Packers prime-time schedule: Why did NFL give Green Bay so many games without Aaron Rodgers?
Packers prime-time schedule: Why did NFL give Green Bay so many games without Aaron Rodgers?
Why did the NFL give the Packers so many prime-time games without Aaron Rodgers?

Will Jordan Love be ready for prime time? The Green Bay Packers are going to find out. 

The Athletic's Matt Schneidman leaked a copy of the Packers' 2023 schedule on Thursday morning – which can be seen here – and the amount of prime-time exposure sticks out. 

Green Bay has five prime-time games across four platforms – one less than the six prime-time games the Packers had last season in Aaron Rodgers' final season. Green Bay also has two holiday games on the schedule.  The NFL typically loads up on the Packers in primetime – but did they go overboard in Love's first season? 

MORE: Packers 2023 final record prediction

A look at Green Bay's prime-time games in 2023

4 Sept. 28 vs. Lions (TNF) 8:15 p.m. Amazon
5 Oct. 9 at Raiders (MNF) 8:15 p.m. ESPN
13 Dec. 3 vs. Chiefs (SNF) 8:20 p.m. NBC
14 Dec. 11 at Giants 8:15 p.m. ABC
17 Dec. 31 at Vikings 8:20 p.m. NBC

A full breakdown of those prime-time matchups: 

Packers on 'Thursday Night Football'

In a scheduling quirk, the Packers will play NFC North rival Detroit on Thursday twice this season. 

Love will make his first prime-time start in Week 4 at Lambeau Field against the Lions on Thursday Night Football. The Lions, of course, knocked Green Bay out of the playoff picture in a 20-16 upset at Lambeau Field in the final week of the 2022 regular season. Detroit also is the favorite to win the NFC North. 

Green Bay also will play at Detroit on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2013. That game will be at 12:30 p.m. on FOX. While it's not a prime-time game, it's still another high-visibility matchup for the Packers.

Packers on 'Sunday Night Football'

The Packers were a Sunday Night Football institution with Rodgers. Green Bay had won 13 straight SNF matchups before losing three straight to Buffalo, Philadelphia and Detroit last season. 

Love replaced an injured Rodgers in a 40-33 loss against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football last season. The Packers have two Sunday Night Football matchups in 2023. 

The first is in Week 13 against Kansas City at Lambeau Field. The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions. Love made his only career start to this point in 2021 against Kansas City. The Packers lost 13-7, and Love completed 19 of 34 passes for 190 yards, one TD and one interception. 

Green Bay also is scheduled to play division rival Minnesota in Week 17 on Sunday Night Football – though that game could be subject to flex scheduling. 

MORE: How Aaron Rodgers affected the Jets' 2023 schedule, prime-time games

Packers on 'Monday Night Football'

Rodgers is 12-8 on Monday Night Football, according to Love will get a pair of opportunities on MNF this season, and both are road games. 

Green Bay travels to Las Vegas in Week 5, a week after the TNF matchup against the Lions, which will be televised on ESPN. The Packers also face the Giants in Week 14; a matchup that will be televised on ABC. 

Why are the Packers on primetime so much? 

Simple answer: Green Bay is a great TV draw. According to Sports Media Watch, the Packers ranked in the top five in TV ratings in 16 of their 17 games last season – and they were the most-watched game in Week 3, Week 4, Week 10 and Week 17. 

Clearly, the NFL believes the curiosity factor in Love will drive ratings – at least for a year. Rodgers only had two prime-time games in his first year as a starter in 2008. 

The question becomes how much that might change without Rodgers – a four-time MVP who was traded to the Jets in the offseason. The pressure is on Love to maintain that standard — and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the increased exposure. If Green Bay slips out of playoff contention, the national interest will slip heading into 2024.

What's your reaction?


0 comment

Write the first comment for this!

Facebook Conversations

Disqus Conversations