The Green Bay Packers will play probably their most difficult game of the season in Week 1, as they face the Seattle Seahawks on their home turf. A win in the first week is unlikely for the Packers, but if the defense is able to wrap up Marshawn Lynch and Aaron Rodgers, and his receivers can function against possibly the best secondary in the league, it could happen.
After the Seahawks, the team will face the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins. These are all games that should be won. The Packers’ offense seems to get better every time they touch the field, with respect to both the pass and rushing games. Furthermore, their defense has improved in terms of depth among defensive backs with Micah Hyde‘s move to safety and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix drafted in the first round. Pass rush capability has also seen an increase with the signing of Julius Peppers. Furthermore, young players such as Josh Boyd and Jayrone Elliott have stepped up and made major contributions in preseason. If the defense can stay healthy, they should be able to minimize the damage caused by lethal passing offenses like those of the Bears and Lions.
In Week 7, the Packers will take on the Carolina Panthers, who boast one of the best defenses in the league, on top of an impressive offense led by one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league; Cam Newton. The Panthers pose a threat to the Packers this year and this will be a tough game for both teams.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are the opponents in Week 8. This game will be among the most exciting of Green Bay’s season this year, but I believe it will ultimately end in a Saints victory.
After their bye week, the Packers will face the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and then the Vikings again. These are all very winnable games, but the Eagles and Vikings’ rushing games will be cause for some concern given the loss of B.J. Raji. Raji is inconsistent, but his large frame and speed make him a useful nose tackle against the rush. The New England Patriots will make their way to Wisconsin for Week 13 and this will be the Packers’ fourth and last loss of the season.
Weeks 14 through 17 will see the Packers facing the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before finishing up their 2014 campaign against the Lions. If the team can minimize the injury problems that plagued them last year and have continued during preseason, these four games should be wins. This season should end in a 12-4 record for the Packers, but obviously their success fundamentally depends upon their ability to keep key starters healthy. A repeat of last year’s injury plagued season will produce familiar results, but a healthy starting roster will enable the team to be among the league’s best this year.