The Green Bay Packers might have to wait until next Sunday to find out which team they will face in their first game of the 2019 NFL playoffs, but at least they can glance ahead to the opponents on the schedule for next year’s campaign.
The Packers’ opponents for the 2020 season were set with the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday night with a number of playoff contenders dotting the list. Green Bay will play 2020 home games against the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles while also hitting the road for away games against the Tampa Bay Buccanneers, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers.
Obviously, they will also play all three of their NFC North rivals both at home and on the road. All schedules with dates and times will be announced in April, as is custom each year.
Not all of those teams finished the 2019 season on the best of terms. The Panthers fired their head coach several weeks ago and figure to undergo major changes this offseason, while the Bucs, Colts, Falcons, Jaguars and Colts all missed the playoffs.
The trio of the 49ers, Saints and Texans, however, finished this season with a combined 36-12 record that jumps to 26-6 when looking only at San Francisco and New Orleans. That all three of them are road games also adds appeal and could easily make any one of them a marquee matchup for the 2020 season.
Follow the Heavy on Packers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Evaluating the Packers’ Resurgent Regular Season
The Packers are back in the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, which means any number of things could happen between now and the offseason that could have a serious effect on how the 2019 run is remembered, for good reasons and bad. But nevertheless, 13 wins are nothing to shrug off nor is the Packers’ first-round bye in the playoffs.
There are reasons aplenty to be encouraged about the Packers heading into the playoffs, most of them revolving around their numerous weapons not named Aaron Rodgers that have been behind so much of their success this year. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst should feel good about all of his offseason acquisitions with offensive lineman Billy Turner, safety Adrian Amos and outside linebackers Za’Darius and Preston Smith each proving to be a game-changer.
Running back Aaron Jones is also having a breakout year during his third NFL season, finishing tied for the most touchdowns in the league with 19 and eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing mark. He has been dynamic as both a rusher and receiver and could be their greatest offensive asset if the Packers are determined to make a deep postseason run.
Doubt about the Packers’ ability to contend isn’t without justification, though. While 13 wins is an excellent final tally, they only defeated two teams with winning records, besting the Minnesota Vikings twice and topping the Kansas City Chiefs when they were without quarterback Patrick Mahomes. They also needed comeback efforts to beat the Detroit Lions in both of their matchups.
Then, there is the much-criticized loss to the 49ers on the road in prime time. Every great team is entitled to a loss or two, even a bad one, but Packers looked inept in all three phases coming out of their bye week with a healthy roster. And against a legitimate contender, no less. That’s enough reason to be concerned about how the Packers handle the postseason now that they have arrived.
The Packers were given the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl, according to the latest Caesars Palace odds released after the final result in Week 17.