On Wednesday, the NFL will release the full 2021 regular-season schedule. We know the Green Bay Packers‘ opponents, but which order will the games be played in?
It would be a near-impossible task to accurately predict the order of these games, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Each year, there are favorable parts of the schedule, and there is usually at least one stretch of games that looks to be a nightmare run of playoff opponents. I’ve tried to capture all of that by predicting how the Packers’ 2021 schedule will look.
Come back on Wednesday to see how I don’t get a single prediction right.
Tough start, but favorable opening quarter for Packers
Week 1: at San Francisco 49ers
A real test for the Packers right out of the gate. The 49ers are aiming to bounce back after a disappointing season. With many key players coming back from injury, they should be contenders. A tough, tough start for Green Bay.
Week 2: vs. Minnesota Vikings
The schedule makers just love an early-season Packers-Vikings game. Since 2016, these teams have met inside the opening two weeks in all but one year.
Week 3: vs. Detroit Lions
Another divisional game early on, but it’s at home and the Lions are in rebuild mode. An opportunity to put up a couple of early victories at Lambeau Field.
Week 4: at Cincinnati Bengals
With Joe Burrow coming back, the Bengals could be a team on the rise in the AFC. But at this stage, it’s still a game the Packers will expect to win.
The games get tougher
Week 5: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
After starting 11-0 last year, the Steelers went 1-5 down the stretch, including a first-round playoff exit. Their offensive line was largely to blame, and it will be tested against a strong Packers pass rush.
Week 6: vs. Chicago Bears
Three divisional games inside the opening six weeks. The real question here is whether the Bears will have turned to Justin Fields yet.
Week 7: at Minnesota Vikings
Like last season, both games against the Vikings come in the first half of the season. Assuming fans are back, it won’t be easy at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Week 8: at Kansas City Chiefs
The toughest game on the schedule, a trip to Arrowhead Stadium to visit Patrick Mahomes awaits. If Aaron Rodgers is still in Green Bay, this will be a must-watch and likely in primetime.
Week 9: BYE
Brutal run of games continues after bye
Week 10: at Baltimore Ravens
The Packers do get a bye week in between, but it’s a third road game in a row. And once again, it’s against a Super Bowl contender in the Ravens. A brutal stretch for the Packers in the middle of the season.
Week 11: vs. Washington Football Team
Finally, back at home. But another tough challenge against a talented Washington team. But the Packers will need to win this one after a run of road games.
Week 12: at New Orleans Saints
Straight back on the road. The Superdome is always a tough place to win at, but how will Drew Brees’ retirement affect the Saints?
Week 13: vs. Cleveland Browns
Outside of the Chiefs game, this might be the Packers’ toughest opponent. The Browns have built a great roster and should be AFC contenders.
Week 14: vs. Los Angeles Rams
A rematch from last year’s divisional round, but this time the Rams are led by Matthew Stafford, who makes his return to Lambeau. This should be a fun game.
Three out of final four on the road
Week 15: at Detroit Lions
As noted earlier, the Packers are the better team. But they’ve found life difficult in recent trips to Ford Field, barely picking up victories on their past two visits.
Week 16: at Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals’ free agency work suggests they believe they can win now. This game could be huge for potential playoff matchups.
Week 17: vs. Seattle Seahawks
The same is true of this game. A cold afternoon at Lambeau Field with the Seahawks visiting. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Week 18: at Chicago Bears
The Packers get to complete a 17-0 season at Soldier Field while handing the Bears a winless record. And they won’t even get the first overall pick as they traded it away. Beautiful.