Packers schedule sets the table for deep playoff run

Green Bay's 2022 schedule should allow them to enter the playoffs with momentum.

Green Bay’s 2022 schedule has now been fully digested, its presumed soft spots and tough stretches identified.

On paper, it would appear the Packers have been dealt a favorable hand when it comes to their opponents, ranking 22nd in terms of strength of schedule.

However, the real challenge for Green Bay comes from the logistics of their matchups. According to Seth Walder, the Packers have the worst rest differential relative to opponents with minus 13 days of rest across the 2022 season.

Green Bay will enter multiple games with less rest than their opponents, and a trip to London without an immediate bye-week to follow presents another challenge for Matt LaFleur and his team early in the season.

However, if the Packers can navigate the first three-quarters of the 2022 campaign with a strong record and without a lengthy injury list, the table will then be set for a deep playoff run.

The Packers’ week 14 bye will be welcome by the time it arrives, but it is no accident Green Bay has a particularly late bye-week.

Brian Gutekunst made a request to the NFL that the Packers would not have a bye after their trip across the pond, and in doing so, has set up his team to make a charge into the postseason.

After the bye, Green Bay will finish the regular season with three home games and just one road game.

At Lambeau Field, the Packers will host the Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions, with their only road trip to Miami on Christmas Day to face the Dolphins.

For a team such as the Packers who are a shoo-in for the playoffs, the regular season is simply a matter of jostling for position, fighting for better seeding and hoping to avoid killer injuries.

In the last three seasons, Green Bay has failed to play its best football when it matters most, in January.

The first 13 weeks of the season may feel like a never-ending slog for the Packers players, and the fixture pile-up could certainly lead to a shock result or two.

Green Bay may find it more difficult to win as many regular season games as they have become accustomed to under LaFleur’s leadership, but ultimately, they will make the playoffs, and at that point, whatever happened between September and December is wiped away.

If the Packers are to finally get over the hump and hoist another Lombardi Trophy, the building of momentum into the playoffs will be key. The 2022 schedule is conducive to that goal, and that is all Green Bay could have possibly asked for.

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Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @Marko7LW

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6 points

Comments (29)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Pantz_Burp's picture

May 15, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for the article Mark, appreciated. It all starts with a chip and a chair at said table. Seems fitting, we kinda went "all in" for this next season (or 2-3?).

Let's do this! High stakes...Gutey, your giving us a chance with the recent draft and contract extensions.

Go Pack Go!

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PhantomII's picture

May 15, 2022 at 12:33 pm

Spreading the ball around to more than 1 WR IS THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS. It was not gonna happen by AR hand so here's to it being forced. GB packers will be far better for it. I like the Defensive depth. I like all 3 WR's picked up in the draft. I predict 2 will have an impact.
I hope ML involves at least 3 RB's into a rotation this year so HE feels more comfortable using more than 2 in the playoffs. I like beefing up the OL with more depth and I'm looking forward to Bak and Jenkins getting back and healthy. Pretty sure we see a lot more 2 RB sets and that could mean 4 RB's in the rotation. Our OL should be better at opening run lanes at a better clip and DL better at closing them. I think we see more 3 and outs by our defense which will give our offense a better chance of getting their footing. We play 3-4 top teams and those could go either way. More worried of TB because it's so early only BAK should be back if his knee is not chronically bad. I think Gute has done enough and we get even better as Jenkins returns and hopefully we stay healthy on the OL this season. That would be a huge plus. I hope AR feels more involved in the rookie WR's this season and I believe they will shine or dim on how much HE puts into them to get them ready. No other team scares me, we usually do a better job at beating ourselves than anyone could. Hope we get it done this year. I think we got the right ST coach also. Things are looking up. GPG

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Packers0808's picture

May 15, 2022 at 12:56 pm

One little obstacle in Packers way, they can't ever get out of them. Let us hope that little hang up changes this year!

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stockholder's picture

May 15, 2022 at 01:01 pm

This Team is soft yet. There are too many Question marks yet. Because of past injuries!! Replacements, and new faces. This Offense is going to get further behind, trying to push Love down are throats. I just hope the hype doesn't go to the head.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 15, 2022 at 06:25 pm

See who shows up @ OTAs...

