No easing into Green Bay Packers' schedule with Seahawks, Falcons to open

Martellus Bennett is hoping to make another Super Bowl run with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

The NFL has released its 2017 regular-season schedule. Here’s a look at what’s in store for the Green Bay Packers.

Breakdown: How’s this for a tough start? The Packers play a pair of division winners -- the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 and at the NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons in Week 2. If the Packers can avoid an 0-2 start, it should be considered a successful first two weeks of the season. Yes, we’re talking about a team that reached the NFC Championship Game last year possibly starting 0-2. The Seahawks will no doubt come to Lambeau Field angry over last year’s 38-10 loss at Green Bay, while the Falcons will be amped up to open the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. There are a couple of other potential road blocks early in the season with road games at Dallas and Minnesota in consecutive weeks.

A December on the road: So much for the late-season home-field advantage. The Packers, who have won 21 of 24 December home games under coach Mike McCarthy, play three of their final four games on the road. The only home game in the stretch is a Week 16 meeting with the Vikings. In all, the Packers play four of their last six games on the road. However, only one of those road games -- the regular-season finale at Detroit -- is a division game. The Packers play five straight non-division games from Week 11 against Baltimore to Week 15 at Carolina.

A favorable bye: Nothing bothered the Packers more about last year’s schedule than the Week 4 bye. It made for a long, 13-game stretch to finish the season. This time, the bye comes after seven games. A Week 8 bye is about the best thing McCarthy could ask for in terms of a break. They also get a mini-bye after the Week 4 Thursday night game against the Bears. And they’re at home against the Bengals the Sunday before the Thursday night game, so travel fatigue won’t be an issue in the short week.

Strength of schedule: 18th, .480

Packers Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, at Atlanta, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, Cincinnati, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 4: Thursday, Sept. 28, Chicago, 8:25 p.m.

  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22, New Orleans, 1 p.m.

  • Week 8: BYE

  • Week 9: Monday, Nov. 6, Detroit, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12, at Chicago, 1 p.m.

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, Baltimore, 1 p.m.

  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26, at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, at Carolina, 1 p.m.

  • Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 23, Minnesota, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, at Detroit, 1 p.m.