Packers 2022 schedule: NFL's 11th easiest despite games against 7 of last year's playoff teams

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GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers' road to the Super Bowl this season goes through London and through seven opponents who made the playoffs last year.

That said, the NFL calculates the Packers have the 11th easiest schedule in the league for 2022. Their opponents won 47.8% of their games in 2021.

The past doesn't matter in the NFL, where "Any Given Sunday" rules, but it's still worth noting that the Packers have all-time winning records against all but four of their 2022 opponents. Those four are all AFC teams.

The Packers traded all-world receiver Davante Adams during the offseason, but still have quarterback Aaron Rodgers, running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, and coach Matt LaFleur, who's three-year regular season record of 39-10 gives him the most wins by any NFL coach at the beginning of his career.

More: It's a party! Packers-Bears home opener, back-to-back sold-out Luke Combs concerts at Resch Center fall on same weekend

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LaFleur's Packers finished 13-3, 13-3 and 13-4, clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs for the latter two seasons, but not making it to the Super Bowl. They were defeated by San Francisco, which is not on this year's schedule, and Tampa Bay, which is.

Here are things to know about the Packers' schedule and the teams they'll play:

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) loses the ball while being sacked Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark (97) during the third quarter of their game Sunday, November 21, 2021 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers 34-31.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) loses the ball while being sacked Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark (97) during the third quarter of their game Sunday, November 21, 2021 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers 34-31.

Minnesota Vikings, Sept. 11 and Jan. 1

First of 123 games, Oct. 22, 1961.

Packers lead series 64-56-3.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Sept. 11, U.S. Bank Stadium, 3:25 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 1, Lambeau Field, 3:25 p.m., Fox.

Notable games: There is no forgetting 2009, when Brett Favre played quarterback for the Vikings, throwing seven touchdown passes and no interceptions against the Packers and defeating them twice; or Oct. 15, 2017, when Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr broke Aaron Rodgers' collarbone, ending the Packers' playoff hopes after a 4-1 start.

LaFleur has a 4-2 record against the Vikings. He is 6-0 against the Bears and 5-1 against the Lions.

Chicago Bears, Sept. 18 and Dec. 4

First of 204 games, Nov. 27, 1921.

Packers lead series 103-95-6.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Sept. 18, Lambeau Field, 7:20 p.m. NBC; Sunday, Dec. 4, Soldier Field, noon, Fox.

Notable games: Too many to count, but 2018's season opener, when Aaron Rodgers led a 24-point second-half comeback on a bum leg for a 24-23 Packers victory, ranks among the best.

That was the home opener on "Sunday Night Football," which this year's first Packers-Bears game will be as well.

Like Brett Favre, Rodgers has had some of his best games against the Bears, including on Nov. 9, 2014, when he tied his own team record (shared by Matt Flynn) of six touchdown passes in a 55-14 Packers romp.

The Packers defeated the Bears 10-3 on Sept. 5, 2019. It was an ugly game by all accounts, but provided LaFleur a victory in his first game after succeeding Mike McCarthy. For what it's worth, Vince Lombardi's first game was a 9-6 win over the Bears.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sept. 25

First of 57 games on Oct. 23, 1977.

Packers lead series 33-23-1.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Sept. 25, Raymond James Stadium, 3:25 p.m., Fox

Notable games: Dec. 1, 1985, wasn't the Ice Bowl, but in some ways it was worse. A raging blizzard that dumped 10.5 inches of snow on Green Bay made that day's Packers-Buccaneers game miserable, and Lambeau Field was less than half-full because fans couldn't get to the stadium. But the so-called Snow Bowl game barely slowed down quarterback Lynn Dickey, who threw for 299 yards, or Eddie Lee Ivery and Gerry Ellis, who each ran for more than 100 yards. Across the line, Steve Young, who beat the Packers only once in his career, threw for all of 53 yards in the 21-0 Packers victory. "Needless to say, that's the most snow I've ever seen in my life," said Dickey, which is saying something considering he grew up in Kansas.

It was notable whenever Brett Favre and Warren Sapp were on the field together. Sapp sacked Favre 11 times, more than any other quarterback he faced, but also invited him to his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. They trash-talked their way through their respective careers and became friends afterward.

The Packers and Bucs were longtime rivals when they were in the same division for many years, but division realignment in 2002 meant they played less often. That rivalry got a reset when quarterback Tom Brady joined the Bucs in 2020 and they beat the Packers twice that year, including in the NFC championship game.

The Buccaneers also defeated the Packers 31-26 in the championship game on Jan. 24, 2021. It was the second consecutive year the Packers lost the NFC championship to a team that defeated them during the regular season.

New England Patriots, Oct. 2

First of 12 games was Nov. 13, 1973.

The series is tied 6-6-0.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Oct. 2, Lambeau Field, 3:25 p.m., CBS

Notable games: Super Bowl XXXI on Jan. 26, 1997. The Packers defeated the Patriots 35-21 in New Orleans and returned the Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay after a 29-year drought. Desmond Howard was a rare non-quarterback MVP of that game.

