Packers open with rematch vs. 49ers

The SportsXchange

The Green Bay Packers get a quick chance at revenge when they open the 2013 regular season at San Francisco.

The 49ers beat the Packers 45-31 in last season's NFC divisional playoffs at Candlestick Park. San Francisco also earned a 30-22 win over Green Bay at Lambeau Field in the 2012 regular-season opener.

The San Francisco rematch is one of the highlights of the schedule that was released Thursday.

"Opening day is always exciting. Playing the San Francisco 49ers is obviously a challenge that we look forward to," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said.

The Packers' schedule includes four night games, three of them in a four-week span.

In an unusual quirk, the Packers never play consecutive road games.

"I like it," McCarthy said. "It gives you a chance to get into a routine of playing at home and then on the road, to get into a flow. Winning on the road is so important."

Green Bay plays back-to-back home games just once, Monday, Nov. 4, against the Chicago Bears and Sunday, Nov. 10, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Packers have an early Week 4 bye, then play four of six games at home, including the division-rival Detroit Lions in Week 5 and the Bears on Monday night in Week 9, which follows a difficult Sunday night game at the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8. Green Bay also travels to the New York Giants on Sunday night in Week 11 and plays host to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night in Week 14.

The Atlanta game kicks off a tough December schedule that includes, in order, a game at Dallas against the Cowboys, a home game against Pittsburgh Steelers, and a season-ending battle with the rival Bears at Soldier Field.

"I think we have a really tough finish on paper with the teams we're playing down the stretch," McCarthy said.

The Packers play in Detroit on Thanksgiving in the day's first game.

"It's an incredible tradition, playing on Thanksgiving Day," McCarthy said. "It's a blessing for everyone involved. We're fortunate enough to still be home in time to share in the importance of the day."
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