Packers 2013 schedule: Green Bay will be challenged in 2013

Andy Lyons

If the Packers are going to win their third-straight NFC North title, they'll have to get through a difficult schedule.

The Green Bay Packers open the 2013 season coming off back-to-back division titles, but if they are going to make it three straight, they will have to overcome one of the hardest schedules in the NFL. According to NFL.com, Green Bay's 2013 schedule is the sixth-hardest in the league.

Green Bay will play the AFC North and NFC East in addition to facing the division winners from the NFC. That means the Packers will play seven games against playoff teams, including both Super Bowl teams. Green Bay opens the season against San Francisco and faces Baltimore in Week 6. Here is a look at the complete 2013 schedule:

Week

Date

Opponent

Time (ET)

TV

1

Sept. 8

@ 49ers

4:25 p.m.

FOX

2

Sept. 15

Redskins

1 p.m.

FOX

3

Sept. 22

@ Bengals

1 p.m.

FOX

4

BYE

5

Oct. 6

Lions

1 p.m.

FOX

6

Oct. 13

@ Ravens

1 p.m.

FOX

7

Oct. 20

Browns

4:25 p.m.

CBS

8

Oct. 27

@ Vikings

8:30 p.m.

NBC

9

Nov. 4

Bears

8:40 p.m.

ESPN

10

Nov. 10

Eagles

1 p.m.

FOX

11

Nov. 17

@ Giants

8:30 p.m.

NBC

12

Nov. 24

Vikings

1 p.m.

FOX

13

Nov. 28

@ Lions

12:30 p.m.

FOX

14

Dec. 8

Falcons

8:30 p.m.

NBC

15

Dec. 15

@ Cowboys

4:25 p.m.

FOX

16

Dec. 22

Steelers

4:25 p.m.

CBS

17

Dec. 29

@ Bears

1 p.m.

FOX

Toughest out: San Francisco

Green Bay will play a number of tough opponents in 2013, but no game may be harder than the season opener. The Packers open the season against San Francisco for the second straight year. San Francisco went on the road and beat Green Bay 30-22 in Week 1 last year, then beat the Packers 45-31 in the playoffs at home.

Colin Kaepernick shredded the Packers in the playoffs, throwing for 263 yards and rushing for 181 yards. The Packers had the offseason to come up with a plan to slow Kaepernick, and that plan will be put to the test right away.

Must win: Cleveland Browns

Not only are the Browns likely to be one of the weakest teams on Green Bay's schedule, the Packers host Cleveland between two key road games. The Packers will travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens before returning home to host the Browns. The following week, Green Bay will go back on the road for a key division game against Minnesota.

Don't overlook: Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay opens the season with games against Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III. Both games will draw marquee attention, but following the Redskins game, Green Bay will go on the road to face the Bengals. Cincinnati is coming off back-to-back playoff appearances and added some key pieces in free agency and the draft.

Andy Dalton isn't a dual threat like Kaepernick or Griffin, but Cincinnati's offense isn't far behind Washington and San Francisco. Depending how the first two games shake out, Green Bay could need a win to avoid an 0-3 start heading into the bye week.

For all your Green Bay Packers news, head over to Acme Packing Company.

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