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Want quirky? How about four straight primetime games on Packers' schedule

Season’s stretch run will be under the lights week after week

Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field

GREEN BAY – The Packers have grown accustomed to getting scheduled for a handful of primetime games on an annual basis.

So it's no shock there are once again five on Green Bay's 2024 slate.

It's the layout of those night games that's particularly stunning this time.

After the evening opener in Brazil against the Eagles, the Packers' other four primetime contests are … all in a row!

Even more significant, the extended run under the lights is during the season's home stretch, when the games take on even greater significance in the chase for playoff spots and division titles.

It starts on Thanksgiving night at Lambeau Field against Miami, followed by a second straight Thursday night at Detroit in Week 14.

After the so-called mini-bye, it's back to primetime in Week 15 at Seattle on Sunday Night Football, and then the season's lone Monday night game wraps up the monthlong stretch in Week 16 at Lambeau against the Saints.

That's four primetime games in a span of 26 days, leaving just two regular-season contests – both division opponents (at Minnesota, vs. Chicago) – to go from there.

It'll be a crucible of national attention during a pivotal time in the season, and there's never been anything quite like it in Packers history.

Two years ago, Green Bay played four night games during the stretch run, but it was four over the final seven contests as the Packers tried to salvage their season with a late run at a playoff spot.

The last one – a frustrating home loss to Detroit that turned out to be Aaron Rodgers' last game as Packers QB – wasn't scheduled for primetime but was plucked for it as a Week 18 spotlight game with Green Bay's playoff fate at stake.

Which brings up another possibility for 2024 – if the Week 18 home matchup with the Bears gets chosen for primetime, the regular season will end with five night games over the final six. Mercy.

While that's a boon for all the out-of-market Packers fans who will have no trouble watching their favorite team through much of the holiday season, it's not exactly ideal for players' sleep schedules, particularly when one of the night games requires a long flight home from the West Coast.

The positives? Two southern teams, Miami and New Orleans, playing late-season night games at Lambeau when it might be a tad chilly – though the last time the Packers hosted the Thanksgiving night game, in 2015, all it did was rain.

Nine years ago was also the last time (maybe the only time?) the Packers played consecutive Thursday night games, and back then the second one was in Detroit, just like this year. That became the Miracle in Motown, which'll surely get plenty of play on Amazon Prime Video with this year's game date (Dec. 5) just two days off from the precise nine-year anniversary (Dec. 3) of the Rodgers-to-Rodgers Hail Mary.

But back to sleep patterns for a minute … the schedule sets up as though the Packers will build two different routines.

First, after returning from Brazil, they'll have noon CT kickoffs in six of their next seven contests. That's a lot of Sundays the players prefer – roll out of bed, head to the stadium, get ready to play.

Then beginning with Thanksgiving night, they'll have those long gameday waits four straight times (and maybe five of six) with the whole country tuning in to watch their, hopefully, playoff push.

It's strange, it's quirky, it's the schedule. Most important about all those late-season night games? Just make 'em count.

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