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Packers’ 2019 Opponents: Tough road games against AFC West teams await

Road games at Kansas City and against the Chargers should be good challenges for the Packers in 2019.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As always, 14 of the 16 opponents on an NFL team’s schedule are known well in advance. The league’s 32-team setup and grouping of eight divisions of four teams each makes the rotation quite simple, and has since the addition of the Houston Texans to the league in 2002.

Each team plays its three divisional opponents twice each — once at home and once on the road. They then draw one full division from their own conference (which goes on a three-year rotation) and one full division from the other conference (a four-year rotation). The team then plays one team each from the other two divisions in their own conference, with the opponent determined by the previous year’s standings.

Thus we know all but two of the Green Bay Packers’ opponents for 2019 (and 2020, and 2021, et cetera) with those last two determined by the standings when the season concludes. Let’s take a look at what we know and who might be the final two teams on the schedule.

In 2019, the Packers draw the AFC West and NFC East as their full divisions. They last played against the AFC West in 2015 and the NFC East in 2016. They then get an NFC South team at home and an NFC West team on the road.

Let’s take a look at who those final two teams could be. Scheduling rules dictate that the Packers will play the teams that finish in the same position in their division standings as the Packers’ finish. Currently, Green Bay sits at 5-8-1, a half-game ahead of the Lions for third place in the NFC North. They could technically catch the Vikings for second place on record at 7-8-1, but Minnesota holds the tiebreaker so the Packers can do no better than third. The week 17 game between the Packers and Lions very well could decide placement in the division, though the Packers could clinch third place this week with a win and a Detroit loss.

In both the NFC South and NFC West, the third and fourth place finishers remain unknown. The West is easier to define — the 49ers sit at 4-10 and hold a one-game lead over the Cardinals and their 3-11 record. With Seattle in playoff position at 8-6, the Packers will play either San Francisco or Arizona on the road next season.

The South is a mess, however. Carolina is in second place at 6-8, while Tampa Bay and Atlanta are each 5-9. That means that those three teams can all finish anywhere from second to last in their divisions. Thus it’s still too early to know for sure which of those teams will come to Lambeau Field next season.

Therefore, we have the following as the Packers’ slate of opponents for next season:

Home Games

Road Games

As of right now, the Packers look to have a fairly tough road slate, traveling to play as many as five 2018 playoff teams. The Bears have locked up the NFC North while the Cowboys can do so this weekend, and the Vikings are still holding the sixth seed in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Chiefs and Chargers are both 11-3 and are duking it out in the AFC West for not just the division title but perhaps home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.

The home slate appears a bit easier; Washington and Philly are both alive in the Wild Card hunt, however, and could catch Minnesota. However, the AFC West teams coming in are both sub-.500.

Once the divisional standings are locked in, those final two games will be solidified and we’ll bring you that news here at APC.