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Packers Roundup: Packers to see familiar foe opening weekend

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GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers will not have to wait long to try-and-avenge their stinging January playoff loss at San Francisco.

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The Packers will open their regular season on Sunday, September eighth on the 49'ers home field. The NFL announced its regular season schedule last night. The Packer-49'er game was among the league's marquee matchups for the opening weekend. The Niners stung the Packers for 579 yards in their divisional playoff loss three months ago, in a 45-21 verdict. Green Bay's home opener will be on September 15th against Washington - which means they'll face two of the NFL top scrambling quarterbacks the first two weeks in Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin-the-Third. Green Bay also gets a Thanksgiving game - the traditional contest at Detroit on November 28th. The Packers received their normal allotment of three NBC Sunday night contests, one of them at Minnesota on October 27th and another at home against Atlanta on December eighth. Once again, the Pack will host Chicago in a national night broadcast, Monday November fourth on ESPN. The Packers' bye comes in Week-Four, unusually early for them. But for the first time since their inaugural season in 1921, Green Bay will not play two straight road contests.

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Packers' general manager Ted Thompson says it's important to find a first-round pick that will help the team win games. And he says it doesn't hurt for the player to have an "It-factor" - some type of inside advantage that would let him go beyond what he normally does. The Packers will have the 26th pick in the first round of this year's NFL Draft next Thursday night. Green Bay has done pretty well in that spot - especially with four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews, who was drafted 26th in 2009 after Thompson moved up to get him. The 26th spot also netted linebacker George Cumby for the Pack in 1980, linebacker John Anderson in '78, guard Bill Lueck in '68, and defensive tackle Ron Kostelnick in 1961. Matthews signed a monster five-year, 69-million-dollar contract extension this week. It reportedly gives him a 20-and-a-half million dollar signing bonus.

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2013 Green Bay Packer Schedule

Pre-season

Friday, August 9 - Arizona, 7 p.m. (State network)

Saturday, August 17 - at St. Louis, 7 p.m. (State)

Friday, August 23 - Seattle, 7 p.m. (CBS)

Thursday, August 29 - at Kansas City, 7 p.m. (State)

Regular Season

Sunday, September 8 - at San Francisco, 3:25 p.m. (Fox)

Sunday, September 15 - Washington, Noon (Fox)

Sunday, September 22 - at Cincinnati, Noon (Fox)

Sunday, September 29 - Bye

Sunday, October 6 - Detroit, Noon (Fox)

Sunday, October 13 - at Baltimore, Noon (Fox)

Sunday, October 20 - Cleveland, 3:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, October 27 - at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 4 - Chicago, 7:40 p.m. (ESPN)

Sunday, November 10 - Philadelphia, Noon (Fox)

Sunday, November 17 - at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)*

Sunday, November 24 - Minnesota, Noon (Fox)*

Thursday, November 28, Thanksgiving - at Detroit, 11:30 a.m. (Fox)

Sunday, December 8 - Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)*

Sunday, December 15 - at Dallas, 3:25 p.m. (Fox)*

Sunday, December 22 - Pittsburgh, 3:25 p.m. (CBS)*

Sunday, December 29 - at Chicago, Noon (Fox)*

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