The preseason injury to Jordy Nelson has curtailed some of the Packers Super Bowl talk, but optimism is still high for the Green and Gold this year. Let's break down the schedule with predictions you can take to the house.
Week 1 at Chicago--The Bears have a whole new look on defense--but they still have Jay Cutler at quarterback. The Packers snap their three game season opener losing streak Sunday with a 30-13 win at Soldier Field.
Week 2 vs Seattle--Oh have the fans had this one circled on the calendar since the schedule was announced. "This is where we get our revenge", they say. Only problem is, this Seahawks team has the Packers number--especially defensively. Russell Wilson gets the last laugh again 23-20.
Week 3 vs Kansas City--The Chiefs are going to be sneaky-good this year. They come to Lambeau and shock the Pack 27-17.
Week 4 at San Francisco--After answering a week's worth of "Why do you always get off to slow starts?" questions, the Packers head west and route a decimated Niners squad 38-7.
Week 5 vs St Louis--An easy home win for Green Bay over the Rams--31-8
Week 6 vs San Diego--Another home game against a weak opponent. Packers 29, Chargers 14
Week 8 at Denver--After a bye week, the refreshed Packers head into Mile High and beat an aging Broncos team 43-29.
Week 9 at Carolina--The middle portion of the Packers schedule sets up for a nice long winning streak. They beat the Panthers here 26-24.
Week 10 vs Detroit--I'm sure the Lions will come into this one talking big--and head home with their tails between their legs--losing 28-20.
Week 11 at Minnesota--By this time the Pack will have a six game winning streak going and will likely be number one in the NFL Power Poll. That means they are ripe for an upset loss on their road 31-27 to the Vikings.
Week 12 vs Chicago on Thanksgiving Night. Let's see. Thanksgiving game, Brett Favre number retirement ceremony, Bart Starr returns to Lambeau after the debilitating strokes and you're playing the Bears. It wouldn't surprise me if Aaron Rodgers broke one of Favre's passing records in a 56-11 thrashing.
Week 13 at Detroit. With a few extra days to rest, the Pack beats the Lions again 30-19.
Week 14 vs Dallas. Remember back in the 1990's when the Packers always had to go to Dallas--and they always found a way to lose. The roles have been reversed here in the 2010's--and it's the Cowboys who can't find ways to beat the Packers. 27-24.
Week 15 at Oakland. The Raiders will have packed it in by this time. Green Bay wins 31-14.
Week 16 at Arizona. The Cardinals may be the best team in the NFC this year and they get a confidence boosting win over the Packers in a wild one, 40-37.
Week 17 vs Minnesota. With the division title already wrapped up the Pack plays just hard enough to finish with a 20-13 win.
After a week off, the Packers get the game everyone wanted again--but this time Seattle has to come to Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers finally gets the monkey off of his back and beats the Seahawks on a last-minute drive 33-30.
Then it's off to Arizona again to take on the Cardinals. In an overtime thriller, Mason Crosby misses three field goals and the Cardinals head to Super Bowl 50 with a 41-38 win. They eventually lose to New England (who remains motivated by the DeflateGate tainting of last year's Super Bowl win) for the back to back championships.
As always, these predictions go out the window if Aaron Rodgers gets hurt and Scott Tolzien takes over.