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2018's Packers vs Patriots Already Generating Buzz

-- It may be February, but that won't stop anyone from looking ahead to the 2018 regular season and the high-octane match-ups it presents.

One of those match-ups features the Green Bay Packers venturing to Foxborough, Massachusetts to face the New England Patriots in what Sports Illustrated's Peter King calls the "regular-season game of the year."

"I find this amazing: Assuming Tom Brady comes back in 2018 for his 19th season, this will be the second time Aaron Rodgers (34 on opening day) and Brady (41) will start an NFL game against each other. Rodgers played in relief of Brett Favre in a 2006 game … Rodgers missed the 2010 meeting with a concussion—his only missed start of that season … Green Bay won the 2014 meeting, the only head-to-head game between the greats, 26-21, at Lambeau Field. Each threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions that day. The 2018 game would normally be on FOX if played on Sunday afternoon, but the league might want it on Sunday night to get maximum ratings exposure. The networks could brawl over this game."

Between Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the two signal-callers simultaneously share the title of being the best at their craft. However, it's almost an undisputed fact that those two are at the top of the food chain when it comes to NFL quarterbacking.

Brady and the AFC Champion Patriots are coming off of a Super Bowl defeat at the claws of the Philadelphia Eagles whereas the Packers are coming off of one of their worst campaigns in recent memory and their first losing season since 2008. Such an outcome caused the team to completely overhaul the front office and coaching staff, giving the organization an almost entirely new look.

This won't be the same Packers team that the Patriots saw at Lambeau Field in 2014 when the Packers won a 26-21 shootout in the midst of their 12-4 season. It also won't be the same Patriots roster that finished that same season with an identical record but managed to end their season hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

As King mentioned, this kind of meeting is a rarity, as the two franchises have only met once every four seasons.

In 2006, a second-year Rodgers entered the game in relief of Brett Favre and ended up breaking his foot. In 2010, Rodgers missed the week 15 meeting with a concussion before returning a week later and igniting the Packers' Super Bowl run.

This could very well be the last chance the common fan -- or anyone who has even the slightest appreciation for the game -- sees the duo of Rodgers and Brady duel one last time, if it isn't a potential Super Bowl LIII preview.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

Hopefully the game will be sometime towards the back half of the season, say week 10 or so. Rodgers normally plays his best towards the end of the season, though he was pretty great last year through 5 games. 10 games gives the Packers some time, more time anyways to adjust to Pettines system and hopefully the higher picks we have this year contributing at a high level.

GBPDAN1's picture

I agree, NP. With all the new coaching changes and D scheme , 10 new draft choices and hopefully, a FA or two, the Packers needs time to Jell. I never liked season openers against elite teams. We would be better off warming up against a couple of tomato can opponents (and a couple at Lambeau).

Then bring on the big dogs. The road schedule in 2018 looks challenging. I see the Packers going 12-4 ( with minimal injuries)!!

RCPackerFan's picture

It should be a good game. Its fun to see the best QB's battling.
That being said it will be a bit of a let down if Brady would retire.

Rossonero's picture

I'll be looking forward to this game. I remember the 2014 game was one of the best games I've seen in a long time.

The TKstinator's picture

Have to admit “generating buzz” has a different meaning for me; my employer still has me on random testing.

worztik's picture

I appreciate your buzzing on... now we just need the rest of the population to support buzzing on as much as they appreciate the GBP!!! Just rollin’... I gotta get me some Roadapple Red!!! Yes sir re sir... the good old days!!!!

John Kirk's picture

If Rodgers and Brady are both injured this becomes Hundley vs. Hoyer.

It's a non conference game that belongs early in the season to avoid the above scenario. Plus, you want better weather conditions for a game like this.

This would be a great NFL Sunday night opening game.

WKUPackFan's picture

If I had a balcony I could throw money to the peasants (acknowledgements to Hawkeye Pierce). No late season marquee match-ups would be scheduled if worrying about injuries was the main concern.

The 2014 Packers/Patriots game was played on November 30. Weather did not seem to mar what many consider to have been an excellently played game. One could just as easily speculate that an early season game is more susceptible to rain/high wind conditions.

Yes, Packers/Patriots would be an excellent Sunday night opener. It will also has the potential to be an excellent match-up regardless of when it is played.

