Fri, 27 May 2022

Green Bay slated for five primetime matchups, Week 14 byeWes Hodkiewicz

GREEN BAY - The Packers' 2022 schedule has officially been released. Here are 10 things to know about what lies ahead:

1. Like usual, the Packers are popular in primetime.

Green Bay received the maximum of five primetime games for the ninth consecutive year, including its home opener against Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 18.

It marks the 17th consecutive year the Packers and the rival Bears have played in primetime, with Green Bay hosting 13 of those meetings.

Green Bay will welcome the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football (Nov. 17) before playing the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams under the lights at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football (Dec. 19). It's the first time the Packers have hosted the defending Super Bowl champions since Oct. 14, 2001.

The Packers have two additional road primetime games, both of which will be on Sunday Night Football. Green Bay will travel to Buffalo on Oct. 30, and Philadelphia on Nov. 27.

The Week 8 meeting with the Bills marks the first primetime regular-season game between Green Bay and Buffalo, while the Philadelphia matchup comes one day shy of six years since the Packers' 27-13 win over the Eagles on Monday Night Football at Lincoln Financial Field. That primetime victory sparked the Green Bay's six-game winning streak to finish the 2016 regular season.

2. The Packers are in it for the long haul.

After receiving a Week 13 bye last year, the Packers will have to wait even longer for a break this upcoming season.

The Week 14 bye is the latest Green Bay has ever had. It's also the first time the Packers have gone back-to-back years without a bye earlier than December since the NFL began adding open weeks in 1990.

Like last year, the Packers have a friendly finish to the year with three of their last four regular-season games at home, beginning with the Monday Night Football tilt against the Rams.

3. The Packers will play on Christmas Day in back-to-back years for the first time in team history.

The Packers' lone road game after the Week 14 bye is a noon matchup with the Miami Dolphins on Christmas Day, the first game of an NFL tripleheader.

It's the first time in team history Green Bay has played a road game on Christmas and only its fourth game overall on the holiday.

The Packers previously hosted the Chicago Bears on Christmas in 2005 and 2011, and outlasted Cleveland, 24-22, this past year.

4. Game of GOATs headlines first quarter of the season.

Tom Brady's decision to postpone retirement and return for a 23rd NFL season set the table for another meeting between the future Hall of Famer and four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers and the Packers will travel to play Brady and the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay's home opener at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 25. Remarkably, it's just the fifth meeting between the two quarterbacks (including postseason).

5. The Packers open the year against the NFL's new coaching blood.

Four of Green Bay's first five games come against new head coaches, including back-to-back divisional matchups against Kevin O'Connell's Vikings and Matt Eberflus' Bears.

In Week 3, the Packers are matched up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now led by former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles after Bruce Arians announced his retirement from coaching on March 30.

Meanwhile, former Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will lead the New York Giants into their London matchup with the Packers on Oct. 6.

The lone exception to the early run against new coaches is the Packers' Week 4 matchup against Bill Belichick's New England Patriots. The Packers' gold package this year consists of the New England game on Oct. 2, and the Thursday Night Football matchup with Tennessee.

6. The Packers will go to London, come home, and keep traveling.

After making that highly anticipated international debut against the Giants in Week 5, the Packers will fly back to host the Jets that following Sunday.

After returning home to face the Jets, the Packers begin a three-game road stand against Washington, Buffalo and Detroit. It's the first time the Packers have played three straight road games since Weeks 10-12 of the 2016 NFL season.

Between the London game and Green Bay's Thursday Night Football meeting with Tennessee, the Packers are scheduled to play seven games in a span of 39 days.

The Week 6 game against the Jets is the only noon CT game on the Packers' home schedule.

7. Mike McCarthy's return to Green Bay has a date.

The Packers' former head coach will lead the Dallas Cowboys to Lambeau Field on Nov. 13.

McCarthy coached the Packers for 13 seasons (2006-18) and has been the head coach of the Cowboys since 2020. He is one of three Packers head coaches to win a Super Bowl, and he posted the second-most wins of any coach in franchise history, behind only Curly Lambeau.

McCarthy led Green Bay to a 125-77-4 record (.618) in the regular season, plus a 10-8 mark in the postseason. During his tenure, the Packers captured six NFC North titles, qualified for the playoffs nine times, and appeared in four NFC title games. They won Super Bowl XLV following the 2010 season.

8. It's Groundhog Day (again) to finish the regular season.

The Packers have played a lot of late-season football against the Vikings and Lions in recent years and this season will be no different.

In addition to closing the season against Detroit for the sixth time in the past seven years, the Packers also will play the Vikings in the penultimate game of the regular season for the fifth time since 2016.

9. It's possible the regular season ends on a Saturday.

The NFL left the door open for the Packers' regular-season finale against Detroit to be held on either Saturday, Jan. 7, or Sunday, Jan. 8.

All Week 18 dates, kickoff times, and networks will be determined and announced following the conclusion of Week 17. Two matchups will be played on Saturday (3:30 p.m. CT and 7:15 p.m. CT) with the remainder to be played on Sunday afternoon (noon CT or 3:25 p.m. CT) and one matchup to be played on Sunday night (7:20 p.m. CT).

Flexible scheduling decisions for Sunday Night Football will be made on 12 days' notice for Weeks 5-14 and may be made on six days' notice for Weeks 15 and 17 if needed.

10. There is one more reason to keep an eye on the Miami game.

Longtime kicker Mason Crosby is quietly closing in on Brett Favre's franchise record of 255 consecutive games played in a Packers uniform.

If Crosby stays healthy and holds off an offseason challenge from JJ Molson and Dominik Eberle, he'd be in position to tie Favre's record against the Rams on Dec. 19 with a chance to break it the following week in Miami.

A sixth-round pick in 2007, the 37-year-old Crosby has yet to miss a game in his NFL career. His 241 consecutive games played are most among active NFL kickers and only seven behind Morten Anderson's all-time record for kickers of 248.

Crosby's streak is currently tied for 10th all-time with former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

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