ESPN Wisconsin

2013 schedule full of 'tough challenges' for Rodgers, Packers

Feb 06, 2013 -- 6:30am
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The Packers will face both Super Bowl teams on the road in 2013.

GREEN BAY – The actual schedule won’t be out for a few months, but Aaron Rodgers already knows who’ll be on the docket for the Green Bay Packers, and the quarterback knows what his team will be in for: A challenging road.

At home, the Packers will play host to the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons, plus their NFC North rivals -- the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.

On the road in 2013, the Packers will play at the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, plus the Bears, Vikings and Lions.

Since they’re on the Ravens’ schedule, the Packers would be eligible to be the Super Bowl champions’ opponent for the annual Thursday night Kickoff game, although the Ravens also play host to Houston, New England (the team they beat in the AFC Championship Game) and AFC North rival Pittsburgh, all of whom are more likely opening-night opponents.

“It’s a tough schedule,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and “It lays out pretty tough for us: Baltimore, San Francisco on the road, the Giants on the road. Obviously our division games are always difficult on the road. There’s going to be some tough challenges, we know that.

“As far as playing the kickoff game, we’d love to. I think that’s a great honor; it’s fun to go in those situations. We’ve obviously hosted the (New Orleans) Saints here for a kickoff game (in 2011) and that was great. That has a playoff atmosphere feel to it because you’re the only game playing, it’s before any other team has played and everybody is watching so they’re ratings are obviously always good. It’s just a high energy, high emotion game. It would be a very great honor (to) go to Baltimore and play that. It wouldn’t be bad to play that early in the season there knowing that it can get cold out there.

“But I’ve said it before on this show, the first thing I look at when the schedule comes out is when we play Chicago at Chicago because that’s always a fun game to play, a difficult game to play and you’re kind of hoping that it’s an early in the season game so you don’t have to deal with the intense lake effect weather there. So that’s what I’ll be looking at when the schedule comes out, and you know how many primetime games we’re going to get – Sunday and Monday night games.”

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