The Green Bay Packers 2013 Schedule: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Game
I'm no Nostradamus, but I've had a decent record of predicting things recently.
I correctly predicted that the Packers would select Datone Jones in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, for instance.
I also was pretty close when I predicted the Packers would go 7-1 in their final eight games last season, but the Pack lost two games instead. One was to the New York Giants (which I forecast), while the other loss was to the Minnesota Vikings the last week of the season.
I'm going to give it another try this season. The Packers have a very difficult schedule in my opinion, but I still think the team will win the NFC North and go 13-3 for the season.
Here is the 2013 schedule for the Pack:
Week 1 September 8 3:25 p.m., at San Francisco 49ers
Week 2 September 15 12:00 p.m., Washinton Redskins at Lambeau Field
Week 3 September 22 12:00 p.m., at Cincinnati Bengals
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 October 6 12:00 p.m., Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field
Week 6 October 13 12:00 p.m., at Baltimore Ravens
Week 7 October 20 3:25 p.m., Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field
Week 8 October 27 7:30 p.m., at Vikings
Week 9 November 4 7:40 p.m., Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field
Week 10 November 10 12:00 p.m., Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field
Week 11 November 17 7:30 p.m., at Giants
Week 12 November 24 12:00 p.m., Vikings at Lambeau Field
Week 13 November 28 11:30 p.m., at Lions (Thanksgiving)
Week 14 December 8 7:30 p.m., Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field
Week 15 December 15 3:25 p.m., at Dallas Cowboys
Week 16 December 22 3:25 p.m.,Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field
Week 17 December 29 12:00 p.m., at Bears
In this slideshow, I'll do a game-by-game breakdown, and also give a final score of that particular game.
Sept. 8: San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park
The Packers have been looking forward to this game against the 49ers since the schedule was announced in April. The team certainly remembers the 579 total yards that quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the offense put on the Packers defense in the NFC Divisional Round last postseason, when the Niners beat the Pack 45-31.
Kaepernick had 444 total yards by himself. That game was one of the primary reasons the Packers decided to draft defensive end Datone Jones in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. Jones had a great senior season at UCLA, and he was very successful against teams that deployed the read-option offense, which the 49ers use often.
The Packers will also have second-year outside linebacker Nick Perry back on the field in this game, so I expect a much better defensive effort.
I also expect the offense of the Packers, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, to have another solid game this time around.
Final score: Packers 24, 49ers 20
Sept. 15: Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field
The Packers should prepare like they will see RG III.
The Redskins often utilize the read-option offense, just like the 49ers. The Packers should be ready for that attack, as they will have played the Niners in Week 1.
Griffin had a phenomenal rookie year last season, as he threw for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdown passes versus just five picks. The former Baylor Bear also had 815 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns.
Washington has not won in Green Bay since 1986, as the Packers have beaten the Redskins three straight times at home since then.
Final score: Packers 31, Redskins 17
Sept. 22: Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
The Packers will face another stiff test in Week 3 when they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. Many experts expect the Bengals and quarterback Andy Dalton to win the AFC North this year.
The Packers have been a solid road team under head coach Mike McCarthy, having posted a 32-24 record over seven seasons.
Still, I expect a very difficult game versus the Bengals, who were ranked sixth in total defense in the NFL last season. They also have the very dangerous A.J. Green at wide receiver, who hauled in 97 passes for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Final score: Bengals 24, Packers 21
Oct. 6: Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field
The Lions have not won at Lambeau Field since 1991. Add to that, head coach Mike McCarthy and his Green Bay teams are 13-1 versus the Lions over seven seasons.
The Lions have a great offense led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Detroit ranked third in the NFL in total offense last season. This year, the Lions have added the dangerous running back Reggie Bush as well.
The Lions defense, though, has not been able to match the team's prolific offense, as Detroit ranked 13th in total defense last year.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 8-1 against the Lions, and has thrown 18 touchdown passes, compared to just five picks against Detroit.
