GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- The Green Bay Packers' 2022 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Thursday.
The season will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 8 with the Los Angeles Rams hosting the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. ESPN opens its schedule with Monday Night Football on Sept. 12, featuring the Denver Broncos hosting the Seattle Seahawks.
The NFL expanded to 17 regular-season games last season. The final regular-season games in 2022 will be played Jan. 8, 2023. The playoffs begin Jan. 14, and continue through Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, in Glendale, Arizona.
Here's what's in store for the Packers:
Sept. 11: at Minnesota
Sept. 18: vs. Chicago (SNF)
Sept. 25: at Tampa Bay
Oct. 2: vs. New England
Oct. 9: vs. New York Giants (in London)
Oct. 16: vs. New York Jets
Oct. 23: at Washington
Oct. 30: at Buffalo (SNF)
Nov. 6: at Detroit
Nov. 13: vs. Dallas
Nov. 17: vs. Tennessee (TNF)
Nov. 27: at Philadelphia (SNF)
Dec. 4: at Chicago
Dec 11: Bye
Dec. 19: vs. Los Angeles Rams (MNF)
Dec. 25: at Miami
Jan. 1: vs. Minnesota
Jan. 7 or 8: vs. Detroit
Strength of schedule: 22nd, .478
The NFL now leaves it up to the teams playing overseas if they want to take their bye the following week. The Packers chose not to, thinking an Oct. 16 bye was too early in a 17-game season. Instead, they’ll play 13 games before their bye this year. Last year, they didn’t have their bye until Week 13, and that helped them get healthy and refreshed for the stretch run. Also, they get a mini bye after their Thursday night game in Week 11. The worst part looks like four games away from Lambeau in a five-game stretch. That includes the London game, followed by a home against the Jets and then three true road games at Washington, Buffalo and Detroit.
Since the 49ers aren’t on the Packers’ schedule, how about the team that knocked them out of the playoffs the year before last? It’s the first time the Packers will see the Buccaneers since Tom Brady & Co. upset them in the 2020 NFC title game, 31-26 at Lambeau Field. This will be only the fifth meeting between Aaron Rodgers and Brady, who has won three of the last four. Tampa hasn’t been too kind to Rodgers, either. He’s 1-3 in his career there with five touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Packers will be on the other end of a revenge game against the Cowboys on Nov. 13, when Mike McCarthy will coach his first game against the team he coached for nearly 13 seasons. The Packers fired McCarthy with four games left in the 2018 season.
What the oddsmakers think
The Packers’ over/under win total is 11. The oddmakers must not think coach Matt LaFleur can put together a fourth straight 13-win season. LaFleur has done that in each of his first three seasons as a head coach. If they can make up for the loss of All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, then they could go over again. And remember, they were 7-0 without Adams the past three seasons.
The Packers won’t match LaFleur’s win totals in each of his first three seasons; they will exceed it. The NFC North is rebuilding, while the games against the two New York teams, Philly and Washington shouldn’t be too tough. That’s already 10 wins. All they have to do is go 4-3 in their remaining games.