Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Packers 2014 Schedule - Play NFL Kickoff Game at Seattle

At long last, Packers fans, we have the official NFL release of the 2014 regular season schedule. And finally, something for yours truly to write about.

Home opponents are shown in all CAPS and all times shown are Central Time. Times with an asterisk (*) may shift, along with TV carrier, due to NFL flexible scheduling.

So, without further ado...

Thurs. Sept. 4 at Seattle Seahawks 7:30 p.m. NBC
Sun. Sept. 14 NY JETS 3:25 p.m. CBS
Sun. Sept. 21 at Detroit Lions Noon Fox
Sun. Sept. 28 at Chicago Bears Noon Fox
Thurs. Oct. 2 MINNESOTA VIKINGS (Gold Pkg.) 7:25 p.m. CBS
Sun. Oct. 12 at Miami Dolphins Noon* Fox
Sun. Oct. 19 CAROLINA PANTHERS Noon* Fox
Sun. Oct. 26 at New Orleans Saints 7:30 p.m.* NBC
Sun. Nov. 2 BYE WEEK
Sun. Nov. 9 CHICAGO BEARS 7:30 p.m.* NBC
Sun. Nov. 16 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Gold Pkg.) Noon* Fox
Sun. Nov. 23 at Minnesota Vikings Noon* Fox
Sun. Nov. 30 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 3:25 p.m.* CBS
Mon. Dec. 8 ATLANTA FALCONS 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Sun. Dec. 14 at Buffalo Bills Noon* Fox
Sun. Dec. 21 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Noon* Fox
Sun. Dec. 28 DETROIT LIONS Noon* Fox

What's the initial take?

Immediate reaction: the first eight weeks before the bye will be key to setting up the second half of the season for the Packers. Nothing too revelatory about that statement. Applies generally, doesn't it? But this first half is going to be extra tough as the Pack plays only three of their first eight games at home. Yikes. Of course, the second half of the season gives the team the flip side of that arrangement: five games at home and three on the road. Guess that's the way you'd prefer things, all things considered.

Starting on the road against the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks is going to be a tough one. But perhaps it's better to get them early. Plus the Packers need to get revenge for the "Fail Mary" game the last time they played in Seattle. At least the referees will know what they are doing this time. (Bitter? Moi? Over that game two years ago? Darn right!)

Then back home to meet the Jets before heading out for back-to-back games against divisional opponents and then back to Lambeau Field for a third consecutive divisional game.

As noted earlier, only three home games in the first eight. The bye comes at a very good time. But any rest advantage against Da Bearz is out the window as Chicago also has its bye during that same Week 9.

If the Packers get things rolling and can emerge fairly unscathed from the first half of the season, the second half should set things up for a good divisional run...and beyond.

More thoughts will no doubt emerge with further reflection. But for now, let's say it together: GO PACK GO!!!