The Green Bay Packers now know not only who they will be facing in 2014, but when.Â The NFL announced its full schedule on Wednesday, amidst much anticipation from media and fans.
My first thought in looking at the officialÂ and non-leaked schedule was “here we go again”.Â For the third straight season, the Packers face a tough opening quarter to their season.Â As each team plays 16 games, I’m referring to the first four games.
In 2012, the Packers opened the season with the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears at home, the Seattle Seahawks on the road and the New Orleans Saints at home.
Green Bay fared well over that stretch, considering that the loss to Seattle should have been a victory, and a hard-fought one at that.Â They emerged 2-2 after the smoke cleared.
In 2013, the Packers again drew the San Francisco 49ers in game one, on the road.Â They then faced the Washington Redskins at home, Cincinnati Bengals on the road and the Detroit Lions at home.
On paper and right now, that doesn’t seem like a tough bunch of games at all.Â But before the 2013 season started, the matchup against the Redskins and a potentially healthy quarterback Robert Griffin III loomed larger.Â Cincinnati has never been an easy place for the Packers to play and the Lions were a division rival looking to end a 20-year drought at Lambeau Field.Â The Packers managed a 2-2Â mark against those teamsÂ but, muchÂ like theÂ season prior,Â should haveÂ fared better.Â Â Had it not been for their late collapseÂ against the Bengals, the Packers would have been a healthier 3-1.
In the case of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the Packers faced a tough slate and came out having been competitive in every game and with a chance to win.Â Hopefully in 2014, the Packers can be just as competitive and finish those games that they have a firm hold of.