After their back-to-back division games at Minnesota and against Chicago, the Packers will enter the meat of the NFC East in the third quarter. The prime-time grudge match at the Giants, however, is the toughest game in this section of the Packers' schedule. The games break down as follows:
Week 10: vs. PHI
The Eagles may have the most question marks of anyone on the Packers' schedule. How they respond to new coach Chip Kelly will be critical. This being said, the Eagles struggled to 4-12 last year with much the same roster as they have now. Chances are they will rebound, but it will in all likelihood their rebound will not be enough to make them truly competitive for a playoff push. This game should be a Packers win, but the Packers might struggle as it could be another trap game.
Week 11: @ NYG
And the reason the Eagles game might be a trap is due to the fact that the Packers have to head to New York to face the Giants. New York has had the Packers' number lately and it will be upon McCarthy to change Green Bay's fortunes against the Giants after a 38-10 rout in New York last year. This is undoubtedly the Packers' toughest game in the third quarter of their schedule, and unless the Giants really struggle, the Packers will have a lot of work to do if they want to pull out a win here.
Week 12: vs. MIN
The Packers then have Round Two with the Minnesota Vikings. The one major difference will be the venue, as it now shifts outside in the cold air of Lambeau Field. The Vikings haven't played well in cold weather over the last few years, and they will need to change this to remain competitive. Bottling up Adrian Peterson will be key, as Christian Ponder is due for a regress (as indicated earlier). The Packers should be favored in this game, and it leads into the shortest week Green Bay has in 2013.
Week 13: @ DET
The reason for the short week is the Packers will be playing the Lions on Thanksgiving for the sixth time in 13 seasons. The Lions are improved and played the Packers close last year before Green Bay pulled out a season sweep. Detroit and Calvin Johnson have given the Packers fits lately, but Matthew Stafford has just two touchdowns to seven interceptions in two previous Thanksgiving games against the Packers in 2009 and 2011 (both Packers victories). A lot depends on how the Lions look but the Packers should be favored and they should win a close one on this Thanksgiving.
This features probably the lone grudge match for the Packers in 2013. I expect a 3-1 record here, with the loss coming against the Giants. The other games will likely be close, and it is imperative that the Packers do not overlook anyone. Especially the Lions on Thanksgiving, as they always come out playing faster and harder on the holiday and everyone is watching them play. A 3-1 record here would set the Packers up nicely for a strong finish and a deep playoff run.