The Green Bay Packers now know who they’ll be playing in this year’s preseason games.
The NFL announced its slate of preseason contests on Tuesday, while the regular season schedule will soon follow. The Packers take on three NFC opponents in August, but none of those teams will play Green Bay once the real games begin.
In a somewhat rare occurrence, the Packers will open the preseason at Lambeau Field. This marks just the second time since 2011 that the first game takes place at home. That match up comes against the Philadelphia Eagles, who Green Bay defeated in last year’s regular season.
Games two and three will send the Packers on the road. The second match up comes against the Washington Redskins, while the third week sends Green Bay west to Denver. The Redskins handed the Packers a 42-24 loss in Week 11 of 2016. Meanwhile, the last time Green Bay played Denver came in 2015. The loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Broncos marked one of Aaron Rodgers’ worst games of his career.
Finally, the Packers conclude the preseason at home with a visit from the Los Angeles Rams. It’s the first time Green Bay will see a Los Angeles teams since 1994.
The Packers have tried to limit the role of starters in the preseason recently. Jordy Nelson’s ACL injury came in a preseason match up with the Steelers, while established veterans like Rodgers have often not played more than a series. But while long-time players will not see much action, it will still give fans a chance to get looks at some of the younger players.
This preseason, analyzing defensive players will likely remain the biggest focus. The secondary and pass rush units need to improve on their 2016 performances, and this will be the first opportunity to see how the Packers addressed those needs.