Established.... September 18, 1919
First Season.... 1919 with Independent Football League
Stadium..... Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Conference..... Independent 1919-1920 / NFL 1921-present / Western-National-Central-North
Team Nicknames..... Indian Packers, Blues, Big Bay Blues, The Pack, The Green & Gold
1st Game Against BUCS..... Sunday, October 23, 1977
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their game debut against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 23, 1977 at the Tampa Stadium, losing 00-13.
The Buccaneers first ever victory against the Green Bay Packers came on Sunday, September 16, 1979 during an away game played in Lambeau Field.
The Buccaneers and Packers series includes one of the only ties in franchise history, 14-14 on Sunday, October 12 1977 during a home game in Tampa Stadium. Having both been in the original NFC Central Division the have played each other often twice-a-year from 1978-2001 and the met twice in the pre season splitting victories as of the 2017 season.
Below click on ANY date to view extensive details of all gameday encounters. We have featured details of each opponent, highlights of each games statistics, players, scoring details, media coverage, photographs with a detailed game report. Below the listed dates we also include full details of the Opponent.
|ALL GAMES vs. PACKERS (H=home @=away)|
|H||Oct. 23, 1977||L||00-13||@||Oct. 29, 1978||L||07-09||H||Dec. 03, 1978||L||07-17|
|@||Sep. 16, 1978||W||21-10||H||Oct. 21, 1979||W||21-03||H||Oct. 12, 1980||T||14-14|
|@||Nov. 30, 1980||W||20-17||@||Oct. 11, 1981||W||21-10||H||Nov. 22, 1981||W||37-03|
|@||Oct. 02, 1983||L||14-55||H||Dec. 12, 1893||L||09-12||H||Sep. 30, 1984||W||30-27|
|@||Dec. 02, 1984||L||14-27||@||Dec. 01, 1985||L||00-21||H||Dec. 22, 1985||L||17-20|
|@||Nov. 16, 1986||L||07-31||H||Dec. 14, 1986||L||07-21||H||Nov. 01, 1987||W||23-17|
|@||Sep. 11, !988||W||13-10||H||Oct. 02, 1988||W||27-24||@||Sep. 10, 1989||W||23-21|
|H||Dec. 03, 1989||L||16-17||H||Oct. 14, 1990||W||26-14||@||Nov. 25, 1990||L||10-20|
|@||Sep. 15, 1991||L||13-15||H||Oct. 27, 1991||L||00-27||H||Sep. 13, 1992||W||31-03|
|@||Nov. 29, 1992||L||14-19||H||Oct. 24, 1993||L||14-37||@||Nov. 28, 1993||L||10-13|
|@||Sep. 25, 1994||L||03-30||H||Dec. 24, 1994||L||19-34||@||Nov. 26, 1995||L||13-35|
|H||Dec. 10, 1995||W||13-10||H||Sep. 01, 1996||L||03-34||@||Oct. 27, 1996||L||07-13|
|@||Oct. 05, 1997||L||16-21||H||Dec. 07, 1997||L||06-17||@||Sep. 13, 1998||L||15-23|
|H||Dec. 07, 1998||W||24-22||@||Oct. 10, 1999||L||23-26||H||Dec. 26, 1999||W||29-10|
|H||Nov. 12, 2000||W||20-15||@||Dec. 24, 2000||L||14-17||H||Oct. 07, 2001||W||14-10|
|@||Nov. 04, 2001||L||20-21||H||Nov. 24, 2002||W||21-07||H||Nov. 16, 2003||L||13-20|
|@||Sep. 25, 2005||W||17-16||H||Sep. 28, 2008||W||30-21||H||Nov. 08, 2009||W||38-28|
|@||Nov. 20, 2011||L||26-35||H||Dec. 21, 2014||L||03-20||@||Dec. 03, 2017||L||20-26|
|H||* Oct. 18, 2020||W||38-10|
|PLAYOFF GAMES vs. PACKERS (H=home @=away)|
|NFC Championship||Score||NFC Championship||Score||NFC Championship||Score|
|@||Jan. 04, 1998||L||07-21|
The Green Bay Packers are based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. They are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States.
|Embed from Getty Images||
The Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the 1920s and 30s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest, before joining the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the forerunner of today's NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, its local fan and media base extends 120 miles south into Milwaukee, where it played selected home games between 1933 and 1994. And despite its small market, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.
