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Packers Will Play Six Games Against Teams with New Coaches

Mike Zimmer went 2-4 against Matt LaFleur, which is better than Matt Nagy's 0-6.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – One day after the end of the NFL’s regular season, four coaches were fired on Black Monday. Another coach was dismissed on Tuesday, bringing the total to seven vacancies.

Two of them reside in the NFC North, with Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy and Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer among those let go. The others were Brian Flores by the Miami Dolphins and Vic Fangio by the Denver Broncos on Monday and Joe Judge by the New York Giants on Tuesday. The Jacksonville Jaguars fired Urban Meyer last month and Jon Gruden resigned from the Las Vegas Raiders in October.

The Packers will play the Bears, Vikings, Dolphins and Giants next season.

Highlighted by his 2018 debut season of 12-4, Nagy went 34-31 in four seasons with Chicago, with one-and-done playoff berths in 2018 and 2020. He went just 1-7 against the Packers, including 0-6 against Matt LaFleur. Each of the last four games were decided by 10-plus points.

Zimmer was the Vikings’ coach for eight seasons. He fashioned a 72-56-1 record, with playoff berths in 2015, 2017 and 2019. After the 2019 team went 10-6, the Vikings made a splash move by signing Kirk Cousins in hopes of making a push to the Super Bowl. However, the Vikings went 15-18 the past two seasons. Of LaFleur’s three NFC North losses, two came against Zimmer.

“Coach Zim is a great coach, and he always has something special for us,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said before the teams met in November.

Last year, Rodgers found it ridiculous that Zimmer’s job was in jeopardy.

“He’s a phenomenal coach,” Rodgers said. “I was telling a friend of mine, to see him mentioned to be on the hot seat, to me, is absolutely crazy. I think he's one of the best coaches in the league and has been for a long time. They don’t all give you the trouble and the scheme that Mike does. I have a lot of respect for the way he coaches and the way he especially coaches defense.”

Flores lasted three seasons in Miami. His 24-25 record included 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 in 2021. This year’s team started 1-7 but won seven straight before a blowout loss at Tennessee eliminated it from the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

Judge was fired 11 days after his 40th birthday. He went 10-23 in two seasons. As noted by ESPN.com’s Field Yates, the Giants had two coaches – Jim Fassel and Tom Coughlin – during a 29-year span. Since then, Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Judge each served two-year stints. McAdoo, a former Packers assistant, led the Giants to an 11-5 record in the playoffs in 2016. They’ve now lost at least 10 games in five consecutive seasons.

Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett could be in the mix for any of those jobs. He’s been a key part of a coaching staff that’s produced an unprecedented three consecutive 13-win seasons. He’s run offenses led by Blake Bortles as well as Aaron Rodgers. He reportedly will have interviews with the Bears, Jaguars and Broncos this week.

“I would anticipate more interest in Nathaniel if teams are going to doing their homework,” LaFleur said. “I think he’s definitely deserving of at least being in the conversation with everybody and getting an opportunity to present what he’s all about to all these teams. I know if I was leading the search, he would be high on my list.”

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Quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy also will interview for the head role in Denver.

Packers 2022 NFL Schedule

Here is a look at next season’s opponents. The dates and times for the games will be announced in the spring; the 2021 schedule was announced on May 12. Teams with an asterisk qualified for the playoffs.

Home Games (9)

NFC North: Chicago Bears (6-11), Detroit Lions (3-13-1), Minnesota Vikings (8-9).

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys* (12-5), New York Giants (4-13).

AFC East: New England Patriots* (10-7), New York Jets (4-13).

NFC West (winner): Los Angeles Rams* (12-5).

Game 17 (AFC South winner): Tennessee Titans* (12-5).

Away Games (8)

NFC North: Chicago Bears (6-11), Detroit Lions (3-13-1), Minnesota Vikings (8-9).

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles* (9-8), Washington Football Team (7-10).

AFC East: Buffalo Bills* (11-6), Miami Dolphins (9-8).

NFC South (winner): Tampa Bay Buccaneers* (13-4).