These teams are as evenly matched as the all-time series indicates. During the last 19 years, Tom Brady-led Patriots teams were 3-2 against the Packers. Brady was 1-1 against Brett Favre, 1-1 against Aaron Rodgers and 1-0 against Matt Flynn.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 01:   Elgton Jenkins #74 of the Green Bay Packers in action against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 01, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 01: Elgton Jenkins #74 of the Green Bay Packers in action against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 01, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

New York Giants, Oct. 9

First of 62 games on Oct. 7, 1928.

Packers lead series 34-26-2.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Oct. 9, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England, 8:30 a.m. Central time, NFL Network.

Notable games: The next one. It will be the first time the Packers play in Europe and the third time for the Giants, who played the NFL's first International Series game in October 2007. New York is 2-0 in London.

The Packers and Giants played five NFL and one NFC championship games. The Packers are 4-2 in those matchups, including a 23-20 overtime loss on Jan. 20, 2008, at Lambeau Field. That was Brett Favre's last game as Packers quarterback and one of the coldest games at Lambeau Field. The temperature at kickoff was minus-1, with wind chill of 23 below, which didn't keep Favre from completing a 90-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver.

Aug 21, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) gets a pass away while under pressure from Green Bay Packers defensive tackle T.J. Slaton (93) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field.
Aug 21, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) gets a pass away while under pressure from Green Bay Packers defensive tackle T.J. Slaton (93) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field.

New York Jets, Oct. 16

First of 13 games was Sept. 17, 1973.

The Jets lead series 8-5-0.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Oct. 16, Lambeau Field, noon, Fox

Notable games: The Jets are one of the toughest teams the Packers play. Not only does New York lead the series, it won eight of nine games at one stretch. Although the Packers won the last three games, the largest margin of victory was 9-0 on Halloween in 2010.

The Jets coaching staff includes a guy named LaFleur, too. Mike LaFleur, Matt's brother, is the offensive coordinator, working for their good friend Robert Saleh.

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) comes up short trying to score a touchdown at the goal line in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers during their football game Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) comes up short trying to score a touchdown at the goal line in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers during their football game Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Washington Commanders, Oct. 23

First of 38 games on Nov. 13, 1932, when they were the Boston Braves.

Packers lead series 21-16-1.

• 2022 schedule: Sunday, Oct. 23, FedEx Stadium, noon, Fox

Notable games: The Packers defeated Washington 48-47 on "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 17, 1983. The game featured two Mark Murphys, including the Packers' president and CEO, who was a Washington defensive back. The other Mark Murphy was a defensive back for the Packers. The Washington Murphy led the NFL in interceptions in 1983 with nine, but didn't get any in that game. It was the highest-scoring Monday night game until 2018's Rams-Chiefs 54-51 track meet.

Aaron Rodgers tied Matt Flynn's record of 480 yards passing on Sept. 15, 2013, in a 38-20 Packers victory.

Buffalo Bills tight end Nate Becker (84) runs with the ball after a catch against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at Highmark Stadium.
Buffalo Bills tight end Nate Becker (84) runs with the ball after a catch against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at Highmark Stadium.

Buffalo Bills, Oct. 30

First of 13 games was Oct. 6, 1974.

The Packers lead series 8-5-0.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Oct. 30, Highmark Stadium, 7:20 p.m., NBC

Notable game: The Packers shut out the Bills 22-0 on Sept. 30, 2018, improving Green Bay's record to 2-1-1. Never had a victory felt so hollow. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers characterized the offense’s performance as “non-playoff team” and “not acceptable." The season spiraled down from there — the Packers were 4-8-0 on the way to a 6-9-1 finish — and coach Mike McCarthy was dismissed after the Arizona Cardinals game Dec. 2.

The Packers won't get by with that kind of performance this year. The Bills are one of the best teams in the NFL.

Green Bay Packers running back Kylin Hill (32) leaps a Detroit Lions defender at Lambeau Field on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.
Green Bay Packers running back Kylin Hill (32) leaps a Detroit Lions defender at Lambeau Field on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.

Detroit Lions, Nov. 6 and Jan. 7/8

First of 185 games, Nov. 2, 1930, when the Lions were the Portsmouth Spartans.

Packers lead series 105-73-7. The Bears are the Packers' oldest opponent, but they've played the most consecutive years against the Lions. The Bears and Packers did not play in the strike year of 1982.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Nov. 6, Ford Field, noon, Fox; Jan. 7 or 8, Lambeau Field, time and network to be announced.

Notable games: Aaron Rodgers' 61-yard Hail Mary pass to Richard Rodgers on Dec. 3, 2015, gave the Packers a 27-23 victory at Detroit. It was the last play of the game and was the longest Hail Mary in NFL history, a landmark play in the careers of both guys named Rodgers.

Don Hutson scored an NFL-record 29 points and a record four touchdowns in one quarter on Oct. 7, 1945, during a 57-21 Packers victory. And Matt Flynn passed for a record 480 yards and six touchdowns on Jan. 1, 2012, to lead the Packers to a 45-41 victory.

