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Big-time games begin Packers' 2017 schedule

Big-time games begin Packers' 2017 schedule

The Chicago Bears are going to have to take full advantage of the preseason this year, because once the regular season starts, they're going to be thrown right into the fire. The Bears are trying to rebound from a 3-13 season and a last-place finish in the rugged NFC North.

Nearly all of the roster that led the team to Super Bowl LI are returning.

The Falcons then begin a run of four consecutive AFC East matchups that includes two-in-a row at home against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins followed by the highly anticipated Super Bowl rematch against the New England Patriots in Foxborough.

For those with short memories, the Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Houston.

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The defending Super Bowl Champs will open the 2017 National Football League season on Thursday, Sept. 7. Thanks to a high-powered offense with risky weapons like Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, all signs point to Ryan's Falcons being strong contenders once again to make a run at the Super Bowl.

More interestingly, it's a schedule of streaks. Good luck with that. Kansas City had the AFC's second-highest point differential at +78, but that was less than half of New England's (+191) in 2016.

Bad and Boujee Bowl. A rivalry game against the Bears closes the month.

The second matchup comes two weeks later when the Falcons travel to New Orleans for a Christmas Eve game.

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The Seahawks and Falcons are the teams who beat the Packers in their two most recent appearances in the NFC title game, in the 2014 and 2016 playoffs.

For one, the bye week is much closer to the middle of the season, in Week 8, the last weekend in October, a full month later than past year. The team elected to stay in the Seattle for entire week.

The Packers once again have an early-season Thursday night home game vs. archrival Chicago, this time in Week 4 (Sept. 28), and they're slated for just one Monday night appearance, also at home vs. Detroit in Week 9 (Nov. 6).

After facing the Patriots, they play at the New York Jets on October 29 and at Carolina on November 5 before hosting Dallas on November 12.

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She later posed for a picture alongside the rest of the runners, grinning for the camera with the excited team around her. Matt Blom , 26, says: "I've seen some of the great work they do, I'm just looking to finish and enjoy the atmosphere".