GREEN BAY – They’ve known who they’re playing and where they’re playing them, but on Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers will know when they’ll be playing each of their 16 regular-season games.
The NFL announced Tuesday afternoon that the 2014 regular-season schedule will officially be released on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Central time. Their opponents have been set since the regular season ended on Dec. 29.
In addition to their home-and-home meetings with their NFC North-rival Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, the Packers will also face the defending Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks, as well as four other playoff participants from a year ago: The Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints.
Here’s the full rundown of the Packers’ 2014 opponents:
Home: Chicago Bears (8-8), Detroit Lions (7-9), Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1), Atlanta Falcons (4-12), Carolina Panthers (12-4), Philadelphia Eagles (10-6), New England Patriots (12-4), New York Jets (8-8).
Away: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, New Orleans Saints (11-5), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12), Seattle Seahawks (13-3), Buffalo Bills (6-10), Miami Dolphins (8-8).
The Packers could be chosen as the Seahawks’ opponent for the NFL Kickoff game on Thursday, Sept. 4, at Century Link Field in Seattle, as the champs will open the season at home. The Seahawks also have the San Francisco 49ers, their NFC West rival and NFC Championship Game opponent, on their 2014 schedule, as well as the Denver Broncos, whom they defeated in Super Bowl XLVIII in February.
The Packers won’t play in Detroit on Thanksgiving, as the Lions are set to face an AFC team this year in a game to be broadcast on CBS. The Packers have played at Detroit in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. They don’t have the Dallas Cowboys on their schedule, meaning the only way they’d play on Thanksgiving would be if they were picked to play in the nighttime game.
The Packers do figure to get their share of prime-time games, even coming off an 8-7-1 season, given their nationwide popularity. They figure to extend their streak of 21 consecutive seasons with a Monday Night Football appearance on ESPN, the second-longest active streak in the league behind Denver. They also figure to be picked for multiple Sunday Night Football games on NBC, although last year the Packers had two of their three Sunday night games flexed out of prime time after quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ fractured collarbone.
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