The Packers’ complete 2021 schedule has been released, which means fans can start speculating on what their final record might be. Here, TGH will predict every single game on the Packers’ schedule, including where Green Bay could end up in playoff seeding.
Note: This article will assume Aaron Rodgers is not traded before the season and that he does not purposefully sit out of any regular season games.
Week 1: at New Orleans Saints (FOX – 4:25pm)
New Orleans will just be testing their new, post-Brees offense in Week 1. As of now, it is not even clear whether Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston will be starting at quarterback. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are great, but the Packers defense will be up to this challenge as the Saints get their feet underneath them in the passing game.
Packers – 24, Saints – 17 (1-0)
Week 2: vs. Detroit Lions (Monday Night Football – ESPN – 8:15pm)
The Lions have a new coach, a new quarterback, a new offensive line and a plethora of questions on the defensive side of the ball. Green Bay should win handily here, especially considering it may be the first full-capacity game at Lambeau since 2019.
Packers – 35, Lions – 20 (2-0)
Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday Night Football – NBC – 8:20pm)
The 49ers have not just been the Packers’ kryptonite since Kyle Shanahan took over. They have consistently beaten Green Bay since Aaron Rodgers started taking snaps, which must add insult to injury as San Francisco (the team he grew up rooting for), passed him up in the draft.
The creativity the 49ers show in the running game will continue to eat the Packers alive. The only way Green Bay wins this game is if they get up early, forcing Garappolo to throw the ball often. That likely will not happen.
49ers – 31, Packers – 23 (2-1)
Week 4: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS – 4:25pm)
“Big” Ben Roethlisberger is aging and increasingly immobile, but he is very effective early in the season as his body is less battered. Their offensive line is in tatters, though and Green Bay can bring the house and prepare for short throws from Rothlisberger as he has to get the ball out quickly under pressure. The Steelers’ ground attack also will not be a factor. If they commit to the blitz, they win.
Packers – 31, Steelers – 21 (3-1)
Week 5: at Cincinnati Bengals (FOX – 1:00pm)
Cincinnati is still finding its identity as Joe Burrow enters his second season. Offensively, the Bengals are borderline impressive, save for their offensive line. The defense, though, lost its best back-end player and the rest of the unit will likely be below average. This game should be an easy road win for Green Bay.
Packers – 34, Bengals – 17 (4-1)
Week 6: at Chicago Bears (FOX – 1:00pm)
There is are some big questions hanging over this game. Who starts at quarterback? Will it be Justin Fields or Andy Dalton? If it is Fields, how many games’ worth of experience does he have under his belt? If it is not Fields, how well must Dalton be playing to keep him on the bench?
Before the season, though, fans can only look at the Packers’ offense versus the Bears’ defense for clues to how this game might go. Rodgers has been able to overcome that stout defense more often than not, though. In fact, the Bears have only beaten Rodgers five times in his 13 years as a starter. Expect the trend to continue.
Packers – 24, Bears – 17 (5-1)
Week 7: vs. Washington Football Team (FOX – 1:00pm)
Washington has one of the best front sevens in the league, led by defensive rookie of the year Chase Young. Head coach Ron Rivera always makes sure his lines can get to the quarterback, but Green Bay’s offensive line is more than up to the challenge. It may be a closer game than one might think, but the Packers are definitely able to score more points than Washington’s offense.
Packers – 24, Washington – 21 (6-1)
Week 8: at Arizona Cardinals (Thursday Night Football – FOX/NFLN/Amazon – 8:20pm)
Mobile quarterbacks have been a thorn in the sides of Packers defenses for almost a decade now. Kyler Murray has the legs and the arm to beat them any way he pleases. Plus, the Cardinals’ pass rush could be all-time great this season as Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt hunt down quarterbacks.
This will be the third game in a row against a great pass rush and the offensive line might end up looking a little tired in this Thursday night game. Rodgers may be forced into some rushed decisions here, which will limit the points in a way that the Cardinals will not be limited. Arizona wins this one, but the offensive line at least gets a Thursday-to-Sunday rest.
Cardinals – 31, Packers – 23 (6-2)
Week 9: at Kansas City Chiefs (FOX – 4:25pm)
This is the game that was added as the schedule expanded and it is a doozy. Last time these two teams met, Mahomes was injured and the Packers won. This time they probably will not get so lucky. But the Super Bowl revealed some flaws in the Chiefs’ fantastic offense and that tape will be studied ad nauseam.
