GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers will open the 2021 NFL season at the New Orleans Saints, close the season against the Detroit Lions for the fourth time in five years, and host the Cleveland Browns on Christmas.
In the schedule unveiled on Wednesday night, the slate is highlighted by five primetime games – the maximum number – even with Aaron Rodgers’ uncertain future as the team’s quarterback. It’s almost as if the networks either believe Rodgers will be back for his 14th season as the team’s starting quarterback or fans will want to see if the team sinks or swims without the three-time MVP.
Whether it’s Rodgers, Jordan Love or Blake Bortles, the Packers face a daunting schedule – on paper, anyway. By opponent winning percentage, Green Bay will play the fourth-toughest schedule in the NFL. With the addition of the Kansas City Chiefs as a 17th game, it will play a league-high 10 games against teams that reached the postseason last year.
After an intriguing season-opening game against the Saints – will Rodgers be Green Bay’s quarterback and who will replace Drew Brees? – the Packers will play under the lights with a Monday night game against the Lions in Week 2 and a rivalry game at the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in Week 3.
New Quarterback-Center Tandem Would Be Huge Challenge for Packers
Aaron Rodgers and Corey Linsley made a combined 289 regular-season starts for the Packers. To be sure, defenses will attack an offense piloted by Jordan Love and Josh Myers much differently.
Tonyan Among Most Likely First-Time Pro Bowlers
Here are 10 non-rookie candidates to reach their first Pro Bowl during the 2021 NFL season.
Two Packers Make Best Team Money Can Buy
NFL Research assembled its best possible 53-man roster within the constraints of the $182.5 million salary cap.
Green Bay will return home to face Pittsburgh in Week 4 before a stretch of four road games in five weeks: at the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5 and Chicago Bears in Week 6, home against the Washington Football Team in Week 7, at the Arizona Cardinals on a Thursday night in Week 8 and at Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9.
The Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10, visit the rival Minnesota Vikings in Week 11 and host the Los Angeles Rams in a playoff rematch in Week 12.
Finally, the bye will come in Week 13 – the latest bye possible but after 12 consecutive weeks of games to open the season. Finally refreshed, Green Bay will host Chicago on Sunday night in Week 14, play at the powerful Baltimore Ravens in Week 15, host the Browns on Christmas in Week 16 and stay at home to face the Minnesota Vikings in another Sunday night game in Week 17.
Finally, just like the 2016, 2017 and 2019 regular seasons, the finale will be at Detroit. That game is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 9. However, the league does not list Saturday games or a Sunday night game in Week 18, and three games with playoff implications will be moved to those time slots no later than Jan. 3.
By their opponents' record in 2020
The Packers' 17-Game Schedule
Here’s the team's first-ever 17-game schedule.
Week 1: at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, Sept. 12, 3:25 p.m., Fox)
Week 2: vs. Detroit Lions (Monday night, Sept. 20, 7:15 p.m., ESPN)
Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday night, Sept. 26, 7:20 p.m., NBC)
Week 4: Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, Oct. 3, 3:25 p.m., CBS)
Week 5: at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, Oct. 10, noon, Fox)
Week 6: at Chicago Bears (Sunday, Oct. 17, noon, Fox)
Week 7: Washington Football Team (Sunday, Oct. 24, noon, Fox)
Week 8: at Arizona (Thursday night, Oct. 28, 7:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network)
Week 9: at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, Nov. 7, 3:25 p.m., Fox)
Week 10: Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, Nov. 14, 3:25 p.m., CBS)
Week 11: at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, Nov. 21, noon, Fox)
Week 12: L.A. Rams (Sunday, Nov. 28, 3:25 p.m., Fox)
Week 13: Bye
Week 14: Chicago Bears (Sunday night, Dec. 12, 7:20 p.m., NBC)
Week 15: at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, Dec. 19, noon, Fox)
Week 16: Cleveland Browns (Saturday, Dec. 25 – Christmas – 3:30 p.m., Fox/NFL Network)
Week 17: Minnesota Vikings (Sunday night, Jan. 2, 7:20 p.m., NBC)
Week 18: at Detroit Lions (Sunday, Jan. 9, noon, Fox)
Three-Game Preseason Announced
Week 1: Houston (Saturday, Aug. 14, 7 p.m.)
Week 2: New York Jets (Saturday, Aug. 21, 3:25 p.m.)
Week 3: at Buffalo Bills (Saturday, Aug. 28, noon)
The NFL and teams are preparing to play the season at full stadium capacity. The Packers, the team noted, "plan to continue to utilize appropriate protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel and attendees based on the latest advice of medical and public-health officials, as well as in full compliance with current and future government regulations."