Green Bay Packers Schedule: 5 Games You Don't Wanna Miss

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIIAugust 31, 2011

Green Bay Packers Schedule: 5 Games You Don't Wanna Miss

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    The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers will look to avenge their illustrious title in 2011, but the road they must travel has games that any NFL would crazy to miss.

    The Packers open up the most anticipated season in league history with a Thursday night showdown against the New Orleans Saints, and that's just where the fun begins. The NFC North division looks to have improved across the board, which means no foe should be taken lightly.

    The Packers will also square off against the NFC South this season, which means they will be taking on three teams that had 10 or more wins last year.

    The Packers are the team to beat heading into 2011, and with most of the team kept intact; the future looks promising. With in-game predictions and all, here are five games on the Packers schedule that you do not want to miss. 

Week 1: New Orleans at Green Bay

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    New Orleans: 0-0

    Green Bay: 0-0

    The opening game to the 2011 NFL season is going to provide some fireworks, even though both defenses were ranked in the Top 10 last season. Drew Brees and the Saints come marching into Green Bay to take on the Packers, and I'm going to guess that the Packer faithful will be a little pumped up.

    The Saints bring in an arsenal of new weapons on offense with Mark Ingram and Darron Sproles, while the Packers get their starting running back Ryan Grant, and tight end Jermichael Finley back on the field.

    This Week 1 matchup is also my preview of the NFC Championship game, so a lot is at stake for both teams to get off on the right foot.

    The Packers are loaded on both sides of the football, and I find it hard to believe that they will slip up on that Thursday night.

    Prediction: 34-28 Packers   

Week 3: Green Bay at Chicago

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    Predicted records through Week 2

    Chicago: 0-2 

    Green Bay: 2-0

    The Chicago Bears have the toughest three-game set to start a season that I have come across. In Week 1, they take on the Atlanta Falcons at home and then travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints in Week 2. 

    Week 3 doesn't get any easier, the Bears welcome the Pack to Solider Field. Chicago will be hungry for a win at home, but the Packers are always a tough opponent.

    The combination of turnovers and lack of offensive firepower will keep the Bears from contending with the Packers.

    Prediction: 35-21 Packers

Week 5: Green Bay at Atlanta

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    Predicted records through Week 4

    Atlanta: 3-1

    Green Bay: 4-0

    A rematch of last season's NFC Championship game is what we have in Week 5. The Packers come in undefeated, while the Falcons are 3-1 with their lone loss being at Raymond James Stadium against Tampa Bay.

    The Falcons added some offensive fire power in the offseason, and they will look to take revenge on the Packers after last year's embarrassing loss.

    The defenses will control this game however, with Atlanta gaining an advantage from their 12th man; the crowd. This battle will be closer than last year's game, but this time the home team will come out on top, and hand Green Bay their first loss of the season.   

    Prediction: 24-20 Falcons 

Week 9: Green Bay at San Diego

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    Predicted records through Week 8 

    San Diego: 5-2

    Green Bay: 6-1

    The Packers make the trip out to San Diego after their Week 8 bye, while the Chargers come off a short week due to playing on MNF. The Chargers have started the season off hot, with their only losses being on the East coast to both the Jets and Patriots.

    This matchup has game of the year written all over it, and it could be a potential Super Bowl preview. Both teams will have multiple-game leads on their respective divisions, which means they will be fighting for home-field advantage in the playoffs. 

    Both teams are going to throw the football often, but the team that has more success running the football will win this matchup.

    Prediction: 31-28 San Diego  

Week 17: Lions at Packers

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    Predicted records through Week 16

    Lions: 8-7

    Packers: 12-3

    Week 17's matchup will have huge implications for both teams. For the Lions, a win gives them a chance at a wild card birth, while a Packers win secures home-field advantage.

    Detroit is vying for the No. 6 seed with the New York Giants, who are also sitting at 8-7. The Giants have a better conference record than Detroit, which means that if they win they're in.

    Detroit's ground game has been the surprise of the season thus far, with Javid Best and Jerome Harrison both over 900 yards.  

    Stafford and the Lions will keep it close all game, but a late pick by Charles Woodson seals home field advantage for the Packers. 

    Prediction: 28-17 Packers