The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre-Super Bowl NFL titles in addition to four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers' coach Lombardi, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two further Super Bowl wins came in 1997 and 2011.
The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions, who today comprise the NFL's NFC North division, and were formerly members of the NFC Central Division. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921.
The Packers have an exceptionally loyal fan base. Regardless of team performance, every game played in Green Bay has been sold out since 1960. Despite the Packers having by far the smallest local TV market, the team consistently ranks as one of the most popular in the NFL. They also have one of the longest season ticket waiting lists in professional sports, 86,000 names long, more than there are seats at Lambeau Field. The average wait is said to be over 30 years, but with only 90 or so tickets turned over annually it would be 955 years before the newest name on the list got theirs. As a result, season tickets are willed to next of kin and newborns placed optimistically on the waiting list.
Packers fans are often referred to as cheeseheads, a nickname for Wisconsin residents reflecting the state's bountiful cheese production first leveled as an insult at a 1987 game between the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. Instead, it came to be a statewide source of pride, and particularly since 1994 has been embraced by Packers fans. Bright orange triangular cheesehead hats are a fixture wherever the team plays.
During training camp in the summer months, held outside the Don Hutson Center, young Packers fans can bring their bikes and have their favorite players ride them from the locker room to practice at Ray Nitschke Field. This old tradition began around the time of Lambeau Field's construction in 1957. Gary Knafelc, a Packers end at the time, said, "I think it was just that kids wanted us to ride their bikes. I can remember kids saying, 'Hey, ride my bike.'" Each new generation of Packer fan delights at the opportunity.
The team holds an annual scrimmage called Family Night, typically an intra-squad affair, at Lambeau Field. During 2004 and 2005 sellout crowds of over 60,000 fans showed up, with an all-time mark of 62,492 set in 2005 when the Buffalo Bills appeared.
In August 2008, ESPN.com ranked Packers fans as second-best in the NFL. The team initially finished tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers (who finished ahead of the Packers) as having the best fans, but the tie was broken by ESPN's own John Clayton, a Pittsburgh native.
Needing to outfit his new squad, team founder Curly Lambeau solicited funds from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $500 for uniforms and equipment in return for the team being named for its sponsor. An early newspaper article referred to the fledglings as "the Indians", but by the time they played their first game "Packers" had taken hold.
Indian Packing was purchased in 1920 by the Acme Packing Company. Acme continued to support the team, which played its first NFL season with "ACME PACKERS" emblazoned on its jerseys.
Lambeau, a Notre Dame alumnus, borrowed its Irish's navy blue and gold team colors, much as George Halas borrowed his Illinois alma mater's for the Chicago Bears. As a result, the early Packers were often referred to as the "Bays" or the "Blues" (and even occasionally as "the Big Bay Blues").
By 1950, Green Bay had changed its colors to hunter green and gold. Navy blue was kept as a secondary color, seen primarily on sideline capes, but was quietly dropped on all official materials shortly thereafter. The team's current uniform combination of forest green or white jerseys and metallic gold pants was adopted soon after Vince Lombardi arrived in 1959. However, to celebrate the NFL's 75th anniversary in 1994, the Packers joined in a league-wide donning of "throwback" jerseys, back to navy blue and gold. The team would go throwback again for two Thanksgiving Day games against the Detroit Lions, in blue and gold 1930s-era uniforms in 2001, and 1960s green and gold (only slightly different from the current ones) in 2003.
In 1951, the team finally stopped wearing leather helmets, adopting the metallic gold plastic headgear it has used ever since. The oval "G" logo was added in 1961 when Lombardi asked Packers equipment manager Gerald "Dad" Braisher to design a logo. Braisher tasked his assistant, St. Norbert College art student John Gordon. Satisfied with a football-shaped letter "G", the pair presented it to Lombardi, who then approved the addition. Tiki Barber falsely reported it to stand for "greatness" without a reliable source to back up his claims. Other reputable media outlets then published similar stories using Barber's false claim as a source. The Packers' Assistant Director of PR and Corporate Communications had the following to say: "There’s nothing in our history that suggests there's any truth to this. The Packers Hall of Fame archivist said the same thing."
