The 2019 regular season is getting closer and closer. With that in mind, it’s an excellent time to analyze the schedules of all 32 NFL teams, which is what the Last Word on Sports NFL department is currently doing. Articles will be broken down into the eight hardest and eight easiest games on each team’s schedule. Here, the Green Bay Packers easiest games are under the microscope.
Green Bay Packers Easiest Games of 2019
9. Week Three: vs Denver Broncos
The Packers start the season off with a gauntlet of tough games. In the middle of that stretch, there is one game that we can consider “easier.” In Week Three, the Broncos will travel to Lambeau in a cross-division battle. Denver comes to Green Bay in the middle of a three-game homestand for new head coach Matt LaFleur. In years past, this game would have probably been ranked on the tougher side of the schedule. This year, however, we simply do not know what to expect from this Joe Flacco led Broncos team.
The Broncos will rely heavily on their defense this season, as they should. They have one of the most dangerous defenses on paper, one that only got stronger during the draft. The issue is that their offense faces a number of questions. Meanwhile, the Packers will be coming off a tough home game against the Vikings the week prior and will be preparing for another tough home game against the Eagles the week after. After this stretch, we should have a better understanding of how Rodgers and LaFleur will work under challenging circumstances.
10. Week 10: vs Carolina Panthers
The Packers will be coming into this season hoping to rely more on their new-look defense and run game. If Aaron Jones continues to impress, then the Packers will be able to run all over this weak Panther defensive line. Carolina isn’t without their question marks. Cam Newton injured his foot in the preseason and is questionable for week one. If Carolina struggles out of the gate, they might be without head coach Ron Rivera for this week 10 battle.
11. Week 12: at San Francisco 49ers
When the Packers travel to San Francisco in week 12, they will be coming off their much-needed bye. The beginning of their schedule is quite tricky, but once they come out of this bye things will be easier. Traveling to San Francisco, the Packers will be able to lean on the arm of Rodgers against the porous 49ers defense. The Packers were 9-2 coming off of a bye under Mike McCarthy. LaFleur will be looking to continue that success.
The 49ers are coming into 2019 with the hope that their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, will revert back to the success he had before tearing his ACL. We cannot look into preseason as much of a precursor for the regular season, but Garoppolo has not looked very good so far. The running game is also questionable for the 49ers, with Kyle Shannahan opting for a committee that includes Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman. This young Packers defense will be able to show what they are made of in San Francisco.
12. Week 13: at New York Giants
The Giants will be trying to get the first overall pick next year. They will be going into the season with Eli Manning under center, and a number of no-name wide receivers at his disposal. They have a generational talent in Saquon Barkley at running back. The Packers allowed 119.9 yards per game on the ground last season but revamped their defensive line this year. Bringing in talent like Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage will shore up that line and should be able to hold Barkley down. If Daniel Jones has been named the starter by this point, this game might actually be a bit tougher. I doubt the Giants organization have the moxie to bench Eli, so this game remains one of the easiest.
13/14. Week Five and 17: vs/at Detroit Lions
The Lions are going to be heading into Lambeau with a number of issues still looming. Reports out of camp have been that Matthew Stafford is continuing to struggle with back issues and that the locker room has already turned on head coach Matt Patricia. Like the Giants, the Lions have talent at running back with Kerryon Johnson. Patricia is a run-heavy head coach, but that will not be successful against this Packer defense. The Packers have actually lost the last four games against the Lions, but they lead the series 100-72-7.
The Week 17 battle in Detroit might be to decide whether or not the Packers are going to make the playoffs. They will be coming into that game more motivated than the entire season, and it could be the final nail in the coffin for Patricia. Look for a big game by Davante Adams, and the Packers punching their ticket into the playoffs.
15. Week Seven: vs Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have become an absolute joke in the world of football. Jon Gruden is running a 30-year-old offensive scheme, Antonio Brown has frostbitten feet and is refusing to wear a safe helmet, and Derek Carr is not a franchise quarterback. The team will be moving to Las Vegas next season, and this year will be all about evaluating their young talent. One player that falls into the young talent mold is rookie running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs could have a huge impact for this Raiders team, but similar to the two teams mentioned before, the Packers defensive line should keep him in check.
The biggest problem with the Raiders is going to be their defense. Gruden is an offensive guy, and we have seen that with the moves he has made since taking the job. He has paid little attention to his secondary and his linebackers. LaFleur has had the third and fifth best play-action offenses in football while with Tennessee. If that success translates over to the Packers, they should be able to score against this Raiders team.
16. Week 14: vs Washington Redskins
From one Gruden to another. The easiest game on the Packers schedule is by far the Jay Gruden run Redskins. The Redskins are coming into this season with Case Keenum as their starting quarterback. They are continuing to allow star left tackle Trent Williams to hold out and it looks like he will eventually be traded. Their offensive weapons boil down to an often-injured tight end in Jordan Reed, Josh Doctson, Trey Quinn, and Paul Richardson. They have no talent on either side of the ball. The Packers will be able to run up the score on the Redskins at home.