Final score: Packers 31, Lions 20
Oct. 13: Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium
Since winning Super Bowl XLVII in early February, the Ravens roster has changed quite a bit. They have seen players like linebacker Ray Lewis, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, outside linebacker Paul Kruger and safety Ed Reed leave the team via retirement, trade or free agency.
The Ravens still have Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco as their quarterback. And Flacco still has some dangerous options on offense with running back Ray Rice and receivers Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones.
Baltimore's defense took a big hit this offseason when it lost six starters, but it still has outside linebacker and pass-rush specialist Terrell Suggs to cause havoc for quarterbacks.
Final score: Packers 27, Ravens 17
Oct. 20: Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field
The Browns are coming off a 5-11 season and have a new head coach in Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski is known as a quarterback guru, but he'll have his work cut out for him with second-year quarterback Brandon Weedon, who threw 17 interceptions to just 14 touchdown passes last year.
One player Chudzinski doesn't have to worry about is left tackle Joe Thomas, who might be the best in the game.
The defense of the Browns is also coming off a tough year, as it ranked just 23rd in total defense last season.
Aaron Rodgers has only played against the Browns once, but he was almost perfect that day, as he threw three touchdown passes versus zero picks and had a quarterback rating of 155.4 in that game in Cleveland in 2009.
Final score: Packers 38, Browns 13
Oct. 27: Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome
The Packers lost to the Vikings at the Metrodome on the last week of the 2012 regular season, but came back to beat the Vikings the following week at Lambeau in the NFC Wild Card Game.
Overall, the Packers are 4-3 in Minnesota under Mike McCarthy.
This season, there will be a little more fuel added to the fire, as former Packer wide receiver Greg Jennings has joined the Vikings via free agency. In addition to that, Jennings has taken a few pot shots at quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers organization, as seen in a recent Monday Morning Quarterback column by Peter King of Sports Illustrated.
Though the receiving game of the Vikings will be better with the addition of Jennings, they still rely on NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 508 yards in three games against the Packers last season, to drive the offense.
Rodgers is 7-4 lifetime (including the postseason) versus the Vikings and has thrown 25 touchdown passes, compared to just four picks. Meanwhile, quarterback Christian Ponder has thrown six touchdown passes versus five interceptions in four games against the Pack.
Final score: Packers 31, Vikings 20
Nov. 4: Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field
The Packers have certainly had their way with Da Bears in recent years. Green Bay has won six straight games over Chicago (including the 2010 NFC Championship Game) and is 9-2 versus the Monsters of the Midway since 2008.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 8-2 career (regular season) against the Bears and has thrown 19 touchdown passes compared to just six picks against Chicago.
Meanwhile, Jay Cutler is just 1-6 (regular season) versus the Pack. He has thrown nine touchdown passes versus 16 interceptions against Green Bay.
Also, for the first time since the 1999 season, the Bears won't have Brian Urlacher playing middle linebacker.
Final score: Packers 24, Bears 13
Nov. 10: Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field
The Eagles will have new look this season, as longtime head coach Andy Reid is gone. He has been replaced by Chip Kelly and his fast-paced attack offense that he utilized at the University of Oregon.
The Eagles finished 4-12 last season, and the team was ranked 15th in both total offense and defense in the NFL.
Philadelphia will start either Michael Vick or Nick Foles at quarterback, but its best player on offense is running back LeSean McCoy, who had 1,213 total yards last year.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 2-0 lifetime (including postseason) versus the Eagles and has thrown five touchdown passes and two interceptions.
Final score: Packers 28, Eagles 17
Nov. 17: New York Giants at MetLife Stadium
The Packers played their worst game by far last season versus the Giants in New Jersey. The Pack was blown out 38-10 by the G-Men, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers was running for his life all night.
Meanwhile, the Packers defense couldn't stop the running or passing attacks of the Giants.