The team used a number of different logos prior to 1961, but the "G" is the only logo that has ever appeared on the helmet. The Packers hold the trademark on the "G" logo, and have granted limited permission to other organizations to utilize a similar logo, such as the University of Georgia and Grambling State University, in addition to the city of Green Bay itself as part of its civic logo. Adopted in 1964, the Georgia "G", though different in design and color, was similar to the Packers' "G". Then-Georgia head coach Vince Dooley thought it best to clear the use of Georgia's new emblem with the Packers.
While several NFL teams choose to wear white jerseys at home early in the season due to white's ability to reflect the late summer sun rays, the Packers have done so only twice, during the opening two games of the 1989 season. However, the team did wear an all-white uniform in 2016 versus the Chicago Bears during the two teams' designated Color Rush game, in which Chicago wore all-navy uniforms. Although alternate gold jerseys with green numbers are sold on a retail basis, the team currently has no plans to introduce such a jersey to be used in actual games.
During the 2010 season, the Packers paid tribute to their historical brethren with a third jersey modeled after that worn by the club in 1929, during its first world championship season. The jersey was navy blue, again making the Packers "the Blues."
Upon the NFL's switch of uniform suppliers in 2012 to Nike from Reebok, the Packers refused any changes to their uniform in any way outside of the required supplier's logo and new league uniform logos, declining all of Nike's "Elite 51" enhancements, including retaining the traditional striped collar of the jersey rather than Nike's new collar design.
The Green Bay Packers have played home games in eight stadiums since their establishment as a professional football team in 1919.
Hagemeister Park was the name of a park in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was the home of the Green Bay Packers from their founding in 1919 and their first two seasons playing in the National Football League, 1921 and 1922.
Owned by Hagemeister brewery, the park was located on the northern end of Washington Park (now Johannes Park). It was a classic sandlot, located near Baird and Walnut Streets, adjacent to the East River. The playing field was roped off from the spectators' standing area. There were no ushers, no band, and no public address system. There also were no gates, since there wasn't a fence. Spectators would jump off the streetcar and walk over to the sideline to watch. Fans who drove to the game could park their cars about ten yards behind the ropes. Fans often sat in their cars or on top of them, although most stood on the sidelines, following the action up and down the field. At halftime, the teams adjourned to opposite end zones and discuss tactics for the second half. Spectators would form a ring around the players and join in on the discussions.
George Whitney Calhoun, a writer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the club's unofficial press representative, would pass a hat among the spectators for donations.
In 1920, a small section of grandstand was built on one side of the field, with a capacity of a few hundred, and a fee was charged to sit there. In 1921, a portable canvas fence was erected around the entire field, and a regular admission fee was inaugurated.
|Embed from Getty Images|
Hagemeister Park was torn down in 1923 to make way for the new Green Bay East High School, and the Packers moved their games to Bellevue Park. They would return to a site just north of the park two years later, at City Stadium.
The park was just east of the Hagemeister Brewery, which was renamed the "Bellevue Products Co." during Prohibition, and was located just east of Baird Creek along Main Street in the village of Preble, Wisconsin.
A minor league baseball park, it was the second home venue of the Green Bay Packers. During their tenure at Bellevue Park, the Packers became more popular, with game attendance ranging from 4,000 to 5,000 spectators.
Because Bellevue Park was lacking virtually every facility required for football and was too far out of town, in 1925, the Packers moved their games to the then brand new City Stadium.
The horseshoe-shaped stadium was made of wood and originally did not have any toilet facilities. It stood behind East High School and next to the East River. The Packers used the school for locker room facilities, but visiting teams often dressed at their hotel before the game rather than use the lockers at East High. The stadium originally seated 6,000 and its capacity was gradually expanded to 25,000. The Packers compiled a record of 88-41-7 (.673) at City Stadium, including NFL championship seasons in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, and 1944.
Although City Stadium was the Packers' official home field, in 1933—during the worst of the Great Depression—they began to play part of their home schedule in Milwaukee. After holding one contest at Borchert Field in 1933, the Packers played two or three home games each year in Milwaukee, at State Fair Park in West Allis from 1934 to 1951 and at Marquette Stadium in 1952. The games were moved to County Stadium after it opened in 1953. The practice continued through 1994, after which they were again based solely in Green Bay.
