That loss to the Minnesota Vikings did do one thing for the Green Bay Packers. Theoretically, it gave them a slightly easier 2016 schedule.
Since they finished second in the NFC North, they’ll get the second-place teams in the NFC South (Atlanta) and NFC West (Seattle).
In 2016, the NFC North plays the AFC South and NFC East, plus their division games.
Here’s where those games will be.
Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks.
Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons.
The Packers will get three playoff teams at home — Minnesota, Houston and Seattle. They’ll face two on the road — Minnesota and Washington.
Frankly, their road schedule looks pretty easy at this point, with the exception of the Vikings and maybe the Redskins.
The Packers’ toughest games will come at home. In addition to Seattle and Houston, both Indianapolis and Dallas, who were missing their starting quarterbacks for large parts of the season, will likely be tough match-ups.
Of course, anyone can win at Lambeau Field these days.
Fortunately, we’ve got a whole offseason to get through first.