Predicting the Packers 2018 Regular Season Schedule
With the NFL’s regular season schedule set to arrive on Thursday, let’s have some fun and guess the order of when the Packers will be playing each of their opponents in 2018.
We’ve known just who Green Bay will be playing since the end of the regular season, and over half of those teams faced questions at quarterback heading into the offseason. The Cardinals, Redskins, Bills, and Vikings will have a new starting quarterback, and it’s likely the Jets could have a rookie starting when the two teams face off in 2018.
Here’s a quick glance at what the Packers’ 2018 schedule could look like:
Projected 2018 Green Bay Packers schedule
Week 1: vs. Chicago Bears (Sunday Night Football)
Week 2: at Washington Redskins
Week 3: at Minnesota Vikings (Thursday Night Football)
Week 4: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Week 5: at New York Jets
Week 6: BYE WEEK
Week 7: vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 8: at Seattle Seahawks
Week 9: at Los Angeles Rams
Week 10: vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 11: at New England Patriots (Sunday Night Football)
Week 12: at Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving)
Week 13: vs. Miami Dolphins
Week 14: vs. Atlanta Falcons (Monday Night Football)
Week 15: vs. Detroit Lions
Week 16: at Chicago Bears
Week 17: vs. Minnesota Vikings
Schedule features a number of tempting primetime games
Regardless of what order the Packers play their opponents, one thing is certain – Green Bay will have plenty of opportunities to play in front of a national audience.
It’s good news for fans of the team who live outside of Wisconsin and rely on a combination of sports bars, NFL Sunday Ticket and primetime games to follow their team. Based on the schedule I project, the Packers will square off on national television at least five times barring a flexed game.
Perhaps the most intriguing option for the Packers’ schedule is the opening weekend. The team has reportedly requested to play at home to begin the 2018 season in honor of their 100th season, and the NFL will most likely grant that wish.
Green Bay has played the Chicago Bears in front of a national television audience in twelve straight seasons – it’s unlikely that streak disappears in 2018.
2018 may mark another season of Green Bay traveling to Detroit to play on Thanksgiving. The Packers have been one of the Lions’ most common opponents on the holiday, but the pair hasn’t met on Thanksgiving since 2013.
AFC East and NFC West present a difficult gauntlet for Green Bay
Perhaps the biggest challenge on the Packers’ schedule is a pair of west coast road games against the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. The upstart Rams have done much to boost their roster this offseason – adding wide receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh – to garner attention in a crowded LA sports market.
While the Seahawks are no longer the defensive juggernaut that gave the Packers fits for years, playing in Seattle is a difficult task for any team. It would be an even tougher task to face both the Seahawks and Rams in back-to-back weeks on the road, and could prompt the team to stay on the west coast between games.
Last season we wrote that a matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers would be the top game we’d like to see. Brady is set to return to the Patriots in 2018 at age 41, and will face the Packers in Foxborough, Massachusetts this season. The last time the two teams met in 2014, it was one of the more memorable games in recent Packers history.
A matchup against New England is the marquee game on the team’s schedule, but the other opponents in the AFC East offer their own intriguing storylines. Both of the Packers’ new coordinators face off against teams they coaches previously – defensive coordinator Mike Pettine held the same post with the New York Jets and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was the Miami Dolphins’ head coach from 2012-2015.