The 2017 Green Bay Packers schedule has been released. After making an NFC Championship appearance last season, could this team be poised to bring a fifth Super Bowl to ‘Titletown?’
The 2016 season was one of high drama for the Green Bay Packers. After a rocky 4-6 start to the season, the franchise found itself in a position to miss the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2008. Questions about the health of Jordy Nelson, the job security of Mike McCarthy, and even the possible decline of Aaron Rodgers were at the forefront of seemingly every Packers conversation imaginable.
However, in the midst of all of this hand-wringing, the team remained confident. Even in desperate times, they did not lose focus. Rodgers, formerly known for telling anxious fans to “R-E-L-A-X” in 2014, added a new soundbite to his arsenal, claiming he believed that his team could “run the table” down the stretch, and make an improbable playoff appearance. It wouldn’t be an easy task, but the two-time NFL MVP believed his team could pull it off.
And pull it off they did. The Packers rattled off six consecutive wins to close out the regular season, earning not only a post-season berth, but an NFC North Championship in the process.
For an encore, the Pack won their first two playoff games, following up a 38-13 Wild Card Weekend thrashing of the New York Giants with a thrilling 34-31 shootout victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round.
Entering the NFC Championship game, the Packers had won eight straight contests and were a legitimate Super Bowl favorite, but unfortunately for Rodgers and company, they met the irresistible force known as the Atlanta Falcons offense in that match-up, and the rest is history.
While the Packers may have fallen one game short of the Super Bowl, there are countless reasons why the organization remains optimistic about the 2017 season. In spite of a series of free agent departures that included Micah Hyde, T.J. Lang, Jared Cook, Eddie Lacy, and many others, this team is still primed for success. Before we get into their 2017 outlook, let’s take a look at their 2017 schedule which was released on Thursday night:
The schedule will be updated upon its release at 8 p.m. ET.
Furthermore, in an effort to provide more options for Rodgers, the Packers invested heavily in the tight end position. Even though the team allowed the aforementioned Jared Cook to sign with the Oakland Raiders in free agency, they more than made up for it by inking Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks to deals of their own. Bennett posted 701 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season, and Kendricks is an exceptional athlete who has yet to put it all together, but boasts big-time upside if and when he does.
When you add these two to an offense that includes Rodgers, Nelson, Randall Cobb, and emerging talents like Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery, it becomes apparent that the Packers could have an exceptionally potent attack in 2017. As it stands right now, the team’s defense will likely be a middle-of-the-pack unit (no pun intended), but a solid draft from general manager Ted Thompson could change that perception in a hurry.
It’s clear that the 2017 Green Bay Packers have the talent and the opportunity to propel the franchise to its fifth Super Bowl. Even though the Pack are set to face some significant challenges against NFC South and AFC North opponents, they remain the heavy favorites to win the NFC North for the sixth time in seven years. With Aaron Rodgers still firmly in his prime, this team is in win-now mode, and anything less than a Lombardi Trophy would be considered a failure. Indeed, the stakes are high in 2017, but ultimately, the potential reward is even greater.