The Green Bay Packers need to be strong at Lambeau Field this season.
Winning at home is the key to a strong season. That’s especially true when you take a look at the Green Bay Packers‘ tough road schedule.
The NFC North could be the strongest it’s been since 2012. That year three teams posted 10 or more wins. The Packers won the division at 11-5. The Vikings secured a wild-card berth just ahead of the Bears. Both teams were 10-6.
The Vikings are the favorites to retain their NFC North crown this year, but the Packers should be serious contenders with a healthy Aaron Rodgers. Like in 2012, the Bears could also be in the playoff hunt.
Considering how competitive the division could be, Green Bay needs to win consistently at home.
In the past four years, the Packers have won the NFC North twice. In those two seasons, they posted a combined 14-2 record at Lambeau Field. The two years they failed to win the division, they went a combined 9-7 at home.
A daunting road schedule makes the Lambeau games all the more important. Green Bay faces road trips at the LA Rams, New England, Seattle and Minnesota. To make matters worse, those four games will be played in the space of five weeks, with just one home game against Miami in between.
It goes without saying that the three most important home games are against divisional opponents. Winning at Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit this year won’t be easy. Taking care of the home games at least eases the pressure to win on the road.
The Packers have only gone a perfect 8-0 at home twice in recent memory.
In 2014, they were dominant at Lambeau, finishing the regular season 12-4 to secure the NFC’s second seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. They would then continue the home streak with a divisional round victory over the Cowboys, who entered that game a perfect 8-0 on the road.
In 2011, the Packers were perfect at home. They finished the regular season 15-1 and secured the first seed in the conference.
The competition in the division wasn’t easy those years, either. In both, the NFC North sent two teams to the playoffs (Lions twice). Detroit finished 11-5 in 2014 and 10-6 in 2011.
Faced with a brutal road schedule and potentially the toughest NFC North competition in quite some time, the Packers need to make the most of their home-field advantage. When Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s offense reaches its highest level, it’s incredibly difficult to win as a road team at Lambeau.
If the Packers can replicate some of their 2014 success at home, they’ll give themselves an excellent chance of not only regaining the NFC North title, but securing a week off in the playoffs.