GREEN BAY – The 2020 NFL schedule has the Packers opening the regular season at the Minnesota Vikings for the first time in franchise history and closing in Chicago, with five big primetime matchups along the way.
Since the Vikings' inaugural year in 1961, Green Bay has never opened a regular season on the road against Minnesota. The last time the Packers even played their longtime NFC North rival in Week 1 was for Aaron Rodgers' first NFL start on Sept. 8, 2008, a 24-19 victory at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay will then host Minnesota again in Week 8. The Nov. 1 matchup between the two teams marks the earliest the Packers will have wrapped up their regular-season series with the Vikings since 2009.
For the first time in five years, the Packers will close the regular season against a team other than the Detroit Lions. Their Week 17 meeting with the Bears will be the teams' first finale since Green Bay's memorable 33-28 win over Chicago in a winner-take-all game for the NFC North title in 2013, highlighted by a game-winning 48-yard touchdown from Rodgers to Randall Cobb.
The Packers again will be in the national spotlight this year with five primetime games, including guaranteed back-to-back bookings against the NFC South.
The Packers will travel in Week 3 to play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football before returning home to host the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football in Week 4.
The third primetime game Green Bay is locked in for will occur in Week 9 when the Packers travel to face the San Francisco 49ers (Nov. 5) on Thursday Night Football.
Green Bay is also penciled in to host Sunday night games against Chicago in Week 12 and Tennessee in Week 16, though both games are subject to change due to the league's flex scheduling in Weeks 5-16.
A Week 5 bye, Green Bay's first since 2009, will welcome the Packers to the quarter pole of the season before they depart for a highly anticipated road game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The following week, the Packers begin a gauntlet of three consecutive games against teams coming off playoff appearances in 2019: at Houston, vs. Minnesota and at San Francisco.
The Packers finish the regular season with four home games over the final six weeks. After hosting Chicago on Nov. 29, the Packers will welcome Philadelphia (Dec. 6, Week 13), Carolina (Dec. 19 or 20 in Week 15) and Tennessee (Dec. 27, Week 16) at Lambeau Field.
Divvying up the division: After going two full months without a division game last year, the Packers will go no longer than four games without facing an NFC North foe in 2020.
After the Week 1 road trip to Minnesota, the Packers are slated to open Lambeau Field against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 20. It's the third straight year Green Bay has opened the season with back-to-back games against the NFC North.
Once November rolls around, the Packers will welcome both the Vikings and Bears to Lambeau before traveling to Detroit for a Dec. 13 meeting with the Lions in Week 14.
Balancing it out: The layout of the 2020 schedule is fairly even for the Packers, who only once will play on the road in back-to-back weeks (Oct. 18-25, at Tampa Bay and Houston). Last season, Green Bay had consecutive road trips three times over the final nine weeks of the regular season.
It's the first time the Packers have had one or fewer back-to-back road stands since going the entire 2013 season without playing consecutive road games.
Keeping options open: The Packers' matchup against Carolina is the only game on Green Bay's regular-season schedule without a set date, time and network.
For now, the NFL is leaving the door open for that contest to be held in Green Bay on either Saturday, Dec. 19, or Sunday, Dec. 20.
Preseason slate: In addition to the regular-season schedule, the NFL announced the Packers' tentative preseason slate and it has a slightly different look than previous years.
Green Bay is scheduled to host Arizona in the Bishop's Charities Game sometime between Aug. 13-17. It's the first time the Packers will have played host to the Cardinals in the preseason since the 2013 opener.
The Packers will then host the Cleveland Browns in the Midwest Shrine Game the following week (Aug. 20-24) before traveling to face the New York Giants (Aug. 27-30). Green Bay hasn't played a preseason game in the New York/New Jersey area since a 10-2 loss to the Giants on Aug. 17, 1985.
For the eighth time in the last 10 years, the Packers will close the preseason against Kansas City, with a road game on either Sept. 3 or 4.
Gold Package: This year's Gold Package games will include the Packers' Monday night game against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 5, their Sunday night game against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 29, and their second preseason game against the Browns (Aug. 20-24).