All in: Packers face challenging road to Super Bowl LVII; OTAs start tomorrow

It’s Super Bowl or bust for the Green Bay Packers this season.

League MVP Aaron Rodgers is back at quarterback—sans the drama of 2021 offseason—and the team begins OTAs tomorrow in Green Bay as head coach Matt LaFleur and his staff welcomes back veterans and the Packers 2022 draft class for meetings and workouts.

It’s a key time to implement offensive, defensive, and special teams schemes for the team over the next week before minicamp that runs June 7-9 in preparation for the 2022 season.

For Packers and Vikings fans in Western Wisconsin, it’s a dream start to the regular season with an opening weekend matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium, televised exclusively

at 3:25 p.m. on FOX 25/48.

Green Bay once again is a media darling, with five prime-time matchups on its schedule—subject to flexible scheduling.  FOX 25/48 will televise much-hyped contests versus Tampa Bay on September 25 and Tom Brady and the Mike McCarthy-led Dallas Cowboys in Lambeau Field on November 13.

The challenging news:  six of their first nine games are on the road, including a contest in London October 9 versus the Giants and three straight road games in late October through early November.

The good news:  Lambeau Field will host three of Packers final four games in December and early January, when playoff berths are secured and squandered.

A third straight No. 1 NFC seed is a distinct possibility, but as LaFleur is fond of saying:  “Last year is in the past.  It’s a new season and everything must be earned.”

Here’s a look at the Packers’ schedule by month:

September

Sun., Sept 11:  At Minnesota.  3:25 p.m. on FOX.

Sun., Sept 18:  Host Chicago.

Sun., Sept 25:   At Tampa Bay.

Projected record:  2-1.

Improved Vikings defense makes it a defensive battle in U.S. Bank Stadium, but Packers prevail in the end via Rodgers’ arm and Crosby’s right foot.  Bears are building and getting better, but still no match for Green Bay at home.  Brady and Bucs win in Tampa in a shootout featured at 3:25 p.m. on FOX.

October

Sun., Oct 2:  Host New England.

Sun., Oct 9:  At New York Giants in London.

Sun., Oct 16:   Host New York Jets.  12 noon FOX

Sun., Oct. 23:  At Washington.  12 noon FOX

Sun., Oct 30:  At Buffalo.

Projected record: 4-1.

A brutal month that begins and ends with two AFC powers also features Green Bay’s first-ever game overseas during the regular season.  Packers edge Patriots at Lambeau, defeat the New York teams abroad and at home and then the Commanders in our nation’s capital.  Weary Packers fall in Buffalo in one of the season’s most anticipated games—a possible Super Bowl preview against Josh Allen and the Bills.

November

Sun., Nov 6:  At Detroit.  12 noon FOX

Sun., Nov 13:  Host Dallas.  3:25p FOX.

Thurs., Nov 17:   Host Tennessee.

Sun., Nov 27:  At Philadelphia.

Projected record: 3-1.

Green Bay takes care of Lions in Detroit—never an easy task—and then host former head coach Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys at Lambeau.  That one will be a hard-fought victory to remember.  After that emotional triumph, Titans pull off the upset on Thursday night at Lambeau.  Packers rebound with an ugly win over Eagles on the road.

December

Sun., Dec 4:  at Chicago.  12 noon FOX.

Week 14:  Bye.

Mon., Dec 19:  Host Los Angeles Rams.

Sun., Dec 25:   At Miami.  12 noon FOX.

Projected record:  2-1.

The Bear’s rematch is a must-win at home going into the latest bye week in franchise history.  They’ll need the rest to edge the defending Super Bowl champion Rams at Lambeau before traveling to the warmth of Miami on Christmas Day to face dangerous Dolphins team.

January

Sun., Jan 1:  Host Vikings.

Sun., Jan 7 or 8:  Host Detroit.  Network TBD.

Projected record:  2-0.

These last two NFC North match-up will determine the division champion.  Packers take care of business at home.

Final Projected Record:  13-4