Historic Start: Packers-Vikings in 2020 season opener

FOX Football Insider
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It doesn’t get much better than this for Packers and Vikings fans in Western Wisconsin.

On Sunday, September 13th, the 13-3 Green Bay Packers will open defense of their NFC North title at U.S. Bank Stadium, the liar of the border-rival Minnesota Vikings.

The 12 noon contest will be broadcast exclusively in Western Wisconsin by FOX 25/48, one of 10 Packers games the station will televise in the 2020 season.

This is the first time in franchise history the Vikings will host the Packers in a regular-season opener on their home field.  And Green Bay concludes the season with another rival:  the Bears at frigid Soldier Field in early January.

The NFL schedule is set, another annual milestone for football fans across the country.  While a nation anxiously awaits the return of all sports, we can savor this moment of the NFL off-season on the heels of the draft, when all teams are 0-0 with playoff aspirations.

With fans. With limited fans.  With no fans in stadiums.  Many safety and economic issues face the National Football League as they open their 101st season.

For now, let’s just sit back and enjoy the release of the schedule.  Here’s our take on the Packers in 2020 by quarter.

First Quarter:  At Minnesota on Sept. 13 (FOX).  Host Detroit on Sept. 20 at 12 noon (FOX).  At New Orleans on Sept. 27 at 7:20 p.m.  Host Atlanta Falcons on Monday, Oct. 5 at 7:15 p.m.

Prediction:  2-2.

Highlights:   These two road games don’t get much tougher to open the season.  Rodgers-Brees match-up will be a great one.  LaFleur’s run-first offense will be put to the test immediately.  Green Bay’s bye week comes early this season:  Week 5.  Great in the short run, but tough in the long run.

Second Quarter:  At Tampa Bay on Oct. 18 at 3:25 p.m. (FOX).  At Houston Texans on Oct. 25 at 12 noon (FOX).  Host Vikings on Nov. 1 at 12 noon (FOX).  At San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 7:20 p.m. 

Prediction:  1-3

Highlights:  Talk about a brutal 4-game stretch:  three playoff-quality teams and travel from one coast to another.  Brady-Rodgers in Tampa will be a special treat to watch on FOX 25/48.  Packers fans wish schedule-makers would have set that one in December (or better yet at Lambeau), as October heat and humidity in Tampa will be challenging.  Green Bay’s only home contest is rematch with Vikings—three days later they hit the road to face their Achilles Heel in San Francisco.

Third Quarter:  Host Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 15 at 12 noon (FOX).  At Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 22 at 12 noon (FOX).  Host Chicago Bears on Nov. 29 at 7:20 p.m.  Host Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 6 at 3:25 p.m.

Prediction:  3-1

Highlights:  Packers’ start this 4-game stretch after their “mini-bye.”  Winning the games at Lambeau are a must during this stretch.  Packers run defense will be tested during this stretch, and Wisconsin football fans will enjoy the match-up with Colts and rookie RB Jonathan Taylor, former Badgers star.

Fourth Quarter:  At Detroit Lions on Dec. 13 at 12 noon (FOX).  Host Carolina Panthers on Dec. 19 or 20 (time TBA).  Host Tennessee Titans on Dec. 27 at 7:20 p.m.  At Chicago Bears on Jan. 3 at 12 noon (FOX).

Prediction:  4-0

Highlights:  The finale in Chicago could determine the division championship with the Vikings, who finish the season in Detroit.

2020 Record:  10-6.  Tie with Minnesota for division title.

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