Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Packers 2011 schedule announced: kickoff vs. Saints

The NFL has officially released the 2011 regular season schedule for the Green Bay Packers and the league's other 31 teams. The jury -- or at least, the mediator -- is still out as to whether, in fact, there will actually be a complete NFL season in 2011. But you have to admire the league's optimism.

In the meantime, we can revel in the schedule, start making observations, predictions, etc. Combined with the upcoming draft late next week, it gives us a moment to be hopeful about the state of the NFL despite the current money issues separating the millionaires from the billionaires (please excuse the slight editorial comment there).

Schedule Highlights
The Packers begin the regular season by facing their predecessor as Super Bowl Champs, the Saints, at Lambeau Field in the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday Sept. 8. Many would have no doubt preferred a rematch with Da Bearz to kick things off (yours truly included), but the likely national draw in seeing the last two Super Bowl winners go head-to-head was probably too much for the NFL and their TV partner to turn down.

A highlight of sorts is the three-games-in-11-days stretch the Pack has against the ViQueens, the Buccaneers and the Lions in mid-November. Another quirk of the schedule is that four of the Packers' six NFC North games occur after their bye week, which occurs in week 8 of the schedule. And for as much as the Packers of last season really liked the fast track of playing indoors, especially late in the season, this year...not so much; at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day will be the last dome game for the Pack. The guys better get very comfortable at being a great cold weather team because that's generally what they are going to be dealing with in the second half of the season.

Oh, one other interesting little piece of trivia for you regarding the schedule: according to the league, the Packers are the first time in NFL history to play on Thanksgiving (at Detroit), Christmas (home vs. Da Bearz) and New Year's Day (home vs. the Lions) during the same season.

As expected, there are lots of prime time games for the Champs. It's going to be a great year to be a Packers fan. But let's be honest: what year isn't, right? Right!

Here ya go, kids. Enjoy! (Home games in bold italics.)

  • Saturday, August 13, 6:30 p.m. at Cleveland Browns
  • Friday, August 19, 7 p.m. vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • Friday, August 26, 7 p.m. at Indianapolis Colts
  • Thursday, September 1, 7 p.m. vs Kansas City Chiefs
Regular Season
  • Thursday, September 8, 7:30 p.m. vs. New Orleans Saints - NBC
  • Sunday, September 18, noon at Carolina Panthers - FOX
  • Sunday, September 25, 3:15 p.m. at Chicago Bears - FOX
  • Sunday, October 2, 3:15 p.m. vs. Denver Broncos - CBS (Gold package-Milwaukee ticketholder game)
  • Sunday, October 9, 7:20 p.m. at Atlanta Falcons - NBC
  • Sunday, October 16, noon vs. St. Louis Rams - FOX
  • Sunday, October 23, 3:15 p.m. at Minnesota Vikings - FOX
  • Sunday, October 30 Open Date / bye week
  • Sunday, November 6, 3:15 p.m. at San Diego Chargers - FOX
  • Monday, November 14, 7:30 p.m. vs. Minnesota Vikings - ESPN
  • Sunday, November 20, noon* vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - FOX (Gold package-Milwaukee ticketholder game)
  • Thursday, November 24, 11:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day at Detroit Lions - FOX
  • Sunday, December 4, 3:15 p.m.* at New York Giants - FOX
  • Sunday, December 11, noon* vs. Oakland Raiders - CBS
  • Sunday, December 18, noon* at Kansas City Chiefs - FOX
  • Sunday, December 25, 7:20 p.m. Christmas Day vs. Chicago Bears - NBC
  • Sunday, January 1, noon* vs. Detroit Lions - FOX
Those times notated with an asterisk (*) are designated as part of the league's flex schedule, meaning the league may change the start time.

If you want a downloadable PDF of the Packers 2011 schedule, just click here. You can also always find the schedule in the righthand column Links area of this site.