 years and have a lot of questions going into this season. Who will be at QB? Will Their Defense be as stout as last year? My analysis here is this is an early candidate for a “trap game” for GB. Coach McCarthy always has stressed the importance to win all your home games, and this is one to watch out for. Starting 3 of 4 games at home will be a huge push for McCarthy’s Packers to get the start they need
Week 5: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Already by week 5 will the NFC North hierarchy already be getting set. GB will have played each of their division rivals and depending on their record at this point will determine whether Rodgers and crew will be playing catch-up, or maintaining the lead.
Week 6: San Fransisco 49s at Green Bay Packers
Jimmy G vs Aaron Rodgers. Who knows this may be the new best QB rivalry in the NFC. Garoppolo will begin his 1st full season as the starter for San Fran. After winning all 5 of his games last year this 49s squad looks legit. Will we see multiple playoff matchups? Will this renew the old Packers vs 49’s rivalry of the 90’s? Jimmy G vs Aaron Rodgers, like Steve Young vs Brett Favre.
Week 7: BYE WEEK
Week 8: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams
Green Bay’s First trip to the LA Coliseum in 40 years. Last Season these Rams with Todd Gurley and Cooper Kupp and Jared Goff had a huge turnaround. They had the leagues best scoring offense averaging 29.9 points a game. This mid-season away game is the start to the roughest part of the schedule. Winning this game will be important to maintaining dominance in the NFC.
Week 9: Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers pt. 2. The last time Aaron Rodgers face Tom Brady head to head was Nov 30, 2014. This matchup is one that was predicted to happen in the Superbowl various times, but the football gods thought differently. In 2014, Aaron Rodgers got the upper hand in what would be his MVP season, winning 26-21. Will this be the last time we see the 2 Best QB’s in the world go head to head? This is a must-see not just for Packers’ fans, but any football fan in the world. We may not see talent like this two QB’s ever again.
Week 10: Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers
The biggest intrigue about this game is that Miami, a warm weather team, will have to travel to GB in mid- November. If the weather cooperates, this could be a huge home win for Green Bay in which 4 of 5 games are played away. November historically has been a good month for Green Bay, but this could be a tough stretch where this Miami game is their only home game.
Week 11: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
The dreaded short week. Jimmy Grahm returning to his old team. Other than the NFC North Rivals, Seattle has been the biggest rival for GB. Aaron Rodgers vs Russel Wilson has been the most exciting QB Rivalry in the NFC, and this matchup shouldn’t be any different. In this rivalry, the home team has won 12 of the last 13 games. Aaron Rodgers is 1-4 in Seattle, and his only win coming against Charlie Frye in 2008. Can Rodgers beat Wilson in Seattle? Will the short week have a huge effect? What makes it worse, Seattle is coming off a bye week. The odds are not in GB’s favor.
Week 12: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
At this time in the season is when the NFC North has become very interesting in the past 5 years. 5 games left and 3 will be your NFC North Rivals. Just like in the beginning the first 5 games were important to get the fast start. These last 5 games will decide whether Green Bay makes it into the playoffs. Each Conference win is a win closer to the beloved 10 win mark, which is the goal to make the playoffs. Now Cousins should be comfortable with the dynamic duo of Diggs and Theilen. The offense will be tough to stop.
Week 13: Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers
A December game in Lambeau! What a marvelous sight. Who is the victim? The Arizona Cardinals. A Dome team coming into Lambeau will have to come prepared. That feared defense will be frozen in the Tundra. This game should be a battle between David Johnson and Ty Mongomery. Which back has the best game? How much snow will fall? Will the QB’s be effective at all?
Week 14: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
One of the most dynamic games on the schedule. If you are a fan of high scoring, drama-filled, exciting football you have probably watched the past 6 meeting of these 2 teams. in these past 6 meetings, they are 3-3 with the Packers winning the first 3 and the Falcons winning the last 3. Last year the Packers had to travel to Atlanta in non-ideal circumstances having to open their brand new stadium. This year tables are turned, having a dome team visit Lambeau in December.
Week 15: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Matchup 198, with possible playoff implications. Always a great chance to watch to historic teams go head to head. What will make this matchup a must see is if Trubisky and his new weapons are a well-oiled machine? Are they the turn around team of this year with new coach Matt Nagy
Week 16: Green Bay Packers at New York Jets
Hopefully an easy win here at the end of the season, starting to gather momentum for a deep run in the playoffs. Mohammed Wilkerson visiting his old team hopefully wreaking havoc on whatever Rookie QB they line up behind center.
Week 17: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
History Lesson. From 2011-2016 this week 17 matchup has decided who is the winner of the NFC North. Even though in this span of time the Packers have had the most success the division has been decided by one game or less. This year I don’t see is a repeat of last year. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are always in the playoff race and this NFC North division is not a one-horse division. With Minnesota playing against Chicago in their week 17 matchup this game will be must watch and it is in Green Bay. What an honor to open and close their 100th season at home.
All in all, this season is filled with diversity. If I had to come up with a motto it would be; Start Fast Finish Strong and survive in between. That is the key to Green Bay making it to the 10 win mark and hopefully ending up atop the NFC North again. NFL analytics have this schedule ranked as the hardest schedule in the NFL. Making sure to stay focused and healthy will end up at the start of another playoff run.