5 Quick Things: 2023 Schedule

The National Football League revealed the 2023 schedule on Thursday night. The Packers will play 17 games – eight home and nine away. Other than that, there’s simply no way of knowing in the spring what’s going to happen in the fall, especially when it comes to a team replacing a quarterback who’s attempted 7,660 passes with one who’s thrown 83.

For what it’s worth, the following are five observations about the 20023 schedule and what could be in store for the Packers:

1) Green Bay opens the season on the road vs. the Bears, which will give new QB1 Jordan Love an early opportunity to take over ownership of Soldier Field from its previous landlord, Aaron Rodgers. The four-time MVP had lost only once at Chicago since 2011. As for this particular game, it should be a favorable matchup for the new leader of the Pack. The Bears ranked 29th overall on defense in 2022 and had a league-low 20 sacks. And while GM Ryan Poles did add talent to that side of the ball in free agency (defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker and inside linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards), it’ll likely take some time for these three veterans to get comfortable in a new scheme. Chances are Love will face a more formidable challenge when the league’s oldest rivals meet for the second time in Week 18 at Lambeau Field.

2) While things often change dramatically from year to year in the National Football League, Love will face only three defenses that finished in the top 10 last season, and those teams (Denver, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay) all had losing records. Conversely, the former Utah State star will go up against a half-dozen defenses that finished in the bottom 10 in 2022, including two games each with Chicago, Detroit, and Minnesota. Like many young quarterbacks, Love tends to make the majority of his mistakes when under pressure. The 14 defenses he’ll face next season averaged 35 sacks a year ago. The league average was just over 41. If the Packers’ offensive line stays healthy, he should have time to throw most weeks.

3) The Packers will face only one team that finished last season with a winning record in the first seven weeks, and the Lions were barely over .500 at 9-8. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that four of those six games will be on the road. Regardless of the competition, winning away from home is never easy for a young QB. Hall of Famer Brett Favre went 3-4 in his first season, and future Hall of Famer Rodgers wasn’t even that successful (2-6). Head coach and play-caller Matt LaFleur will almost certainly look to quiet the crowd by establishing the run. That’s a big reason why GM Brian Gutekunst decided to keep offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and running back Aaron Jones despite their high salaries.

4) Contrary to popular opinion, the Rodgers-less Packers won’t be relegated to Sunday afternoons at 1 ET. They’ll play five prime-time games against Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City, the Giants, and Minnesota. This shouldn’t be a surprise since Green Bay is an extremely popular franchise and has been for decades. Still, the league hedged a little by placing three games in the late-season flex window. That means the networks (ESPN and NBC) won’t be stuck with the Packers if they wind up stinking, which is certainly a possibility considering the youth on offense. But if things go well, fans will have an opportunity to watch their favorite team twice on Sunday night, twice on Monday night, and once on Thursday night.

5) This is a great schedule for those Packers who don’t like airplanes since only the Bengals will travel fewer miles next season. Thanks to being located in the middle of the United States and playing only two games west of the Mississippi River (Vegas and Denver back to back with the bye in-between), Green Bay will log just under 12,000 miles. NFC North cohabitants Chicago (12,253), Detroit (13,923), and Minnesota (13,226) are also among the infrequent flyers. Which teams will travel the most? Not surprisingly, Seattle (31,600), San Francisco (29,958), the L.A. Rams (26,332), the L.A. Chargers (26,102), and Arizona (25, 126) are numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7, respectively. That’s tough, but hey, at least those players will never walk out the front door of their homes and be confronted by temperatures in the teens and two feet of snow on the ground.

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Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

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May 12, 2023 12:50 pm

Looking at the schedule, I think the Packers could win the North if Love plays reasonably well. Of course, that’s the big unknown. It’s also what makes next season so exciting.

May 13, 2023 12:03 pm

Looking at the schedule in May, there’s only one tough stretch, and compared to past seasons, it’s not all that tough.

  • Sun., Nov. 12 at Pittsburgh Steelers *12 p.m. CBS
  • Sun., Nov. 19 LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (Gold Pkg.) *12 p.m. FOX
  • Thu., Nov. 23 at Detroit Lions 11:30 a.m. FOX
  • Sun., Dec. 3 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS *7:20 p.m. NBC
  • Mon., Dec. 11 at New York Giants *7:15 p.m. ABC

Of course, nobody saw the Giants, Jets, and Commanders as being a tough stretch when we looked at last season’s schedule in May.

Reply to  Jim
May 16, 2023 11:25 am

if the Packers lost all 5 of the games above and 2 other games, they still would have a reasonable shot at the playoffs. on paper, it appears that a NFC average Packers will be playing contending-for-a-playoff-spot football in December.

May 13, 2023 6:25 pm

If this were a couple of years ago, this schedule would look like a 13 win season. This year I think will be a six win season, at best. I know Love has been prepped for the last three years, but it’s going to take him a while to settle in. My guess is that they’ll be looking at a top-10 pick next year. With the Jets (presumable) first round pick, the Packers will hopefully know whether Love is “the guy” or not and will be well situated to move on. My ongoing question is how much of Love we’ll really be able to determine from this season. Should be interesting!

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