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Path to fast start in 2019 begins at home for Packers

Packers will play five of first seven games at Lambeau Field


GREEN BAY – The Packers have a big opportunity to get off to a fast start under new head coach Matt LaFleur, as they'll play five of their first seven games of the 2019 regular season at Lambeau Field.

After opening the NFL's 100th season in Chicago on Sept. 5, the Packers will host three consecutive games against Minnesota on Sept. 15, Denver on Sept. 22 and then a Thursday Night Football matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 26.

A lone road trip to Dallas on Oct. 6 breaks up the home slate. The Packers then return home for a Monday Night Football game against Detroit on Oct. 14 before hosting the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 20.

That stretch marks the most games the Packers have played in the state of Wisconsin through the first seven weeks since hosting five of their first seven in the strike-interrupted 1987 season. However, two of the games during that stretch were played in Milwaukee.

The 2019 season will mark the third consecutive year the Packers have played three of their first four games at Lambeau Field.

The Packers have historically been fast starters at home with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. They won all eight home games in 2011 and '14, won four of their first five in '10, '12, '15 and '18, and three of their first four in '13, '16 and '17.

The back-to-back contests against NFC North opponents to open the year also affords Green Bay a chance at staking an early claim to the division.

A Week 11 bye will help alleviate a road-heavy midseason stretch. It'll be the first time the Packers have had the Week 11 bye since the NFL added late-season open dates in 2011.

The latest bye Green Bay previously had was Week 10 in 2010 and 2012.

Prime-time players: The Packers are scheduled to play in five prime-time games in 2019.

The Packers will play a pair of Thursday night games in a span of four games, a first in franchise history. After opening the season in Chicago – the 14th straight year Green Bay has played the Bears in prime time – the Packers will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 26.

The 2014 season is the only other time the Packers played twice on a Thursday night in the same year, and those were over a span of five weeks.

The Packers will be featured twice on Monday Night Football, hosting the Lions on Oct. 14 and then traveling to face the Vikings on Dec. 23.

It's the seventh consecutive year the Packers will play Minnesota in prime time and the third time in four years they've played a prime-time game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Finally, Green Bay is scheduled to play Kansas City on Sunday Night Football on Oct. 27, a game featuring the first matchup between Rodgers and reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The Packers' involvement in the NFL opener doesn't count towards the maximum number of five prime-time games teams are allowed to play, meaning they could be flexed into another.

LB Quay Walker, DL Devonte Wyatt and DL Kenny Clark

Add the 2019 Schedule to your calendar

Midseason road warriors…again: For the second consecutive year, the Packers will play only once at Lambeau Field in the month of November when they host Carolina on Nov. 10.

That meeting with the Panthers – which also will pit two league MVP QBs against one another in Rodgers and Cam Newton – represents Green Bay's only home game between Oct. 20 and Dec. 1, a span of 56 days. The road stand culminates in a West Coast-to-East Coast turnaround from San Francisco in Week 12 to New York in Week 13.

Uncommon ground: The Packers' midseason stretch includes contests against three straight AFC opponents, a first since 2003.

After matchups with the Raiders and Broncos, Green Bay travels to face the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park, one year after playing the Rams at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

Indoor finish: The Week 16-17 games at Minnesota and at Detroit will mark the first time in franchise history the Packers will end the regular season with back-to-back dome games.

Gold Package: This year's Gold Package games will be against the Broncos on Sept. 22 (12 p.m.), the Raiders on Oct. 20 (12 p.m.) and the preseason opener with Houston.

Take a look at some of the players the Packers will face during the 2019 NFL season