The Green Bay Packers 2021 schedule is set and it looks like Matt LaFleur‘s men have their work cut out for them this season if they are to match or better their performance last season. As things stand, the team seems to be going through somewhat of an identity crisis.
The Packers are good enough to dominate their division and make two consecutive appearances at the NFC Championship game. Yet there have been revealing performances that have demonstrated the team’s ability to self-destruct on the biggest stages. The situation has led to a frustrated Aaron Rodgers and rumor has it the reigning MVP is looking for an escape from Lambeau.
But Brian Gutekunst has insisted Rodgers will not be traded so let’s take a look at the Green Bay Packers 2021 schedule on the basis that they will head into this season with the veteran quarterback at the helm. Looking through the league’s 17-game regular season, here is each match-up ranked from the most difficult to the least difficult.
Green Bay Packers 2021 Schedule Breakdown
1. at Baltimore Ravens (Week 15)
It’s tough to pick the most difficult game from a grueling schedule for the Green Bay Packers but going on the road to face off with a talented Baltimore Ravens team late in the season will be a challenge.
The Ravens had the top rushing offense last year, averaging 190 yards a game while the Packers’ rush defense left a lot to be desired. Green Bay has done little to improve that this offseason. The only move they have made is taking rookie Isaiah McDuffie in the sixth round of the draft.
Add to that the hostile environment of an away game and the fact that the Green Bay Packers will be coming off a tough stretch of games against playoff contenders and this looks set to be a very tough match-up indeed.
2. at Kansas City Chiefs (Week 9)
This game against the Super Bowl runner-up Kansas City Chiefs comes at the end of a punishing stretch for the Packers. In the six games leading up to Kansas, they will have been on the road for four.
The only respite comes as their week eight match-up against the Arizona Cardinals will fall on Thursday Night Football so there will be a slightly extended rest.
But Arrowhead Stadium remains one of the most hostile environments in the league. The Chiefs remain one of its most formidable teams who went 14-2 last season and have been to the Super Bowl two years in a row. They still have all their key players and will be one of the toughest challenges for a fatigued Packers team.
3. vs LA Rams (Week 12)
The game against the Chiefs marks the start of a second tough stretch for the Packers as three of their four opponents made the playoffs last year. This includes the LA Rams who lost to the Packers in the playoffs last season.
And while Stafford’s previous team didn’t exactly have a great record against the Packers, as divisional rivals it will mean he will bring experience and knowledge about playing the NFC North rivals. It also comes late enough into the season that he will have settled into his new offense. With the Rams also coming off a bye week, it may be close but this looks to be a difficult test.
4. at Minnesota Vikings (Week 11)
Although the Packers won at US Bank Stadium last season, this is always a challenging match-up. With the return of fans, it will be an altogether different match up to their last meeting.
What’s more, the Packers will be coming off two tough games and will be still due their bye week. And while the Vikings had a disappointing season in 2020, they proved they were capable of beating tough opponents. After all, they beat Green Bay at Lambeau Field to get revenge for the season opener.
5. vs Cleveland Browns (Week 16)
Green Bay is the only team in the league to play 10 games against teams that made the playoffs last season. One of those teams is the rejuvenated Cleveland Browns who made the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. They also secured their first playoff win since 1994 when they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite a slow start, Baker Mayfield really came into his own in 2020 and trending in the right direction. Add to that the fact that Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt could punish a lackluster Packers defense and this should be a bruising match-up.
6. vs Seattle Seahawks (Week 10)
The Green Bay Packers don’t usually lose to the Seahawks at home. But this season, Seattle will be coming off a bye while Green Bay will be in the middle of a grueling stretch of games against tough opponents.
This is always a competitive match-up. The Packers are leading the series 5-4 since 2009. In those nine matches, the home team has claimed a victory each time. The last three meetings have been one-score games and this latest clash will undoubtedly be a tight one. But with a fatigued Packers team going against a well-rested Seattle, the home advantage may not guarantee victory.
7. at Arizona Cardinals (Week 8)
The Arizona Cardinals had a tough 2020 season. While starting relatively strong, they then capitulated and lost five of their last seven games. As a result, they missed out on the playoffs via a lost tiebreaker with the Bears.
However, before they self-destructed, they put up impressive victories including a week 10 win over the Buffalo Bills. What’s more, young quarterback Kyler Murray is still developing. Now entering his third season, his chemistry with newly required wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be stronger.
The Cardinals also had an aggressive free agency which included the acquisition of veteran defensive end JJ Watt. This may not be the toughest match-up for the Packers but it would be foolish to sleep on this developing team.
8. at San Francisco 49ers (Week 3)
It’s difficult to predict how this game against the 49ers will go. On the one hand, San Francisco had a forgettable 2020 season. Both quarterback Jimmy Garappolo and star defensive end Nick Bosa were out. In fact, the 49ers ended the season with a record 18 players on injured reserve.
