Before each season begins, I have a little ritual that I like to go through. It normally starts off by printing out the Green Bay Packers schedule on a fresh piece of paper, and placing it high on my wall where it will stay from April through to February in what I hope to be yet another possible Super Bowl winning year.
Following that, I quite often go through and highlight the possible wins that Green Bay may be lucky enough to grasp, followed by the games that Green Bay could quite possibly lose.
I'm sure most of you loyal and hardcore Packer fans do something fairly similar to this, but unfortunately Green Bay's 2010 schedule has prevented me from going through with my usual routine and has rather led me to believe that the Packers could be in for quite a difficult season.
Last season I had predicted Green Bay to lose to the following teams. Minnesota, Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Arizona. Luckily I scraped in at an even par with those predictions as Green Bay's offensive line held up just enough in order to secure an 11-5 season.
Now we arrive in yet another drawn out offseason, and for a team that has been predicted by many as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, I think I speak for everyone in saying, please just hurry up and begin!
However before we can look toward September though, it is important to go through the Packers schedule and single out which games the Packers could possibly win and which games the Packers could possibly lose.
The Games To Look Forward To
Week 1: Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles - 4:15pm Sunday September 12
Week 2: Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers - 1:00pm Sunday September 19
Week 4: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers - 1:00pm Sunday October 3
Week 5: Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins - 1:00pm Sunday October 10
Week 6: Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers - 1:00pm Sunday October 17
Week 13: San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers - 1:00pm Sunday December 5
Week 14: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions - 1:00pm Sunday December 12
The games above are the games that you should mark down as potential wins for Green Bay. Barring the inevitable offensive line collapse again, expect Green Bay to win at least six out of seven of these games, as Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Miami could all be threats in the NFL this season. The Packers have what it takes to manhandle all of these teams, but the away games are of course the biggest threat.
The 'Cause For Concern' Games
Week 3: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears - 8:30pm Monday September 27
Week 12: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons - 1:00pm Sunday November 28
Week 16: New York Giants at Green Bay Packers - 4:15pm Sunday December 26
Week 17: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers - 1:00pm Sunday January 2
For those out there that write the Chicago Bears off in 2010 due to Jay Cutler, think again. If there is one threat to watch out for it is Julius Peppers, as Aaron Rodgers can easily be rattled at times, and if Julius Peppers gets his bear-like hands on Aaron, well it may be a case of David vs. Goliath. All of these four games are potential losses for Green Bay, as Solider Field is of course a hostile place to play, and no one knows for sure just how the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons will play next season.
The Games To Fear
Week 7: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers - 8:20pm Sunday October 24
Week 8: Green Bay Packers at New York Jets - 1:00pm Sunday October 31
Week 9: Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers - 8:20pm Sunday November 7
Week 11: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings - 1:00pm Sunday November 21
Week 15: Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots - 8:20pm Sunday December 19
This group is the most telling story, as you'll notice that the NFL has once again partnered the Green Bay vs. Minnesota games both in the span of a month. Last season the Packers had no answer for the Vikings prolific offense, and if the Vikings get the upper hand in the first game, it could prove to be quite a test for McCarthy's men to battle against the Vikings back home at the Metrodome.
The biggest game out of this one though is of course against the New England Patriots. Gillette Stadium is a place the Packers aren't exactly all too familiar with, and although the Patriots have defensive concerns, the Packers may also fall victim. The positive way to look at this game is that it is tough, but a win would really prove to everyone that the Packers are the real deal heading toward the playoffs.
I think you'll agree that the Packer 2010 roster does look a little familiar. There is of course the divisional rival games, and the addition of the Cowboys making their appearance at Lambeau Field again. Kindly the NFL has thrown the New York Jets and New England Patriots into the mix, which have the makings to both be blockbuster games.
There are a lot of teams to fear for Green Bay, and the cumulative record for Green Bay's opponents is 125-131. Can Green Bay go 11-5 again or better? Of course. But it won't be as easy as 2009. The opponents are tough, but remember the Packers are also tough opponents. As the saying goes "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", lets hope the Packers are tough enough this season.