One of the great appeals of football is that there’s so little of it. While baseball gives you 162 games and the NBA and NHL offer 82, we’re only promised 16 Packers games a year, plus a few playoff games if we’re fortunate.
From that perspective, every game on the 2020 schedule is precious and special. But let’s be real: some games are more special than others. Here’s my list of every Packers game this season, ranked from least to most compelling.
16 - Week 10 vs. Jacksonville
A late-midseason noon kickoff against a relatively nondescript uncommon AFC opponent is pretty much the definition of an uncompelling game. Perhaps Aaron Rodgers and Gardner Minshew could stage some kind of mustache contest to add a little intrigue?
15 - Week 11 at Indianapolis
A late midseason noon kickoff against a relatively nondescript uncommon AFC opponent is pretty much the definition of an uncompelling game. At least Philip Rivers will be there to offer up a little PG-rated trash talk.
14 - Week 15 vs. Carolina
The “will it be Saturday or will it be Sunday?” conundrum adds a little bit of interest to what’s otherwise a pretty uninteresting matchup. I guess you could sell this game as your last chance to see Christian McCaffrey before the toll of multiple 300-400 touch seasons starts to wear him down?
13 - Week 14 - at Detroit
12 - Week 2 - vs. Detroit
You could swap either of these games and I wouldn’t argue with you. Though both Packers/Lions games last year had fairly exciting endings, they were sloppy throughout and probably shouldn’t have even been close.
11 - Week 7 at Houston
Hear me out on this. Which would you be more excited to watch: the Packers playing against DeShaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and nobody else OR Bill O’Brien spending three hours on a Sunday afternoon explaining in detail every personnel decision he’s made so far?
10 - Week 13 vs. Philadelphia
9 - Week 8 vs. Minnesota
As we move into the more exciting games on the Packers’ schedule, both of these end up on the outside looking in. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with a solid afternoon kick against the Eagles, who should be interesting as long as they have the Carson Wentz/Doug Pederson pairing. Nor is there anything bad about a noon kickoff against the Vikings in early November, a recipe for a crisp fall day at Lambeau if there ever was one. There are simply some more compelling games ahead.
8 - Week 16 vs. Tennessee
A Sunday Night Football game is, by definition, one of the more interesting games on the Packers’ schedule, but I can’t put it any higher than this for one simple reason: the giant flashing “FLEX ME” sign hanging over it. The Packers and Titans both overachieved a bit in 2019, and if either of them come crashing back to earth, it’s hard to believe NBC will want to stick with this as their prime time game in the second to last week of the season.
7 - Week 9 at San Francisco
Look, I like blowing up my Friday with a Thursday Night Football game as much as the next guy, but given how the Packers played the 49ers in their two attempts last season, I think you’ll excuse me for not being as excited about this one as some of the other prime time games ahead.
6 - Week 6 at Tampa Bay
Football media will be pumping the Rodgers/Brady storylines big time in this one, and why shouldn’t they? If Brady had stayed with the Patriots, we’d probably have never seen another Rodgers/Brady game outside the Super Bowl. Plus, I hear October is a great time to check out retirement communities in Florida.
5 - Week 4 vs. Atlanta
4 - Week 3 at New Orleans
Packers fans get their team on national TV back-to-back weeks early this season, and both should be compelling games against other NFC contenders.
3 - Week 17 at Chicago
The Packers haven’t played the Bears in Week 17 since Aaron Rodgers rose from the dead to crush the whole city of Chicago in 2013. The chance to see these two teams renew their rivalry with a potential playoff berth on the line in the cold at Soldier Field sounds like pretty good football to me.
2 - Week 1 at Minnesota
It’s a shame this couldn’t be at Lambeau Field, but a Packers/Vikings season opener is a great first course for the season to come.
1 - Week 12 vs. Chicago
The Packers open the season against the Vikings and Lions in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively, but they don’t get their first shot at the Bears until Week 12. A prime time matchup against their oldest rival makes the wait worth it.