With the key players back in place, this could be a tight game that more closely represents their rivalry. As it comes early in the season, it’s likely everyone will be present and correct. If they can revert back to the team which slaughtered the Packers in the NFC Championship game, it could test Green Bay early on.
9. vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 4)
Does everyone remember the hype about the Steelers when they went 11-0? It’s true the hype was mostly from the Steelers camp but the feat is still impressive. Yes, they had a relatively straight forward schedule. But it demands the mental discipline to not drop focus and let your foot off the gas.
It has to be noted, however, that they rarely came up against a team of Green Bay’s caliber – if at all. What’s more, their first loss came against a huge underdog in the Washington Football Team.
For that reason, it’s tough to see this one testing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers much if they are in the zone. Both quarterbacks are nearing the end of their careers and both will be keen to get off to a strong start.
10. vs Washington Football Team (Week 7)
Speaking of the Washington Football Team, they also pay a visit to Lambeau Field this season. After Alex Smith retired, the Football Team have acquired journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. With all respect to Smith, this could mark an improvement.
Smith was coming back after a devastating injury and faced scrutiny from the footballing world to see how he would cope. Fitzpatrick is an old hand by now and, as he showed in Miami, can quickly become a fan favorite if he pulls out some Fitzmagic.
What’s more, Washington had one of the top-scoring defenses last season so Green Bay would be wise to put in the work ahead of this unpredictable clash.
11. at Detroit Lions (Week 18)
Green Bay have lost four of their last eight visits to Ford Field and a handful of their wins were one-score games. So while this will be far from the toughest challenge, it may be one of their more difficult divisional clashes.
The Detroit Lions are in the middle of a rebuild having swapped quarterbacks with the Rams. Jared Goff will be under center this season but by week 18, he will likely be settled into his new role. They are also now under the leadership of new head coach Dan Campbell after Matt Patricia’s departure. Expect a Green Bay victory but it could be a close one.
12. vs Minnesota Vikings (Week 17)
In this face-off last season, Dalvin Cook ran all over the Packers defense. The running back put up four touchdowns and secured his first victory at Lambeau. For that reason, this should be regarded with wariness by the Packers. As already stated, they have done little to improve their defensive line.
A late divisional game is always going to be competitive and this proved to be a late slip up for the Packers last season. They will need to have a different approach to keep Cook contained and avoid a repeat loss this season.
13. at New Orleans Saints (Week 1)
In their first outing since the retirement of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, it’s likely the Saints will be finding their feet in the season opener. Even with Brees, the Packers secured a win at the Super Dome last year.
Sean Peyton and the Saints are no strangers to slow starters, even when they’re not trying to fill a gaping hole left by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. It’s unclear whether Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill will step in as their starter, but it shouldn’t make too much difference to this opening test for the Packers.
14. at Cincinnati Bengals (Week 5)
By securing star quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals were able to double their win total and finished the 2020 season 4-11-1. Burrow showed flashes of brilliance. He became the first rookie in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown in a single game. He also completed more passes (221) than any other player in NFL history during their first eight games.
It would go without saying that he would only improve heading into this season. However, his rookie year ended early when he suffered a devastating ACL tear after being hit in week 11. It will entirely depend on how Burrow’s rehab has gone. Can he come back swinging and find his form again?
The Bengals are still a developing team and while greatness beckons for Burrow, it’s doubtful this will trouble the Packers much this season.
15. vs Chicago Bears (Week 14)
The struggling Chicago Bears haven’t beaten Green Bay at Lambeau since 2018. This clash late in the Green Bay Packers 2021 season shouldn’t be any different.
This prime-time match-up should prove to be relatively straightforward for the reigning MVP and his team. This is even more likely if it proves critical to a playoff berth.
16. at Chicago Bears (Week 6)
Similarly, the Chicago Bears have only won one game at home against the Packers since 2010. Home-field advantage means nothing when Green Bay head to Soldier Field. The Packers are also pretty good at starting strong, so with this game falling early in the 2021 season, it will likely be a cakewalk.
The Packers’ easiest stretch of a tough schedule is their opening six games. They will likely relish this task before heading into an exhausting stretch facing the likes of the Chiefs and Seahawks.
17. vs Detroit Lions (Week 2)
The Detroit Lions’ record at Lambeau Field makes for abysmal reading. They have won just three times here since 1992. Add to that they have a new quarterback and head coach and this is an uphill battle from the start.
The Green Bay Packers 2021 schedule starts with six very winnable games. And none more so than this home game against their struggling divisional rivals.
Expect this to be a complete walkover as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look to come out of the gates running.
There you have it. The Green Bay Packers 2021 schedule is one of the toughest in the league. There’s a lot of uncertainty in Green Bay as rumors fly about the future of reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers. A daunting schedule will not make those negotiations any easier. Let us know what you think in the comments section.
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