Green Bay Packers Schedule: Toughest Three-Game Stretch

Will the Green Bay Packers be Super Bowl contenders in 2024? We’ll know a lot more after a grueling 12-day stretch.
Christian McCaffrey scores the winning touchdown against the Packers.
Christian McCaffrey scores the winning touchdown against the Packers. / Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin /
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers will face an absolute gauntlet of games that could define their season over the course of 12 days late in the year.The NFL released the 2024 schedule on Wednesday night. There’s no doubt this is the most challenging three-game stretch:

In Week 12, the Packers will host the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24.

In Week 13, the Packers will host the high-powered Miami Dolphins on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 28.

In Week 14, the Packers will hit the road to face the defending NFC North champion Detroit Lions for a Thursday night showdown on Dec. 5.

Those are three of the best teams in the NFL. The 49ers are the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl at FanDuel Sportsbook. The Dolphins have the 11th-shortest odds. The Lions have the fifth-shortest odds.

The 49ers (12-5 last year) have been a thorn in the Packers’ playoff sides for more than a decade. That includes beating Green Bay in the 2019 NFC Championship Game, upsetting the Packers in the divisional round at Lambeau Field in 2021 and holding off the Packers in the divisional round in Santa Clara last year. Quarterback Brock Purdy led the NFL in passer rating, running back Christian McCaffrey led the NFL in rushing yards, total yards and total touchdowns, and the defense was third in points allowed.

The Dolphins (11-6 last year) have perhaps the most ridiculous offensive roster in the NFL. Armed with receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Tua Tagovailoa led the NFL with 4,624 passing yards last year. Led by Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane, the Dolphins also led the NFL in yards per carry. To that crew, they signed receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and drafted running back Jaylen Wright.

Those games against powerhouse teams will set the stage for one of the biggest games of the season, an NFC North rivalry showdown at the Lions (12-5 last year) that could determine the division winner and which team will host a playoff game.

The teams split their games last year, with both teams delivering dominant performances on the road. Last Thanksgiving, Green Bay won 29-22 at Detroit. Jordan Love was superb, finishing 22-of-32 passing for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

Detroit’s defense was stout against the run last year but terrible against the pass. It responded this offseason by acquiring veterans Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson and drafting Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw in the first and second rounds.

Did coach Matt LaFleur make the right call in hiring Jeff Hafley as defensive coordinator? The 49ers, Dolphins and Eagles finished third, second and fifth, respectively, in the NFL in scoring.

After their mini-bye, the Packers in Week 15 will play on Sunday night at the Seattle Seahawks (9-8 last year).

In Week 16, they’ll return home for a Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints (9-8 last year).

Thus, the Packers will play at least five consecutive games against teams with winning records and four consecutive primetime games.

That stretch of games will determine whether the Packers are Super Bowl contenders or pretenders. Last year’s early struggles created a battle-hardened team that allowed it to rally to a playoff berth.

“I think probably the No. 1 takeaway from last season was when things weren’t going great for us, the guys stayed resilient and they had something to prove,” coach Matt LaFleur said recently. “A lot of times when you get a lot of youth into your organization, the circumstances don’t necessarily matter. It’s about proving yourself day in and day out. The guys did a great job.

“This is why the football character is so important, because they did a great job staying together, staying connected, believing in one another and quite frankly pushing one another to continue to try to get out of the muck, so to speak. I think that youthful energy can be good for us.”

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Bill Huber

BILL HUBER

Bill Huber, who has covered the Green Bay Packers since 2008, is the publisher of Packer Central, a Sports Illustrated channel. E-mail: packwriter2002@yahoo.com History: Huber took over Packer Central in August 2019. Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillHuberNFL Background: Huber graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played on the football team, in 1995. He worked in newspapers in Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Shawano before working at The Green Bay News-Chronicle and Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1998 through 2008. With The News-Chronicle, he won several awards for his commentaries and page design. In 2008, he took over as editor of Packer Report Magazine, which was founded by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke, and PackerReport.com. In 2019, he took over the new Sports Illustrated site Packer Central, which he has grown into one of the largest sites in the Sports Illustrated Media Group.