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Turophile's picture

May 16, 2022 at 05:07 am

Calling a team soft is the laziest, least accurate take you can make. Its a criticism that is hard to refute, because it contains no substance, no reasoning.

Its like a placeholder comment that gets trotted out when the real dissatisfaction with the team lies elsewhere, a meaningless generalisation that disappears like insubstantial early-morning mist in a desert, when the unforgiving harsh sun of scrutiny rises and obliterates it.

Can you ever remember anyone calling their team 'hard' ? I can't.

Sometimes putting the opposite word into the same sentence to check if it makes sense BOTH WAYS, is the best way to detect bullsh*t.

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tincada's picture

May 19, 2022 at 04:07 pm

Love is going nowhere near the field in the 2022 season. He's fast becoming low level trade bait. Poor guy.

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Since'61's picture

May 15, 2022 at 01:33 pm

While I don’t like having such a late bye I prefer it to having an early bye week as we did back in 2016 when we had our bye week in week 4. By the time we reached the NFC championship against Atlanta the Packers were playing their 16th consecutive game without a bye.

The team was decimated with injuries and as a result the Packers were basically blown out of the game in Atlanta playing against the NFC’s #1 seed that season.

The league should not allow that to happen to any team.

The late bye could help the Packers for the playoffs. It could also disrupt a late season run of strong play with a peak in the playoffs. Time will tell. The league should arrange for all byes to happen between weeks 6-10. The schedule should be fair for all teams and not a determining factor for either reaching or succeeding in the playoffs.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 15, 2022 at 02:16 pm

Here's a crazy thought...

The entire league takes a week off midseason to catch their breath and rest up for the 2nd half. Every team gets their bye week at the same time. Of course, the NFL would never give up that revenue. You know, the same folks that are so concerned about player safety.

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Since'61's picture

May 15, 2022 at 04:44 pm

13TimeChamps - I thought of that also but as we know the league will never go for it. But I think that they would survive 8 teams off per week for 4 weeks. But again that would require them to be serious about player safety.

The team will just need to suck it up for 13 weeks. Thanks, Since '61

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ricky's picture

May 15, 2022 at 01:43 pm

Ken Lass wrote an article that effectively said that rating the "strength of schedule" before the season was played is bunk. There are too many variables; that team that was supposed to be bad becomes a threat (think Bengals, who are in for a very disappointing season this year, IMO). Or, a QB gets hot at the right time, and takes them to a SB win (Foles in Philly). Right now, everything is on paper. But one major injury, for any team, and they are suddenly changed from champs to chumps. It's fun to speculate during the off-season, and it is time to be optimistic and see all the possibilities. But in the end, it will all come down to how many points you score when it really counts. And no one can accurately predict that.

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PatrickGB's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:43 am

I agree. My first take on the schedule was that it was difficult. I see the team with a weakness at WR and only rookie replacements. Many of the teams who made the playoffs had high power offense’s. Yet it looks like the defense may have improved. So it may end up a wash in the end with our team winning and losing the same number as last year. I don’t see the team getting a bye but still making the playoffs. Anything can happen in the playoffs.

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BuckyBadger's picture

May 15, 2022 at 02:42 pm

Have to win once you get into the playoffs to make a run.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 15, 2022 at 09:39 pm

I dont understand...

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BuckyBadger's picture

May 15, 2022 at 11:11 pm

They have had luck in the not so distant past with the schedule and set up for a deep run in the playoffs only to be one an done. Packers problem hasn't been the regular season for 3 season now.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 16, 2022 at 05:53 am

huh?

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tincada's picture

May 19, 2022 at 04:10 pm

They're talking football here. Not. the Corn Hole playoffs.

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croatpackfan's picture

May 15, 2022 at 03:18 pm

By my opinion, that late bye can be helpful, but there is so many "ifs" that we can only dream what will or can happen.

I prefere step by step approach. Lets go through first 4 weeks. Lets see who is ready among rookies to play at NFL level and who is not and who is in between. Than survive long trip way to London and back with win in the pocket (I hope so), then go through hard strech of 6-7 games and than we can talk where we are. And will late bye help Packers or it will be irrelevat.

I agree with Mark IF everything will be OK, late bye can help as necessary rest brefore tose 6-8 (hopefuly) games that should be left. Unfortunately, Packers also need to win against Murphy's Law, which is not easy task...

