Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Packers Schedule Looks Pretty Good

In spite of not knowing if there will be an NFL season in 2012, the NFL released the 2012 schedule today -- just to make sure we'll know which games we'll miss if the labor dispute continues into the fall.  Assuming the season does happen, I am overall pretty pleased with the Packers' schedule in terms of toughness, particularly since they are coming off a Super Bowl championship.

Here's my quick break-down of what I like about it:

  • Playing in the NFL opener on Thursday night, September 8 against the Saints will be fantastic.  I'm always so psyched for that first featured game of the season, and to have it at Lambeau will be awesome.  Already pondering how I could get back for that game.
  • Our first 7 games are Saints, Broncos and Rams at home, and Panthers, Bears, Falcons and Vikings away.  Broncos, Rams, Panthers and Vikings should all be wins, and feel like we could easily go 2-1 against the Saints, Bears and Falcons.  That would get us off to a 6-1 or 5-2 start. 
  • We get our bye at week 8, nice and close to mid-season.
  • We're playing the AFC West, and I just don't think they're that good (only division I'd prefer would be NFC West).  Raiders, Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers all feel like likely wins.
  • We get to play the Lions on Thanksgiving day.  Love getting the Thanksgiving day game.
  • We finish the second half of the season with 5 out of 8 games at home -- including all three divisional opponents, and our final two games of the season at Lambeau against the Bears and Lions.  Should set us up for a strong finish. 
One concern, given Aaron Rodgers stated preference for playing indoors come December, is we are outside in cold-weather cities for the last five games of the season.  But this still feels like a potential 12-4 season -- maybe 10-6 worst case with a 13-3 upside.  My best guess is we edge out the Saints in the opener, beat the Panthers, Broncos, Rams, Chargers, Buccaneers and Raiders, split with both the Bears and Lions, sweep the Vikings, and then drop games to the Falcons, and, possibly, Giants and/or Chiefs.  Hopefully, the season will actually happen and we'll find out for real.

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