How about that schedule?
A week before the draft, the long-awaited schedule is out for the Packers’ 2015 season and it bears a little scrutiny.
Right out of the box: Wow, that’s one tough schedule. Of course things change, and several of those squads won’t play up to their 2014 standard. But the whole NFC West (Sea, AZ, SF, SL), Dallas, Denver, Carolina and San Diego on top of twice playing everyone in an already competent black-and-blue division provides quite the challenge.
The NFC Championship rematch, which many thought might end up as the league opener, showed up by the second week. It’s too bad they couldn’t have held that game until both teams shook off the pre-season rust, but at least the loser can put it in the past if they meet later in the playoffs the way Green Bay did last year. GB plays its two nemeses of recent years – Seattle and San Fran – within the first four weeks.
On the other hand, four of the first six games are at home, which helps offset the difficulty of that start. Green Bay does get Chicago before that team can get its act together under a completely revamped staff, and can be thankful that Kansas City comes to Lambeau. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest and most unforgiving places to play a road game, narrowly trailing Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, which GB also avoids this regular season. The Rams and Chargers show up in Weeks 5-6, followed by the bye week.
A rested Packers’ squad will head out to Denver and Carolina on back-to-back weeks.
The Packers play at oddity with four division games in a row from November 15-December 3—Detroit, at Minnesota, Chicago, at Detroit. The first three come in a span of 12 days, due to back-to-back Thursday night games. That first Thursday game? Green Bay hosts Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, reportedly the special night unveiling Brett Favre on the Ring of Honor.
Green Bay hosts Dallas on December 13, a good cool day to bring the ‘Boys to town. Then they get back-to-back weeks in the sunny southwest at Oakland and Arizona. And apparently the league thinks Minnesota will be for real this year, scheduling the Vikings at Lambeau in the final regular-season contest.
Green Bay is guaranteed a national audience for Seattle (Sunday), KC (Mon.), at Denver (Sun.), Chicago (Thurs.) and at Detroit (Thurs.), giving them five night games again this year. There’s no question the Packers are popular. They even have five more games scheduled for the late afternoon slot at this time, although up to four of those could be flexed.
The Packers have one of their most interesting pre-season schedules in recent history, with at New England, at Pittsburgh, Philly and Nawlins all on tap.
So strap in and get ready for a no-holds-barred season once again for Green Bay.
A link to the schedule on the official GBP site, complete with gold package designations, can be found here: www.packers.com/gameday/2015-gb-packers-schedule.html