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

May 15, 2022 at 04:16 pm

With the addition of potentially three drafted receivers being added to the team this season, I think the opportunity for them to play and develop their skills in an NFL environment over 16 games will bode well for our team. That stretch of games should help them be ready to contribute during the playoffs. I haven't felt so confident in a Packers defense since the Super Bowl win we had against New England when we had a front four of Reggie White, Sean Jones, Santana Dotson, and the "Grave Digger" Gilbert Brown. We were the number one rated defense that year and surprisingly our Super Bowl MVP was our return specialist Desmond Howard.

I feel good about the team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball and hope we can avoid major injuries.

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NickPerry's picture

May 15, 2022 at 05:29 pm

"According to Seth Walder, the Packers have the worst rest differential relative to opponents with minus 13 days of rest across the 2022 season."

I heard this same thing on a Packers Podcast. IMO that's actually a BIG deal. Because of the trip to London, the Packers won't really be able to catch their breath until after the Thursday Night game vs Tennessee. They get a little bit of a break but still have to go on the road to play Philly. It would have been better to have that game at home after the Thursday Night game at home.

But as Mark has pointed out, the Packers could be in a really good spot should they be able to get through the first 13 weeks. The Packers should be anywhere between 11-2 and 9-4 going into the bye week. Even at 9-4, they shouldn't lose after the bye again.

It will be very interesting to see what Gute might do after June 1st when teams start making cuts.

2 points
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Spanky65's picture

May 15, 2022 at 09:40 pm

I'm most looking forward to how the Defense will be better this season with the
addition of Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt being paired with DeVondre Campbell
and Kenny Clark respectively and having Jaire Alexander back to be paired with Eric Stokes
( who will be more experienced) on the corners .

I wonder what David Carr of the NFL Network was thinking when he said this
week that the Packers will not win 8 games this season. But then again why
believe the comments and opinions of one of the biggest busts in recent NFL
History.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 15, 2022 at 09:43 pm

I have been to Europe many times.

The trip over creates the most fatigue. Coming back is nothing. ...and, I did it from California.

No big deal in beating up on the J-E-T-S jets jets jest... just beat the Giants once they are there.

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Guam's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:46 am

Concur JB27. Not sure why, but jet lag traveling east was always much tougher for me than traveling west. And I lived in Asia for 13 years, so I did a lot of long distance travel.

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K-Town262's picture

May 16, 2022 at 03:30 am

All East Coast/South Eastern teams except LA Rams.

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Guam's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:49 am

I agree with the author that the Packers are set up to make the playoffs. I question the "deep" part. QB1 will have to be a much better playoff QB than he has been of late or it won't be deep.

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PatrickGB's picture

May 16, 2022 at 07:52 am

Lack of rest often results in injuries. That is the downside of the repercussions from a busy schedule. Matt likes to keep practice short because he knows that. It’s a balancing act between being prepared and inviting injuries. I expect that the staff deal with a tiring schedule by resting the players more often. I also expect to see more rotation during the game with certain positions.

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HarryHodag's picture

May 16, 2022 at 08:05 am

The assumption that the Packers are somehow granted a pass to the playoffs--as implied in the article--is a stretch. The Packers will have to earn it and with a couple of key injuries...like to Aaron Rodgers--the season could go south. Could all of us have become so used to winning that we've forgotten reality?

Don't assume any of the NFC North foes will be walkovers.

The long trips built into this schedule wears on a team.

I hope the Packers make the playoffs, but to simply grant them that spot, like it's a given, is off-base.

2 points
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crayzpackfan's picture

May 16, 2022 at 03:08 pm

Spread around the ball, run the ball, don’t turn over the ball, intercept the ball, get on top of a fumbled ball, bat down the ball, let nobody block a kicked or punted ball, tackle players with the ball, teabag a Bears defender with one of your balls, why are footballs called balls when balls are round, go to the playoffs, win the super bowl and have a ball. Not sure why I typed this. At work and just not having a ball?

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davekenya's picture

May 17, 2022 at 12:55 pm

Besides the worst rest differential relative to opponents with minus 13 days of rest across the 2022 season in the entire NFL, an almost 'automatic loss' thanks to the schedulers is playing in the Florida heat week 3 of the season against Tampa. Tampa Tom again catches a break in not playing the Packers at Lambeau (especially if it were the last half of the season).

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