While its playing surface was consistently praised, by the 1950s the stadium was seen as too small and inadequate, even after expansion. The leaders of the NFL, including George Halas, gave the Packer board an ultimatum—build a new stadium or move to Milwaukee full-time.
The residents of Green Bay responded by voting in 1956 to build a new City Stadium, which opened the following year, as "old" City Stadium became a high school field. The new stadium was renamed Lambeau Field in 1965, after the death of team founder Curly Lambeau, and has become one of the most revered venues in all of American sports.
Borchert Field was a baseball park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was the home field for several professional baseball clubs for most of the years from 1888 through 1952. It was made obsolete by the new County Stadium in 1953 and was demolished later that year. The site is now covered by Interstate 43
The Milwaukee Badgers, which played in the National Football League from 1922 to 1926, staged its home games at Borchert Field.
Borchert Field was also the host to the first Green Bay Packers game held in Milwaukee, a 10–7 loss to the New York Giants on October 1, 1933. The Packers played games in Milwaukee for 62 seasons, from 1933 through 1994, with the games at County Stadium starting in 1953.Embed from Getty Images
The Milwaukee Mile is an approximately one mile-long (1.6 km) oval race track in the central United States, located on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, a suburb west of Milwaukee. Its grandstand and bleachers seat approximately 37,000 spectators. Paved 63 years ago in 1954, it was originally a dirt track. In addition to the oval, there is a 1.8 mile (2.8 km) road circuit located on the infield.
The infield of the quarter-mile dirt infield track at the Mile near the current media center was also the location of a football stadium, informally known as the Dairy Bowl. It hosted the Green Bay Packers from 1934 through 1951, including the NFL championship game in 1939, a 27–0 shutout of the New York Giants on December 10 to secure a fifth league title. The Packers played several games a year in Milwaukee from 1933 through 1994.
In 1940 and 1941, the Dairy Bowl also served as the home of the Milwaukee Chiefs of the third American Football League. The 50-yard line sat where the start-finish line is currently located. The city's own entry in the NFL, the Milwaukee Badgers, lasted just five seasons, from 1922 to 1926, and played at Athletic Park, renamed Borchert Field in 1928.
Marquette Stadium was an outdoor athletic stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home field of the Golden Avalanche of Marquette University, its intercollegiate football team. Located in the Merrill Park neighborhood west of the university, the stadium opened in 1924 and had a seating capacity of 24,000 at its peak. Citing financial issues, the football program was discontinued by the university in December 1960. The concrete grandstands were demolished in the summer of 1976.
The National Football League's Green Bay Packers played several home games per year in the Milwaukee area for 62 seasons, from 1933 through 1994. Marquette Stadium hosted three games during the 1952 season.
Milwaukee County Stadium (mainly known simply as County Stadium locally) was a multi-purpose stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Opened in 1953, it was primarily a baseball park for the major league Milwaukee Braves and Brewers. It was also used for football games, ice skating, religious services, concerts, and other large events. Its final season was in 2000, when it was replaced by the adjacent Miller Park.
The Green Bay Packers played two to four home games per year at Milwaukee County Stadium from 1953 to 1994. The Packers compiled a 76–47–3 (.615) regular season record at County Stadium over 42 seasons. It hosted at least one pre-season game annually during this time as well (except 1983), including the Upper Midwest Shrine Game. Financial considerations prompted the Packers to move some of their games to Milwaukee starting with the 1933 season, with one game played at Borchert Field. By 1995, multiple renovations to Lambeau Field made it more lucrative for the Packers to play their full home slate in Green Bay again for the first time since 1932. Former Milwaukee ticket holders were offered tickets at Lambeau to one pre-season game and games 2 and 5 of the regular season schedule, in what is referred to as the "Gold package."
Ironically, County Stadium was partly responsible for Lambeau Field's existence. County Stadium was not only intended to lure an MLB team to Milwaukee, but also to lure the Packers to Milwaukee full-time. As originally constructed, County Stadium was double the size of the Packers' then-home, City Stadium, leading the NFL to give the Packers an ultimatum—build a bigger stadium or move to Milwaukee. Green Bay responded with a referendum that resulted in a new City Stadium, which opened in September 1957. After eight seasons, the venue was renamed "Lambeau Field" shortly after the death of team founder Curly Lambeau in 1965.
