For the first time since 1924, the Green Bay Packers will open the regular season with back-to-back road games.
The Packers will kick off their 2016 campaign in Jacksonville at noon on Sept. 11 before traveling to face the Minnesota Vikings, who’ll open U.S. Bank Stadium against their NFC North foe on Sunday Night Football on Sept. 18.
The NFL and the Vikings likely waited to hold the inaugural home opener at the $1 billion stadium to the second week of the regular season to give Minnesota more time to smooth out any kinks that need to be worked out following their two preseason games.
The 66,200-seat venue will host a rematch of January’s NFC North championship game between Green Bay and Minnesota. The Packers also will look to payback the Vikings for spoiling their 2003 opener at renovated Lambeau Field, which Minnesota won 30-25.
It marks the first time the Packers have opened the season with back-to-back road contests since 1924 when they traveled to face the Duluth Kelleys (6-3 loss) and Chicago Cardinals (3-0 loss).
Green Bay will return home for its home opener against Detroit on Sept. 25, meaning they’ll go a month without playing a game at Lambeau Field following their third preseason game against Oakland on Aug. 18. They’ll have aWeek 4 bye week for the second time in four years.
The Packers will debut their color-rush uniforms against the Chicago Bears on Thursday, Oct. 20. It’ll be part of a three-game home stand that includes a Sunday Night Football game against the New York Giants on Oct. 9 and a 3:25 p.m. game versus Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 16.
They’ll traveled to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football Nov. 28 before playing December home games against Houston (noon, Dec. 4), Seattle (3:25 p.m., Dec. 11) and Minnesota (noon, Christmas Eve). The Packers will close the regular season in Detroit at noon on Jan. 1.
Here is the complete 2016 schedule:
Week 1: vs. Indianapolis Colts at Canton, Ohio, Aug. 7, 7 p.m., ESPN
Week 2: vs. Cleveland Browns, Aug. 12, 7 p.m. (Gold, Midwest Shrine Game)
Week 3: vs. Oakland Raiders, Aug. 18, 7 p.m. (Bishop Charities Game)
Week 4: at San Francisco 49ers, Aug. 26, 8:30 p.m.
Week 5: at Kansas City Chiefs, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.
— Preseason games on state TV network
2016 REGULAR SEASON
Week 1: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sept. 11, noon, FOX
Week 2: at Minnesota Vikings, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Week 3: vs. Detroit Lions, Sept. 25, noon, FOX
Week 4: BYE
Week 5: vs. New York Giants, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Week 6: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Oct. 16, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Week 7: vs. Chicago Bears, Oct. 20, 7:25 p.m., CBS/NFL Network/Twitter
Week 8: at Atlanta Falcons, Oct. 30, noon, FOX
Week 9: vs. Indianapolis Colts, Nov. 6, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Week 10: at Tennessee Titans, Nov. 13, noon, FOX
Week 11: at Washington, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Week 12: at Philadelphia Eagles, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Week 13: vs. Houston Texans, Dec. 4, noon, FOX
Week 14: vs. Seattle Seahawks, Dec. 11, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Week 15: at Chicago Bears, Dec. 18, noon, FOX
Week 16: vs. Minnesota Vikings, Dec. 24, noon, FOX
Week 17: at Detroit Lions, Jan. 1, noon, FOX