John Kirk's picture

NFL schedule makers usually schedule division games with likely playoff implications toward the final couple of weeks of the season. The Patriots/Steelers late in the season this past year was thought to be a HFA implication game and was placed later in the season.

Packers Patriots is not a division nor conference matchup. Those games aren't the type that go in final weeks. Yes, last time it was later in the season.

If you're a network exec with a ton to lose if either Brady or Rodgers gets hurt where are you lobbying for this game to be played? Earlier or later in the season? If NBC wins out over Fox they want their big win of getting that game to pay off for them. It belongs as an opening weekend game.

Yes, it would be great anytime but odds favor it being Brady vs. Rodgers more likely in Week 1 than any other week. If this game is truly unique and the game of the year why risk it not being?

Savage57's picture

I always thought the sharp, grabby things at the ends of an Eagle's feet were called talons.

dobber's picture

"As King mentioned, this kind of meeting is a rarity, as the two franchises have only met once every four seasons."

Not any more rare than any other Packers-AFC team matchup based on the current scheduling model. If anything, the current model was put together to prevent the 10-year droughts some teams were seeing when scheduling interconference opponents under the old models.

Handsback's picture

It will be a great game....

Since '61's picture

I hope the game is scheduled between weeks 5 and 11. Early in the season the teams are still looking to hit their stride since the starters don't play much in the pre season. Most early season games remain sloppy.
I doubt that it will be a December game due to division and playoff implications.
Packers defense has a long way to go to prepare for Brady. Hopefully they will have several weeks to prepare. Brady threw for 500+ yards versus the Eagles, imagine what he could do against the Packers current alleged secondary. Hopefully we'll be healthy with a better pass rush and secondary by the time this game is played. Much can happen between now and then. Thanks, Since '61

Bearmeat's picture

If Brady and Belichick come back, this should be an excellent game. But I think that's a big "if".

And to call this a potential super bowl preview is nothing short of ludicrous. It's February. GB doesn't have a super bowl roster right now and the Pats are OLD.

Let's see where we are at and about week 8 in 2018.

The TKstinator's picture

Which B do you doubt more?

Bearmeat's picture

Belichick. I think there was some truth to that ESPN expose on Kraft/Belichick/Brady. I think that Belichick lost his S#!T about trading Jimmy G at the deadline for the pittance they did. I think that Belichick told McDaniels he would coach for one more year - maybe. Then he's retiring, and that Kraft told McDaniels that he'd be an inside candidate for the Pats HC job.

I think Brady is stubborn enough to play until the wheels completely fall off.

carlos's picture

Brady and Belichick will be back.

4zone's picture

Mid season would be best. Would give both teams to get in their grooves and time to recover for the playoffs after.

Packers have a bunch of tough games this year. Will see what we see.

HankScorpio's picture

Maybe the game will be a dud. Brady will be 41 then. Remember how bad Favre and Peyton Manning looked in their final year? Both hung on one year too long. Maybe 2018 will be the same for Brady. He looked fantastic in 2017 but then again, so did Favre and Manning the year before the end.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Packers are a dud

HankScorpio's picture

And yet they seem to occupy so much space in your head.

You might want to look into that.

Bure9620's picture

I WILL be there!!!!! I live in NE, my colleague, a season ticket owning Patriots fan ( a cool one) has invited me, will be going for free. Pretty awesome, Brady V. Rodgers live. Doesn't get any Bettah!!

kevgk's picture

I'm pretty excited for this one. Packers have the advantage of both their new coordinators played in the same division as the patriots, with Pettine even beating Brady in the playoffs
If it is early in the season then BB will have little tape of the new packers offense and defense trying to become a championship team, while the patriots have been a pretty consistent team the last several years.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Oh...please. ..Packers fans right back in their fantasy world...

Tundraboy's picture

Self loathing. Or Vikings fan?

Point Packer's picture

Vikings fan turd

Lphill's picture

Packers will roll over the Patriots next year, it's over for the Pats all good things must come to an end.

Chuck Farley's picture

If the pack don't do something to shore up that pass d, it will be a fun game for Brady. As a pats fan for the afc I can say the same thing for rogers. The football pundits forget to mention in the sb hype how the pats won a lot of close games against not so good teams. Without Brady heroics they would be an 8-8 team. I can say the same thing for the pack.

tincada's picture

Seriously? Dreamers are done.

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