The Packers hosted one NFL playoff game at County Stadium, in 1967, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 28–7 in the Western Conference championship game. It was the first year that the NFL playoffs expanded to a four teams, and Green Bay had home field advantage for both rounds, then awarded by rotation. Each subsequent playoff game has been played at Lambeau Field, starting with the Ice Bowl the following week against the Dallas Cowboys.
Unlike most publicly funded stadiums built in the 20th century, County Stadium was built primarily for baseball. It was thus somewhat problematic as a football venue. The playing surface was just barely large enough to fit a football field. The football field itself ran parallel with the first base line. The south end zone spilled onto the warning track in right field, while the north end zone spilled onto foul territory on the third-base side. Only the bare minimum adjustments were made to accommodate the Packers. Both teams occupied the east sideline on the outfield side, separated by a piece of tape. At its height, it seated less than 56,000 for football—just over the NFL's minimum seating capacity—and many seats had obstructed views or were far from the field. Over the years, upgrades and seat expansion almost exclusively benefited the Braves and later the Brewers.
Season ticket prices (three games) for the first football season in 1953 were $5.00, $3.80, and $2.50. The average price in the final year of 1994 was $25.61 per game.
Lambeau Field is an outdoor athletic stadium located in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The home field of the Green Bay Packers, it opened 60 years ago in 1957 as City Stadium, replacing the original City Stadium at East High School as the Packers' home field. Informally known as New City Stadium for its first eight seasons, it was renamed in August 1965 in memory of Packers founder, player, and long-time head coach, Curly Lambeau, who had died two months earlier.
The stadium completed its latest renovation in the summer of 2013 with the addition of 7,000 seats high in the south end zone. About 5,400 of the new seating is general, while the remaining 1,600 seats are club or terrace suite seating. With a capacity of 81,411, Lambeau Field is the third-largest stadium in the NFL with standing room, but is second in normal capacity. It is now the largest venue in the state, edging out Camp Randall Stadium (80,321) at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Lambeau Field is the oldest continually operating NFL stadium. In 2007, the Packers completed their 51st season at Lambeau, breaking the all-time NFL record set by the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field (1921–70). (While Soldier Field in Chicago is older, it was not the home of the Bears until 1971.) Only the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley have longer active home-field tenures in American professional sports.
The stadium's nickname was spawned by the Ice Bowl between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, played on December 31, 1967. The game was played in temperatures of −15 °F (−26 °C) with sharp winds. Journalist Tex Maule associated Lambeau Field with the term tundra in his article summarizing the game in Sports Illustrated.
Lambeau Field is alleged to have gotten its nickname, The Frozen Tundra, from The Greatest Challenge, the Packers' authorized version of the highlight film written by Steve Sabol. In the Cowboys' authorized version of the highlight film, A Chilling Championship, also written by Sabol, Bill Woodson used the term the Frozen Tundra when narrating the film to describe Lambeau Field. Prior to the 1967 season, an underground electric heating system had been installed but it was not able to counter the effects of the cold front that hit Green Bay at the onset of the Ice Bowl. The field had been covered overnight with the heater on, but when the cover was removed in the sub-zero cold, the moisture atop the grass flash-froze.
The underground heating and drainage system was redone in 1997, with a system of pipes filled with a solution including antifreeze replacing the electric coils. After the 2006 season, the surface, heating, and drainage system was replaced. A new grass surface was installed, using the Desso GrassMaster system, which has synthetic fibers woven into the traditional Kentucky bluegrass sod. Even the new video boards, installed in 2004, have been influenced by the field's nickname, being called "Tundra Vision". These video displays measure more than 25 feet (7.6 m) high by 46 feet (14 m) wide. An artificial lighting system, based on technology used in Dutch rose-growing greenhouses, was tested in 2010 and purchased for use in the 2011 season. It operates 24 hours a day from October to early December to extend the growing season for the field's grass. The system is also used in some soccer stadiums where shade from stands and partial roofs are a problem for the turf, not the cold and short growing season found in Green Bay.