Rodgers is the only quarterback in the league that can go point-for-point with Patrick Mahomes at full strength. Expect him to do just that, which could push this game into overtime. After that, the coin flip may decide the game. The teams are more evenly matched than most people will admit, but the Chiefs get the win solely because the home field advantage may provide the extra push
Chiefs – 37, Packers – 31 (OT).(6-3)
Week 10: vs. Seattle Seahawks (CBS – 4:25pm)
Much like the Steelers game, the Packers defense can feast on this sub-par offensive line. Russell Wilson is used to running around and making plays, but this team has seen the Seahawks enough to handle it. Rodgers can also pick apart that Seattle defense which was on pace to be historically bad last season, before figuring it out late in the season. These teams always play close, but Green Bay is more talented.
Packers – 28, Seahawks – 23 (7-3)
Week 11: at Minnesota Vikings (FOX – 1:00pm)
The Vikings were bad early last year until Dalvin Cook returned to the lineup and continued to make his case for one of the top three running backs in the league. Cook burned the Packers for 163 yards and three touchdowns in a Vikings win last year because Green Bay was not prepared for him. They will be this time, though and the Packers will sell out to stop the run and let Rodgers out-duel Cousins.
Packers – 31, Vikings – 27 (8-3)
Week 13: BYE
Week 12: vs. Los Angeles Rams (FOX – 4:25pm)
The Rams proved not to be a problem for the Packers in the 2021 Divisional Round game, despite Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey heading up a stout defense. This game may be different as Matt Stafford returns to Green Bay to take on his old rival. But the Packers get the benefit of home field advantage as the Rams have to fly near cross-country. Stafford is used to this and will play well, but Rodgers has this defense’s number.
Packers – 27, Rams – 23 (9-3)
Week 14: vs. Chicago Bears (Sunday Night Football – NBC – 8:20)
The same questions as before hang over this game, but this time it is in the bright lights of primetime. Even if Fields nabs the start and is playing well, he has not played on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in the biting cold with a sold out crowd full-throated in their hatred of their rivals. Again, expect the trend to continue and the margin of victory to be bigger.
Packers – 33, Bears – 20 (10-3)
Week 15: at Baltimore Ravens (FOX – 1:00pm)
Combine the problems presented by San Francisco’s creative running game and Arizona’s mobile quarterback and it results in the Baltimore Ravens. If Lamar Jackson’s throwing the ball well at all, the Packers simply do not stand a chance on the road in this game. It might get ugly.
Ravens – 37, Packers – 21 (10-4)
Week 16: vs. Cleveland Browns (Saturday, Christmas Day – FOX/NFLN/Amazon – 4:30pm)
Featured in our article listing the best primetime games of the 2021 season, a cold weather game between these two storied franchises is what the NFL is made for. The Christmas Day placement is just the cherry on top.
Both of these teams may be in battles for the top spot in their division, or fighting for a better playoff seed. They are both replete with offensive talent and will be featuring “new-look” defenses. All things shake out to be about equal, save for one; Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will outclass Mayfield for a win here in what will be a great game.
Packers – 30, Browns – 24 (11-4)
Week 17: vs. Minnesota Vikings (Sunday Night Football – NBC – 8:20pm)
This late in the season, in Lambeau Field, running the ball will be the priority. Both Aaron Jones and Dalvin Cook somehow get stronger as the season trudges on. It is hard to say who will win the individual battle between these two backs, but, as with the earlier Vikings game, Rodgers can do what Jones cannot. If he even has to, that is.
Packers – 24, Vikings – 21 (12-4)
Week 18: at Detroit Lions (FOX – 1:00pm)
Detroit is poised to be bad this year. They will be finding their way with a brand new coach and system and will likely have suffered more than a few losses in 2021. The teams will be of opposite mindsets in the NFL’s first-ever Week 18, though.
The Lions will be trying their best to grind out one last win and will be playing to the best of their abilities, while the Packers (if these predictions are accurate), may be resting starters depending on their playoff seeding. 12-4, though, may mean the Pack need to win this game to earn a bye or a two seed. This contest could be one of the best smash-mouth Week 18 games, or it could be backups vs. starters. Either way, Green Bay is just too talented to lose, unless they truly do not care. Packers sweep the NFC North in 2021.
Packers – 33, Lions – 28 (13-4)
As shown above, the Packers can go 13-4 if some things break their way. That is one loss worse than their previous two seasons, albeit with an extra game at Arrowhead against the back-to-back AFC Champions thrown in.
That record is great, and nothing to be ashamed of, but the NFC is clearly the power conference now. That may mean teams beat up on each other enough to give them the one seed, or that a team like Tampa Bay or San Francisco ascends to the top of their division almost totally unscathed. Packers fans need to hedge their bets here and be happy with a two or a three seed this year.
Predicted 2021 record: 13-4
Predicted 2021 playoff seeding: #2, NFC North Champions
Featured Image courtesy of Al Pereira/Getty Images
“From Our Haus to Yours“