GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The results from last season say the Green Bay Packers have the easiest schedule in the NFL. Their opponents have the lowest combined winning percentage (.457). Yes, the schedule seems disjointed and imbalanced, but at least they don't have to travel far. They won't go West of Minnesota this year.
With that in mind, here’s a game-by-game prediction of how the 2016 season might go:
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 11 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET
Not exactly a marquee opener, but it should be nice and warm for the Packers. The average high temperature in Jacksonville for that day is 88 degrees, according to AccuWeather. The Packers haven’t played in a game that hot since 1991 at Tampa. Record: 1-0.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 18 at Minnesota Vikings, 8:30 p.m. ET
The Packers’ first game in 2003 following the Lambeau Field renovations came against the Vikings. Now, the Packers will be the guest for the first regular-season game at the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. More importantly, it’s a meeting of the top-two teams in the NFC North from last year. Record: 1-1.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 25 vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET
This is the first time since 1979 that the Packers have not played a game in Green Bay until Week 3. The Lions ended a 24-year victory drought in Wisconsin by beating the Packers at Lambeau Field last year. Their next win here should be in 2040. Record: 2-1.
Week 4: Bye
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 9 vs. New York Giants, 8:30 p.m. ET
Former Packers assistant coach Ben McAdoo returns as a first-year head coach. He spent eight years working for Mike McCarthy in Green Bay before leaving in 2013 to become the Giants' offensive coordinator. Two years later, he’s their head coach. Record: 3-1.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 16 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET
This is the sixth game against the Cowboys in the past eight years, including playoffs, and the Packers have won the previous five, including 28-7 blowout over a Matt Cassel-quarterbacked team. Tony Romo should provide a tougher test. Record: 4-1.
Week 7: Thursday, Oct. 20 vs. Chicago Bears, 8:25 p.m. ET
Get ready for the color-rush game. Like all teams in the Thursday night games, the Packers will wear alternate uniforms with one dominant color scheme. Will it be green or gold? We should find out soon. Whatever it is, the Packers should perform better than in their Thanksgiving night loss to the Bears last season. Record: 5-1.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 30 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET
The Packers have won four straight, including playoffs, against the Falcons. Do I hear five? Record: 6-1.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 6 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 4:25 p.m. ET
Andrew Luck threw for 362 yards in his only game against the Packers, a 30-27 win in 2012 in Indy. The Packers need this one because three straight on the road follow. Record: 7-1.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 13 at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. ET
Preseason trips to Tennessee have been regular, but this will be just third regular-season game there for the Packers, who are looking for their first victory at the Titans since they moved to Tennessee in 1997. Record: 8-1.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 20 at Washington Redskins, 8:30 p.m. ET
This is one of seven rematches of playoff games from last season. The Packers blew out the Redskins 35-18 after falling behind 11-0 to start the game. Kirk Cousins may be improved, but he’s no Aaron Rodgers. Record: 9-1.
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 28 at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:30 p.m. ET
First-year Eagles coach Doug Pederson has a long history with the Packers as Brett Favre's long-time backup. He’s got his own quarterback issues to deal with in Philadelphia. Record: 10-1.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 4 vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET
Wisconsin native J.J. Watt gets to play in Lambeau Field for the first time in his career, and it comes three months after his alma mater, the UW Badgers, plays LSU in a college game in Green Bay on Sept. 3. Fatigue might catch up with the Packers on a short week after three straight on the road. Record: 10-2.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 11 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET
Just when you thought the Packers had the Seahawks figured out after their win last year. Record: 10-3.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 18 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET
The Packers have won five regular-season meetings with the Bears in Chicago. This is the 10th time since 2000 that they’ve played at Soldier Field in either December or January. They’re 6-3 in the previous nine games. Record: 11-3.
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 24 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET
Last year, the Vikings stole the NFC North from the Packers with their 20-13 win in the regular-season finale. It ended a run of four straight division titles for the Packers. This one could clinch it for them. Record: 12-3.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 1 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET
No Hail Mary needed this time. Record: 13-3.