In case you haven't heard, the NFL has released the schedule for the 2013 season. Of all the major events in the offseason, this one is by far the most overhyped. There's so much about the 2013 versions of the 32 teams we don't know. As such, there isn't much significance to analyzing the schedule. There are some takeaways, however.
The Packers might avoid RGIII
On January 6, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III tore the ACL in his right knee, the second time he'd suffered that injury. ACL tears have a usual recovery time of 8-12 months. That would place Griffin at the very front of that range when the Redskins come into Lambeau on September 15. While we've seen elite athletes return in that amount of time (e.g. 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson), it's still abnormal. Griffin would have to have almost everything go right to be in uniform against the Packers. Given Green Bay's recent struggles against running quarterbacks, this could be a very fortunate twist in the schedule.
Green Bay has five primetime/national games
Primetime games are great for fans that live outside of the viewing area of their favorite team, but they don't do much for coaches. Mike McCarthy has said on multiple occasions that he dislikes when his team doesn't play Sunday afternoons as it affects the team's routine. What makes this even more fascinating is that three of those games come during a four week stretch late in the season. Whether or not this is a valid concern, McCarthy is probably displeased.
There are no Thursday Night games
By virtue of their Thanksgiving showdown in Detroit, the Packers have successfully avoided participating in the NFL's Thursday Night Football package. As we saw last year, teams that play on Thursday night tend to play very sluggish. I'm downright thrilled that the Packers won't be taking part in these dreadful games.
There are no back to back road games
This is probably the best part of the schedule. It can be very tiring for a team to spend multiple weeks in foreign cities. By getting a stop in Green Bay at least every other week, the players can spend more nights in their own homes. It's the little things. For fans, this spreads the home games out evenly, allowing more opportunities for people out of state to travel to Lambeau.
The early bye week could help players on PUP
For the most part, whether a team's bye week is beneficial is predicated on random nature of injury. The exception to this is having a bye week during the first six weeks. That's because the window for players on PUP to return opens up following week 6. By getting a bye week 4, the Packers could get an extra game out of those players. To a lesser degree, this also applies to any player who lands on injured reserve with the designation to return. The downside of having an early season bye is fewer players are likely to need the break, but again injuries are random.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JBHirschhorn.