Green Bay Packers 2011 Schedule: Preview/Prediction for Each Game on Repeat Road
While Green Bay's opponents for their quest back to the Super Bowl have been known for some time now, the official schedule complete with dates and times was just released on Monday night.
The Pack will try to keep that streak alive, as they will face an easier schedule in 2011, at least on paper. They'll face only four playoff teams from last year, one they'll face twice (the Bears).
In addition to the NFC North, Green Bay will take on the NFC South, which produced two playoff teams in 2010, and the AFC West.
Everything can change by the time September rolls around, but here are my predictions for the Packers' regular season if the lockout ends and everything goes on as scheduled.
Week 1: Vs. New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Sept. 8
The last two Super Bowl champions will meet at Lambeau in primetime to kickoff the 2011 NFL season with their Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks leading the charge.
This one will come down to the defenses, and there is no question that Packers' will be more ready when the Saints come marching in to Green Bay as the Pack will begin to defend their title.
The Packers winning streak will stretch to seven games.
Prediction: GB 34 NO 27
Week 2: at Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Sept. 18
No matter who the Panthers bring in to line up under center, this will be one of the most lopsided matchups in 2011.
Carolina, the worst team in the league last season, will have to play host to the winners of last year's Lombardi Trophy. Unfortunately for them, home field won't be an advantage, as the Packers will have 10 days to prepare prior to their trip.
It should be a field day for Rodgers and Co. as well as Dom Capers' ball-hawking defense.
Prediction: GB 38 CAR 13
Week 3: at Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 25
The Packers will make a quick trip south to take on their legendary rivals at Soldier Field. The last time Green Bay played the Bears on their home turf was the NFC Championship game.
There is no doubt the bitter Bears will be out for a little revenge after the Packers denied them a Super Bowl berth last January. Quarterback Jay Cutler will especially like to take it to the Pack and everyone who questioned his toughness.
This will be a hard fought game between the best two teams in the NFC North, but the result will be the same. If Rodgers can steer clear of Julius Peppers, he will lead the Packers to a tight victory and prove once again that he's the best QB in the division, and arguably in the league.
Prediction: GB 27 CHI 21
Week 4: Vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 2
Unfortunately, this matchup won't feature Elway and Favre, but a Tebow vs. Rodgers competition could be interesting to follow.
But as of now, Rodgers is the better rushing QB of the two and far better throwing the ball. Elvis Dumervil will be back in 2011, so all quarterbacks, beware.
Prediction: GB 27 DEN 13
Week 5: at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 9
The Packers split with the Falcons in their two meetings at the Georgia Dome last season, including the playoff massacre in which A-Rod dominated and Matty Ice melted.
Both teams will be right back at the top of the NFC in 2011, and two of the league's best young quarterbacks will go head to head once again on Sunday Night Football.
Matt Ryan has to play better this time around. Atlanta will come out on top at home with the defense leading the way in a wild ball game. I mean, the Falcons can't let themselves get torched by Rodgers again, right?
The Packers 10-game winning streak comes to an overtime end.
Prediction: ATL 27 GB 24 OT
Week 6: Vs. St. Louis Rams, Sunday, Oct. 16
You might look through the schedule, see the word "Rams", and instantly, without thinking, scribble in a W next to their name.
The St. Louis Rams nearly missed the playoffs in 2010, and this season, I believe they will get there. They won't knock off the defending champions at home, but they won't go down easy either.
Prediction: GB 27 STL 17
Week 7: at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 23
The Packers will have to muster up some motivation for this matchup unless Brett Favre makes yet another come back. That possibility is doubtful, because I'm sure he doesn't want to get swept by his former team once again.
Barring a miraculous resurgence from last season, the Vikings will still be crawling back from their colossal collapse in 2010.
Green Bay handled the Vikings last year fairly easily last season, especially at the Metrodome. Wherever the Packers take on Minnesota for this away game, they will come home with the W.
Prediction: GB 31 MIN 17
Week 9: at San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Nov. 6
Following a restful bye week, Rodgers will lead the Packers to his home state to take on the Chargers and prove the differences between him and Rivers are more complex.
Whichever quarterback plays better in this one will lead his team to victory. Rivers will have a tougher time with the Packers' defense, and Rodgers should have a nice homecoming.
Prediction: GB 24 SD 17
Week 10: Vs. Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Nov. 13
Jared Allen will have to concuss Rodgers if the Vikes want any shot at beating the Packers on Monday Night Football.
Since Rodgers won't be on the Madden cover, that won't happen.
The Packers defense will be locked on Adrian Peterson, so Minnesota will be forced to throw the ball at Lambeau Field. That's a scary thought with the current QB situation.
Prediction: GB 35 MIN 14
Week 11: Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 20
The last time these two teams met in the Battle of the Bays was in 2009. The Buccaneers, led by rookie QB Josh Freeman, upset the Pack and sacked Rodgers six times.
Freeman is good, but the Bucs won't get their hands on Rodgers so easily this time. The Packers will avenge that ugly loss from two seasons ago on their home turf.
Clay Matthews failed record a sack in that 2009 game. This year, Freeman won't be so lucky.
Prediction: GB 28 TB 20
Week 12: at Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 24
If they remember what happened last year at Ford Field, the Packers won't take this one lightly. Instead, they may play as hard in this game as they will against Chicago.
Yes, the Lions are up and coming, and they did beat the Super Bowl champions last year, but the Packers are already there. If Rodgers stays on the field this time, he'll more than match anything a healthy Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can produce.
He may even receive the Galloping Gobbler award after this common Thanksgiving Day matchup.
Prediction: GB 24 DET 13
Week 13: at New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 4
The Packers embarassed the Giants by a score of 45-17 and all but knocked them out of the playoffs in Week 16 of last season.
The Giants turned the ball over six times, and Green Bay capitalized. It's highly unlikely that Coughlin's team will cough up the ball so much in a rematch at home as New York will be looking to regain their dignity.
Prediction: NYG 27 GB 21
Week 14: Vs. Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Dec. 11
The Packers won't lose many games at home this season; they only lost one at Lambeau all last year.
It's more likely that Rodgers will copy Brett Favre with a six TD performance.
Prediction: GB 30 OAK 17
Week 15: at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 18
This game is crucial to the Packers playoff positioning and securing the top seed.
The Chiefs put up a fight at home, but Rodgers leads a fourth quarter drive to capture the victory with KC's defense worn out and on its heels.
Prediction: GB 21 KC 14
Week 16: Vs. Chicago Bears, Sunday, December 25
This game could gift the division on Christmas night.
The Packers should have the NFC North sealed up by then, but it will be a cold and intense matchup nonethless.
If Green Bay rests a few starters unlike Lovie Smith chose to do and lets Matt Flynn begin the game, the Packers lose.
Prediction: CHI 20 GB 13
Week 17: Vs. Detroit Lions, Sunday, Jan. 1
The Packers almost gave this one away last year at Lambeau after appearing to pull away following a Charles Woodson pick six.
It won't be quite as tight this time around, and Green Bay won't let the Lions keep it too close in front of their hometown fans on New Year's Day, despite resting starters.
Also, the last time the Packers played the Lions in the final week, they dealt them their 0-16 season.
Prediction: GB 21 DET 16
Green Bay heads to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.