The Green Bay Packers were founded on August 11, 1919 by former high-school football rivals Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $500 ($6,900 today) for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. The Green Bay Packers have played in their original city longer than any other team in the NFL.
On August 27, 1921, the Packers were granted a franchise in the new national pro football league that had been formed the previous year. Financial troubles plagued the team and the franchise was forfeited within the year, before Lambeau found new financial backers and regained the franchise the next year. These backers, known as the "Hungry Five", formed the Green Bay Football Corporation.
After a near-miss in 1927, Lambeau's squad claimed the Packers' first NFL title in 1929 with an undefeated 12–0–1 campaign, behind a stifling defense which registered eight shutouts. Green Bay would repeat as league champions in 1930 and 1931, bettering teams from New York, Chicago and throughout the league, with all-time greats and future Hall of Famers Mike Michalske, Johnny (Blood) McNally, Cal Hubbard and Green Bay native Arnie Herber. Among the many impressive accomplishments of these years was the Packers' streak of 29 consecutive home games without defeat, an NFL record which still stands.
The arrival of end Don Hutson from Alabama in 1935 gave Lambeau and the Packers the most-feared and dynamic offensive weapon in the game. Credited with inventing pass patterns, Hutson would lead the league in receptions eight seasons and spur the Packers to NFL championships in 1936, 1939 and 1944. An iron man, Hutson played both ways, leading the league in interceptions as a safety in 1940. Hutson claimed 18 NFL records when he retired in 1945, many of which still stand. In 1951, his number 14 was the first to be retired by the Packers, and he was inducted as a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
After Hutson's retirement, Lambeau could not stop the Packers' slide. He purchased a large lodge near Green Bay for team members and families to live. Rockwood Lodge was the home of the 1946-1949 Packers, though the 1947 and 1948 seasons produced a record of 12-10-1, and 1949 was even worse at 3-9. The lodge burned down on January 24, 1950, and the insurance money paid for many of the Packers' debts.
Curly Lambeau departed after the 1949 season. Gene Ronzani and Lisle Blackbourn could not coach the Packers back to their former magic, even as a new stadium was unveiled in 1957. The losing would descend to the disastrous 1958 campaign under coach Ray "Scooter" McLean, whose lone 1–10–1 year at the helm is the worst in Packers history.
Former New York Giants assistant Vince Lombardi was hired as Packers head coach and general manager on February 2, 1959. Few suspected the hiring represented the beginning of a remarkable, immediate turnaround. Under Lombardi, the Packers would become the team of the 1960s, winning five World Championships over a seven-year span, including victories in the first two Super Bowls. During the Lombardi era, the stars of the Packers' offense included Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Carroll Dale, Paul Hornung (as halfback and placekicker), Forrest Gregg, and Jerry Kramer. The defense included Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, Willie Wood, Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, and Herb Adderley.
The Packers' first regular season game under Lombardi was on September 27, 1959, a 9–6 victory over the Chicago Bears in Green Bay. After winning their first three, the Packers lost the next five before finishing strong by sweeping their final four. The 7–5 record represented the Packers' first winning season since 1947, enough to earn rookie head coach Lombardi the NFL Coach of the Year.
The next year, the Packers, led by Paul Hornung's 176 points, won the NFL West title and played in the NFL Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles at Philadelphia. In a see-saw game, the Packers trailed by only four points when All-Pro Eagle linebacker Chuck Bednarik tackled Jim Taylor just nine yards short of the goal line as time expired. The Packers claimed that they did not "lose" the game, they were simply behind in the score when time ran out.
The Packers returned to the NFL Championship game the following season and faced the New York Giants in the first league title game to be played in Green Bay. The Packers scored 24 second-quarter points, including a championship-record 19 by Paul Hornung, on special "loan" from the Army (one touchdown, four extra-points and three field goals), powering the Packers to a 37–0 rout of the Giants, their first NFL Championship since 1944. It was in 1961 that Green Bay became known as "Titletown."
