Packers Regular Season Schedule Ranked 13th Toughest in NFL

Lockout or no lockout, the Packers discovered their 2011 opponents on Tuesday night as the NFL's regular season schedule was released.

In Week 1, the Packers will take on the former Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. The game is scheduled to take place on Thursday night, September 8, depending on the league's ongoing CBA negotiations.

Fortunately for Green Bay, though, the NFL has granted the Packers a kind card of opponents. The Packers regular season schedule is ranked as the 13th toughest, while the disappointing Carolina Panthers sit at the top.

But there are a few unfamiliar faces Green Bay will tackle next season. A complete tour of the NFC South is on hand, with away games at Carolina and Atlanta, followed by home fixtures against Tampa Bay and of course New Orleans earlier in the season.

Still, it is also hard to look past the Oakland Raiders in Week 14. The Packers haven't played the Raiders in the regular season since 2007 - they won 39-7 in a blowout victory, but Hue Jackson's team is much improved since then.

Other eyebrow raisers include the unpredictable Denver Broncos in Week 4, even though it's hard to believe. Tim Tebow isn't a likely early season starter at this point in the season, although head coach John Fox hasn't ruled the possibility out entirely.

A trip to San Diego will also test the Packers in Week 9, along with a rematch of Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Finally, a three game period between November 14 to November 24 should stretch the mental limits of head coach Mike McCarthy. Players themselves are looking forward to it, but with the Vikings and Lions paying a visit, expect stress levels to be high.

Green Bay look to improve from their 10-6 season last year that saw the team win it all. With the 13th toughest schedule in the league, it certainly is a possibility.

 

Check out Ryan Cook's new blog: The Front Page.

You can follow him on   Twitter or send him an email: ryan.cook392@gmail.com.

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