Quarterback Eli Manning is either very good or very bad when he plays the Packers. He's normally very good. Manning is 3-3 versus the Green Bay (including the postseason), but he has played great in the past two games, posting 579 yards and six touchdown passes and throwing just one pick.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 2-2 lifetime against the Giants. He has thrown 11 touchdown passes versus three interceptions in those games.
Final score: Giants 24, Packers 21
Nov. 24: Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field
The Packers have had their way with the Vikings at Lambeau Field in the Mike McCarthy era, as the team has beaten the Vikings seven times in eight tries (including the postseason).
Beating the Vikings is hardly ever easy, though. The two teams have had a pretty even series that dates back to 1961, with the Packers boasting a 54-48-1 regular-season advantage over the Vikings. Both teams have won a playoff game against each other.
The difference in this series usually comes down to the quarterback play. This year it's Aaron Rodgers versus Christian Ponder. Advantage Rodgers—in a big way.
Final score: Packers 34, Vikings 13
Nov. 28: Detroit Lions at Ford Field (Thanksgiving)
The Packers get to play yet another Thanksgiving game in Detroit this year. The Packers have played 20 games in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day and are 8-11-1 in the series.
That being said, the Packers are a perfect 3-0 in the Mike McCarthy era on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. The Packers have averaged over 32 points a game in those three games.
The last time the Packers played the Lions on Thanksgiving was in 2011, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 307 yards and two touchdown passes. The Pack won 27-15.
Final score: Packers 31, Lions 24
Dec. 8: Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field
This matchup between the Falcons and the Packers on Sunday night looks to be one of the best games of the year.
The defense of the Dirty Birds is not nearly as effective as their offense, as their "D" ranked just 24th in total yards allowed last season.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 2-2 versus Atlanta lifetime (including the postseason), and he has thrown for 1,419 yards and nine touchdown passes. He has been picked off just once.
The Packers beat the Falcons the last two times these teams met in Atlanta (including the 2010 postseason), but the Falcons won the last time they were in Green Bay (2008).
Final score: Packers 30, Falcons 27
Dec. 15: Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium
The Packers won Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium (now AT&T Stadium). But it's been very rare for the Packers to win in Big D.
Though the Packers have won the last two times these teams squared off in Green Bay, they have not beaten the Cowboys in Dallas since the 1989 season.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 2-1 lifetime versus the 'Boys. He thrown five touchdown passes and has not been intercepted.
Quarterback Tony Romo is under a lot of pressure to win in Dallas, but he is still a very talented player who has been named to three Pro Bowls. He has a lot of talented weaponry to use as well, with running back DeMarco Murray, tight end Jason Witten and wide receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin manning the skill positions.
Final score: Cowboys 28, Packers 24
Dec. 22: Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field
The Packers haven't faced the Steelers since Super Bowl XLV, when the Pack won 31-25 behind Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers and the Steelers faced each other one other time, in a classic game in 2009. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a last-second touchdown pass, as the Steelers won 37-36 at Heinz Field.
Rodgers threw six touchdown passes without a pick in those two games.
In the last 20 years, the Steelers have faced the Packers three times at Lambeau Field, with the Packers winning two of those games.
The weather conditions will most likely be nasty in Green Bay, so expect a real physical football game between these two titans of the NFL.
Final score: Packers 23, Steelers 17
Dec. 29: Chicago Bears at Soldier Field
When the Packers and Bears face off in the final game of the 2013 regular season, it will be for the 186th meeting between the two teams. Going into this season, the Bears hold a 91-87-6 advantage over the Pack in a series that dates back to 1921.
The Packers have played very well in Chicago over the past two decades. Since 1992, Green Bay has dominated the series at Soldier Field, posting a 16-5 mark in those years, including the 2010 NFC Championship Game win. (The Packers also won the road game in 2002 that was played in Champaign, Illinois, when Soldier Field was being renovated.)
Like the past few years, this game will most likely come down to the play of the quarterbacks. Knowing the histories of both Aaron Rodgers versus the Bears and Jay Cutler versus the Packers, the outcome will undoubtedly lean towards the Packers.
Final score: Packers 20, Bears 10