Oct 6, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA;  Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) is hit by Green Bay Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark (97) and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) as he throws a pass in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) is hit by Green Bay Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark (97) and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) as he throws a pass in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys, Nov. 13

First of 37 games on Nov. 13, 1960.

Packers lead series 20-17-0.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Nov. 13, Lambeau Field, 3:25 p.m., Fox

Notable games: The Ice Bowl is the most notable game in Packers history. It trumps even the Super Bowls in Packers ethos.

On Oct. 6, 2019, Packers running back Aaron Jones scored four touchdowns, ran for 107 yards and caught seven passes for 75 more in a 34-24 Packers victory. Jones would finish the year with 16 rushing and three receiving touchdowns.

Tennessee Titans, Nov. 17

• First of 13 games was Nov. 19, 1972, as the Houston Oilers.

Titans lead series 7-6-0.

2022 schedule: Thursday, Nov. 17, Lambeau Field, 7:15 p.m., Prime Video

Notable game: The Packers probably don't play the Titans in preseason as often as it seems, but Aug. 28, 2003, was one for the books. The game was delayed at 2:05 in the second quarter for more than two hours because of torrential rain and lightning. NFL officials halted the game at 8:28 p.m. and allowed it to resume at 11:01 p.m. It was the fifth preseason game of the season, conditions were miserable and for some reason the NFL insisted on finishing a game no one cared about. The final score was ... really, who cares?

Philadelphia Eagles, Nov. 27

First of 45 games on Oct. 29, 1933.

Packers lead series 28-17-0.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Nov. 27, Lambeau Field, 7:20 p.m., NBC

Notable games: The Packers lost the NFC championship game to the Eagles on the day after Christmas in 1960. Vince Lombardi vowed it would be the last time the Packers lost a championship game under his watch. It was.

Then there was the NFC division playoff game on Jan. 11, 2004. The Packers were winning 17-14 with 1:12 left. The Eagles faced fourth-and-26 with no timeouts. The Eagles got the first down, tied the game and won in overtime. Fourth-and-26 haunts Packers fans to this day.

Future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes in the Packers 30-16 victory on Dec. 6, 2020, making him the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for 35 or more touchdown passes in five seasons. He also threw his 400th touchdown pass in the game. He is the seventh NFL quarterback to reach 400 and did it faster than anyone else, taking 193 games.

The game also was the Packers' 800 victory in all games, regular season and playoffs. The Packers were the first NFL team to reach 800. The Bears, who have the most regular-season wins, have 791 all-time victories. The Packers have a higher regular-season winning percentage than the Bears.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 28: Josiah Deguara #81 of the Green Bay Packers catches the ball and is tackled by Troy Reeder #51 of the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on November 28, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 28: Josiah Deguara #81 of the Green Bay Packers catches the ball and is tackled by Troy Reeder #51 of the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on November 28, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Rams, Dec. 19

First of 97 games on Oct. 17, 1937, when they were the Cleveland Rams.

Packers lead the series 48-47-2.

2022 schedule: Monday, Dec. 19, Lambeau Field, 7:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC

Notable games: The Packers played the Rams more than anyone outside their division. It's a history marked by a lot of winning and losing streaks, but few notable games. At the beginning, the Packers won 12 of 14 games, in the '40s and '50s they lost 11 in a row, and in the early Lombardi era they won eight of nine.

One exception was the Packers' 28-7 victory on Dec. 23, 1967, in Milwaukee. The Rams defeated the Packers 27-24 two weeks earlier in Los Angeles. Travis Williams rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the game that set up Green Bay to play Dallas the next week for the NFL championship in what became known as the Ice Bowl.

Receiver Billy Howton caught seven passes for a team-record 257 yards on Oct. 21, 1956, in a 42-17 Packers victory. The Packers lost the next six games against the Rams.

Miami Dolphins, Dec. 25

First of 15 games was Dec. 19, 1971.

Dolphins lead series 10-5-0, and with the Jets are among the Packers' toughest opponents.

2022 schedule: Sunday, Dec. 25, Hard Rock Stadium, noon, Fox

Notable games: The Dolphins won nine times in the first 10 games. The Packers' only victory in that stretch was with the 1997 Super Bowl team. That year, Brett Favre (254 yards, 2 TDs) out-dueled Dan Marino (240 yards 1 TD, 2 INTs) in a 23-18 Green Bay victory on Sept. 14.

On Oct. 22, 2006, under new head coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers trailed 10-6 at the half in Miami. Fifty seconds into the second half, Charles Woodson returned an interception for a touchdown and the Packers went on to a 34-24 victory. The Packers entered the game 1-4, but finished the season 8-8.

Contact Richard Ryman at (920) 431-8342 or rryman@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @RichRymanPG, on Instagram at @rrymanPG or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardRymanPG/.

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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Packers 2022 schedule has 7 2021 playoff teams, is NFL's 11th easiest