The Packers stormed back in the 1962 season, jumping out to a 10–0 start, on their way to a 13–1 season. This consistent level of success would lead to Lombardi's Packers becoming one of the most prominent teams of their era, and even to their being featured as the face of the NFL on the cover of Time on December 21, 1962, as part of the magazine's cover story on "The Sport of the '60s". Shortly after Time's article, the Packers faced the Giants in a much more brutal championship game than the previous year, but the Packers prevailed on the surprising foot of Jerry Kramer and the determined running of Jim Taylor. The Packers defeated the Giants in New York, 16–7.
The Packers returned to the championship game in 1965 following a two-year absence, when they defeated the Colts in a playoff for the Western Conference title. That game would be remembered for Don Chandler's controversial tying field goal in which the ball allegedly went wide right, but the officials signaled "good." The 13–10 overtime win earned the Packers a trip to the NFL Championship game, where Hornung and Taylor ran through the defending champion Cleveland Browns, helping the Packers win, 23–12, to earn their third NFL Championship under Lombardi and ninth overall. Goalpost uprights would be made taller the next year.
The 1966 season saw the Packers led to the first ever Super Bowl by MVP quarterback Bart Starr. The team went 12–2, and as time wound down in the NFL Championship against the Dallas Cowboys, the Packers clung to a 34–27 lead. Dallas had the ball on the Packers' two-yard line, threatening to tie the ballgame. But on fourth down the Packers' Tom Brown intercepted Don Meredith's pass in the end zone to seal the win. The team crowned its season by rolling over the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs 35–10 in Super Bowl I.
The 1967 season was the last for Lombardi as the Packers' head coach. The NFL Championship game, a rematch of the 1966 contest against Dallas, became indelibly known as the "Ice Bowl" as a result of the brutal conditions at Lambeau Field. Still the coldest NFL game ever played, it remains one of the most famous football games at any level in the history of the sport. With 16 seconds left, Bart Starr's touchdown on a quarterback sneak brought the Packers a 21–17 victory and their still unequaled third straight NFL Championship. They then won Super Bowl II with a 33–14 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Lombardi stepped down as head coach after the game, and Phil Bengtson was named his successor. Lombardi remained as general manager for one season, but left in 1969 to become head coach and minority owner of the Washington Redskins.
After Lombardi died unexpectedly on September 3, 1970, a shocked NFL renamed the Super Bowl trophy the Vince Lombardi Trophy in recognition of his accomplishments with the Packers. The city of Green Bay renamed Highland Avenue in his honor in 1968, placing Lambeau Field at 1265 Lombardi Avenue ever since.
For about a quarter century after Lombardi's departure the Packers had relatively little on-field success. In the 24 seasons from 1968 to 1991, they had only five seasons with a winning record, one being the shortened 1982 strike season. They appeared in the playoffs twice, with a 1–2 record. The period saw five different head coaches – Phil Bengtson, Dan Devine, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, and Lindy Infante – two of whom, Starr and Gregg, were Lombardi's era stars, while Bengtson was a former Packer coach. Each led the Packers to a poorer record than his predecessor. Poor personnel decisions were rife, notoriously the 1974 trade by acting GM Dan Devine which sent five 1975 or 1976 draft picks (two first-rounders, two second-rounders and a third) to the Los Angeles Rams for aging quarterback John Hadl, who would spend only 1½ seasons in Green Bay. Another came in the 1989 NFL Draft, when offensive lineman Tony Mandarich was taken with the second overall pick ahead of Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, and Derrick Thomas. Though rated highly by nearly every professional scout at the time, Mandarich's performance failed to meet expectations, earning him ESPN's ranking as the third "biggest sports flop" in the last 25 years.
The Packers' performance throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s led to a shakeup, with Ron Wolf hired as GM and given full control of the team's football operations to start the 1991 season. In 1992, Wolf hired San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren as the Packers' new head coach.
Soon afterward, Wolf acquired quarterback Brett Favre from the Atlanta Falcons for a first-round pick. Favre got the Packers their first win of the 1992 season, stepping in for injured quarterback Don Majkowski and leading a comeback over the Cincinnati Bengals. He started the following week, a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and never missed another start for Green Bay through the end of the 2007 season. He would go on to break the record for consecutive starts by an NFL quarterback, starting 297 consecutive games including stints with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings with the streak finally coming to an end late in the 2010 season.
