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Green Bay Packers 2024 Schedule Superlatives

To the excitement of fans everywhere, the Green Bay Packers 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL on Wednesday night. Highlighted by their five prime-time matchups, the Packers will host a Thanksgiving Day game for the first time since 1923 when they battle the Miami Dolphins. Green Bay will also start the season on Friday night against the Philadelphia Eagles in the league's first-ever game in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Set to face a daunting three-game schedule coming out of their bye week, Jordan Love and company will square off against the San Francisco 49ers, Dolphins, and Detroit Lions in 12 days. Those three squads combined for 35 victories a year ago for all playoff teams.

Week One Flashback

In a rematch of Week 12 of the 2022 season, Green Bay fell to Philadelphia 40-33. Unable to slow down Jalen Hurts and the rest of the Eagle's potent rushing attack, the fifth-year quarterback rushed 17 times for 157 yards (9.7 yards per carry) to set a new franchise record. He also added two touchdowns on the ground. Meanwhile, after Aaron Rodgers was forced to leave the game midway through the third quarter, Love replaced the four-time MVP in just the second game action of his young career. Keeping the Packers in the game, Love connected with wide receiver Christian Watson on a 63-yard touchdown strike. The former first-round pick finished 6 of 9 for 113 yards and one touchdown.    

Toughest Quarterback Matchup

While this award could easily go to the reigning Offensive Rookie of The Year in C.J. Stroud, I will give it to Matthew Stafford. Back healthy after suffering a concussion, followed by a spinal cord contusion in 2022, the former number-one overall pick earned Pro Bowl honors in 2023 after leading Los Angeles to a wild-card berth. He completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 3,965 yards and 24 touchdowns. Furthermore, the 36-year-old got added reinforcements in the offseason. The Rams inked guards Jonah Jackson and Kevin Dotson to deals. With one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL still at his disposal, Puka Nacua finished fifth in the league in receiving yards a year ago (1,486) and set a new rookie record for catches (105).

Best Defense Green Bay Will Play

This one is much simpler when looking right at the Week 12 matchup against the 49ers in the late window; Nick Sorensen's defense will be the toughest unit that Green Bay faces. Littered with stars at all three levels, San Francisco added Leonard Floyd in free agency to join Nick Bosa and Javon Hargrave in its front four. Charvarius Ward has established himself as one of the best cover corners in the game. The 28-year-old earned Second-team All-Pro honors in 2023. He allowed just 51 receptions on 94 targets when in coverage while registering a career-high 23 pass breakups. Moreover, linebacker Dre Greenlaw could return to the field in this one after tearing his Achilles during the Super Bowl. He intercepted Love twice in the Divisional round.     

Stretch of Schedule That Will Decide the Season

A Week 10 bye comes at the perfect time before a four-game stretch that is kick-started by a playoff rematch against the 49ers. With postseason implications on the line in the NFC, San Francisco remains the team to beat in the conference, making them the measuring stick for a Packers group with Super Bowl aspirations. Following this, Green Bay will battle the Dolphins on Thanksgiving night on a short week. One of the biggest tests on the schedule for new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley, Miami finished second in the NFL in points per game (29.2) and first in passing yards per game (265.5) a year ago. They feature 2023 First-Team All-Pro Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and the newly signed Odell Beckham Jr. 

Top Billing

Expected to be a two-team race atop the NFC North, Green Bay, and Detroit are the clear-cut top groups. This makes each of the Packers' showdowns with the Lions crucial, starting in week 9. Coming off their first division title in over 30 seasons, the Lions made multiple moves in the offseason by locking up foundational offensive pieces in wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, Offensive Tackle Penei Sewell, and Quarterback Jared Goff. General manager Brad Holmes also reshaped the franchise's defense by inking D.J. Reader, Carlton Davis, and Marcus Davenport to deals. He also drafted cornerbacks Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw. Splitting their matchups in 2023, the road team won each time, including a 29-22 win by Green Bay on Thanksgiving. 

One Bold Take: Jordan Love Finishes Top Five in MVP Voting

Following a rocky start to his debut campaign as Green Bay's starting quarterback, Love dazzled down the stretch. Over his final eight regular-season games, the former first-round pick tossed 18 touchdown passes to just one interception while recording a passer rating of 112.7. He also led the Packers to an upset victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Wild Card Weekend. Set to enter year two in head coach Matt Lafleur's scheme; Love has a dynamic group of skill players around him. This includes second-year man Jayden Reed, who broke the Packer's single-season record for most receptions by a rookie, and veteran running back Josh Jacobs, who was brought in to replace the departed Aaron Jones.

Overall Record Prediction: 12-5

If Green Bay is going to make a three-win leap in 2024, it will need to take advantage of a manageable first six weeks. Following their clash with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night in Brazil to open the season, the Packers will play three consecutive games against non-postseason teams from a year ago: at home against the Colts, at the Titans, and at home against the Vikings.

While Lafleur's offense should once again be one of the most dynamic groups in the league in Love's second year at the helm, the team's key will come on the defensive side of the ball. Now, under the guidance of Hafley, look for the Packers to bring increased pressure looks and play aggressively upfront. The corners will also press and play up at the line much more frequently.  

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