The NFL released their 2022 schedule on Thursday night and the Green Bay Packers have some exciting games coming up in the season ahead.
The 2022 campaign will include the Packers first trip to London and exciting matchups with key conference rivals like the Cowboys and Bucs.
The release of the schedule allows Packers fans to look forward to the 2022 season and make plans to attend the game(s) they want to see both at home and on the road.
Here are 10 takeaways from the Packers 2022 schedule:
- The Packers Open On the Road…Again
The Packers will open on the road for the fourth straight season, this time in Minnesota against the Vikings. Since taking over as head coach in 2019, Matt LaFleur has never started a season with a game at Lambeau Field.
This is also the eighth time in the last 10 years the Packers start a new season away from Lambeau Field.
The Packers also opened the 2020 season in Minnesota and beat the Vikings 43-34 after putting up 522 yards of offense.
The game will mark the NFL head coaching debut of Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell.
- The First and Last Two Games are Against Division Opponents
Division games mean the most both in the standings and when it comes time for playoff tiebreakers. The Packers will play their first two games and their last two games against division opponents this season.
They travel to Minnesota in Week 1, then host the Bears in Week 2. They close the season by hosting the Vikings in Week 17 and then meeting the Lions at Lambeau to close out the season.
The other two divisional matchups come in Week 9 when the Packers travel to Detroit and Week 13 when they go to Solider Field to face the Bears.
- The Packers Bye Week Is Later than Ever Before for the Second Straight Season
While everybody expected the Packers to take their bye week after their trip to London, the team opted for a later break. Last season, the Packers had their bye in Week 13 which was the latest in team history.
In 2022, they have their bye in Week 14 which places the bye on the week of December 11.
Before the bye, the Packers visit the Bears on Sunday at noon central time. After the bye, the Packers host the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles on Monday Night Football.
- Packers Get Brady and Belichick Back-to-Back
In a weird twist of fate, the Packers will be in Tampa Bay to face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 3 before hosting Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in Week 4. That means that even though Brady and Belichick haven’t been together in three seasons, the Packers will still face them in consecutive weeks.
The matchup of Aaron Rodgers playing in a game against Tom Brady is always exciting for the national media and it’s time for Rodgers to step up and make the all-time series closer. Rodgers was 1-1 in games he started against Brady when he was with the Patriots but is 0-2 against the Bucs when Brady was their starting quarterback. One of those games came in the 2020 NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field.
- The Packers Make Their First Visit to London
The Pack is the last NFL team to play a regular-season game overseas. They will face the New York Giants at Tottenham Stadium in Week 5. The Giants feature a new head coach in Brian Daboll who was an assistant in Buffalo.
The Packers will have a chance to show off in front of the European fans for this game. Matt LaFleur has previous experience playing in London as an assistant coach and that should help make things smoother for the Packers on this trip.
Unfortunately, the game starts at 8:30 AM CT which makes for an extremely early Sunday morning for Packers fans.
- Matt LaFleur Faces His Friend For Real This Time
LaFleur and New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh are close friends since their time together as graduate assistants at Central Michigan. In fact, they were in each other’s wedding parties. The Packers faced the Jets in preseason last year, but this year it will count.
Saleh led the Jets to a 4-13 record in his first season but is hoping he and second-year quarterback Zach Wilson can lead the team to an improved record in 2022.
The Packers will be returning to Lambeau Field for this game immediately after their contest in London so hopefully jet lag will not be a factor for the Pack.
- Holiday Games Again
Last year, the Packers faced the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Day which fell on a Saturday. This year, both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays so the Packers will be playing on both holidays.
In Week 16, the Packers will travel to Miami to face the Dolphins on December 25. The good news is fans will have a great game to watch on Christmas Day. The bad news is that the players will be separated from their families on the holiday.
A week later, the Packers will host the Vikings on New Year’s Day. The last time the Packers played a game on January 1 was during the 2016 season when they closed out the season with a 31-24 win over the Lions in Detroit on January 1, 2017.
- Five Games in Prime Time
The Packers will play five games in prime time this year which ties them for the most in the league. The five games will be a Sunday night for the home opener Week 2 against the Bears, a Sunday night road game in Buffalo in Week 8, a Thursday night home game in Week 11 against the Tennessee Titans, a Sunday night game in Philadelphia against the Eagles in Week 12 and the Week 15 Monday night matchup with the defending Super Bowl champion Rams at home.
This will mark the 17th consecutive season that the Packers and Bears have met at least once in prime time, an amazing honor for the league’s oldest rivals.
- An Old Friend Returns in Week 10
The Dallas Cowboy visit Lambeau Field in Week 10 and that will mark the first time ex-Packers head coach Mike McCarthy will be returning to Green Bay while coaching another team.
McCarthy went 125-77-2 during his 13 seasons as head coach of the Packers and led the team to their last Super Bowl win in 2010. The Packers made the playoffs nine times under McCarthy including eight straight years from 2009-2016.
Add the traditional rivalry between the Packers and Cowboys, the possible playoff implications of this game in the NFC and the tension that allegedly took place between McCarthy and Rodgers late in the coach’s tenure in Green Bay and you have the makings of a very interesting football game.
- Get Your Parka Ready
The Packers play three of their final four games at home, hosting the Rams, Vikings and Lions in Weeks 15, 17 and 18. That should give the Packers a big home field advantage as they face one warm-weather team and two dome teams on what should be the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field.
By the way, the Packers other December road game besides Miami is in Chicago so there are plenty of chances for the Packers to play in some snow games this season.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
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