Yesterday evening, the NFL announced its schedule, and we finally learned the order in which the Green Bay Packers will compete with their opponents for the 2014 season. Even though we knew those opponents, we were of course still unsure of the details in the matchups.
Now that we have said matchups, it's time to look ahead at which ones could turn out to be the best and most entertaining games. Obviously it's premature to tell which ones are actually going to be good - after all, the Packers-Falcons matchup last December looked like a great game before the season started. Still, injuries are bound to happen, but at least on the positive side, surprise teams can emerge to make possible interesting games on Sundays (or Mondays, or Thursdays).
Here are the five games that I think will be the best this upcoming season for the Packers:
Thursday, September 4, 7:30 CT at Seahawks
Well, this was obvious. Not only is this a great way for the league to start the season, but it's nice for the Packers to play their first game against the Seahawks since the infamous "Fail Mary" play. Speaking of the play (sorry for bringing up old stuff), the two players that were a part of it (Golden Tate and M.D. Jennings) both signed with new teams this offseason. This should be a nice way to start a new season in the form of rekindling bad blood between the two teams.
Sunday, October 19, 12:00pm CT vs. Panthers
Even though Carolina took a step back this offseason by losing their entire receiving corps and select players on defense, they still have a chance to be a competitive team again this season. Interesting facets of this game will be Green Bay's offense against Carolina's talented defense and how Green Bay's defense will match up against Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. Julius Peppers also plays against the team that drafted him for the first time in a Packers uniform. Two good top-tier NFC teams going against one another should produce good results for a competitive and entertaining game.
Sunday, November 9, 7:30pm CT vs. Bears
The best rivalry in the NFL continues once again on the big stage. Any time the Packers and Bears play, it turns out to be one of the best games in football. That tends to happen regardless of any difference in talent level as well. Aaron Rodgers faces the Bears for the second time after breaking his left collarbone, and though he won't have a chance to end the Bears' playoff hopes then and there like he did in week 17 last year, I'm sure he'll have an edge to his game that week. With a much improved offense - including the best receiver duo in the league - Chicago will look to keep up with Green Bay's offense to provide another thriller in one of the NFL's classic games.
Sunday, October 26, 7:30 CT at Saints
Two of the highest scoring known offenses meet once again with the Packers winning the last two matchups. Both of those were at Lambeau Field, though, while this game will be played down in New Orleans on Sunday Night Football. The last time in the Saints hosted the Packers, they dropped 51 points and won by 22 in 2008, Aaron Rodgers' first season as a starter. This game still has the potential to be one of the highest scoring matchups of the season.
Sunday, November 30, 3:25pm CT vs. Patriots
Just like the game against the Saints, this one features two of the best quarterbacks in football facing off against each other in Green Bay. It's a clash between two of the most prolific powerhouse franchises in the NFL. In the last matchup between the respective teams, Aaron Rodgers did not play after suffering a concussion the week prior, and the Packers lost 31-27 with Matt Flynn under center. These teams have only met 10 times, and this game will be the third played Lambeau Field. Green Bay is 2-1 against New England at the legendary stadium, with their only loss coming in the 2006 season by the score of 35-0. This is my pick as the single-best game coming up. It should be a top-notch game barring any critical injuries.
Which games do you think will be the best in 2014? Let us know in the comments below.