Which teams could the Green Bay Packers open the regular season against?
The NFL is expected to announce the regular season schedule in the near future. It could happen this week.
The schedule always comes with a set of challenges. That could be a three-week road stretch, a run of divisional games or an early bye.
The Packers are expected to start the regular season at home in 2018. According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the team has asked the league to give them a home game in Week 1, which would kick off the Packers’ 100th season. Demovsky reported that this is expected to be granted:
"“A source said that request was expected to be granted, and that the Packers were being strongly considered for the Sunday night prime-time game in Week 1.”"
If the Packers are to open their season in a big prime-time slot, expect one of the league’s top teams to make the trip to Lambeau Field.
Here are three candidates.
Minnesota Vikings – Battle for the NFC North crown
What better way to kick off the season than to welcome the reigning, defending NFC North champions to Lambeau? It would also give Kirk Cousins a tough test on debut for the Vikings.
These two teams will battle for the NFC North crown again this season. While it would be a shame to see such a big game played so early and not saved until December, it would be hard not to get excited for this in Week 1.
San Francisco 49ers – Aaron Rodgers vs. Jimmy Garoppolo
Maybe the NFL will want to save the Packers-Vikings clash until later in the season. The 49ers would make for another blockbuster matchup. With Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, San Francisco has to be considered playoff contenders.
These two teams have played out some classics in recent years, and now the 49ers could be about to reestablish themselves as an NFC heavyweight. This would be a great test for both teams, and a must-see Week 1 showdown at Lambeau.
Atlanta Falcons – Packers seek revenge
The Falcons have dominated this matchup the past few years, but each of those games were played in Atlanta. Green Bay won the last time these teams met at Lambeau back in 2014.
The Falcons made it to the Super Bowl two years ago, and to the divisional round last season. They will be strong contenders in the NFC South again.
The last time the Packers met the Falcons, they were humiliated in the NFC Championship Game. They’d love a chance to get revenge in Week 1.