The Packers had a 9–7 record in 1992, and began to turn heads around the league when they signed perhaps the most prized free agent in NFL history in Reggie White on the defense in 1993. White believed that Wolf, Holmgren, and Favre had the team heading in the right direction with a "total commitment to winning." With White on board the Packers made it to the second round of the playoffs during both the 1993 and 1994 seasons but lost their 2nd-round matches to their playoff rival, the Dallas Cowboys, playing in Dallas on both occasions. In 1995, the Packers won the NFC Central Division championship for the first time since 1972. After a home playoff 37–20 win against Favre's former team, the Atlanta Falcons, the Packers defeated the defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers 27–17 in San Francisco on the road to advance to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost again to the Dallas Cowboys 38–27.
In 1996, the Packers' turnaround was complete. The team posted a league-best 13–3 record in the regular season, dominating the competition and securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They were ranked no. 1 in offense with Brett Favre leading the way, no. 1 in defense with Reggie White as the leader of the defense and no. 1 in special teams with former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard returning punts and kickoffs for touchdowns. After relatively easy wins against the 49ers in a muddy 35–14 beatdown and Carolina Panthers 30–13 in what was referred to as "Ice Bowl 2", the Packers advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in 29 years. In Super Bowl XXXI, Green Bay defeated the New England Patriots 35–21 to win their 12th world championship. Desmond Howard was named MVP of the game for his kickoff return for a touchdown that ended the Patriots' bid for a comeback. Then-Packers President Bob Harlan credited Wolf, Holmgren, Favre, and White for ultimately changing the fortunes of the organization and turning the Green Bay Packers into a model NFL franchise. A 2007 panel of football experts at ESPN ranked the 1996 Packers the 6th-greatest team ever to play in the Super Bowl.
The following season the Packers recorded another 13–3 record and won their second consecutive NFC championship. After defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21–7 and San Francisco 49ers 23–10 in the playoffs, the Packers returned to the Super Bowl as an 11½ point favorite. The team ended up losing in an upset to John Elway and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII, by the score of 31–24.
In 1998, the Packers went 11–5 and met the San Francisco 49ers in the first-round of the NFC playoffs. It was the fourth consecutive year these teams had met in the playoffs, and the sixth overall contest since the 1995 season. The Packers had won all previous games, and the media speculated that another 49ers loss would result in the dismissal of San Francisco head coach Steve Mariucci. Unlike the previous playoff matches, this game was hotly contested, with the teams frequently exchanging leads. With 4:19 left in the 4th quarter, Brett Favre and the Packers embarked on an 89-yard drive, which concluded with a Favre touchdown pass to receiver Antonio Freeman. This play appeared to give Green Bay the victory. But San Francisco quarterback Steve Young led the 49ers on an improbable touchdown drive, which culminated when Terrell Owens caught Young's pass between several defenders to give the 49ers a lead with three seconds remaining. Afterwards, the game was mired in controversy. Many argued that during the 49ers game-winning drive, Niners receiver Jerry Rice fumbled the ball but officials stated he was down by contact. Television replays appeared to confirm these sentiments, and the next season the NFL re instituted an instant replay system. In the end, this game turned out to be the end of an era in Green Bay. Days later Mike Holmgren left the Packers to become Vice President, General Manager and Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Much of Holmgren's coaching staff went with him, and Reggie White also retired after the season (but later played one season for the Carolina Panthers in 2000).
In 1999, the team struggled to find an identity after the departure of so many of the individuals responsible for their Super Bowl run. Ray Rhodes was hired in 1999 as the team's new head coach. Rhodes had served around the league as a highly regarded defensive coordinator, and more recently experienced moderate success as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1995 to 1998. Ron Wolf believed that Rhodes' experience and player-friendly demeanor would fit nicely in Green Bay's veteran locker room. But Rhodes was fired after one 8–8 season. Wolf visited team practice late in the 1999 season and believed that players had become too comfortable with Rhodes' style, and said the atmosphere resembled a country club.
In 2000, Wolf replaced Rhodes with Mike Sherman. Sherman had never been a head coach at any level of football and was relatively unknown in NFL circles. He had only coached in professional football for three years starting as the Packers' tight ends coach in 1997 and 1998. In 1999, he followed Mike Holmgren to Seattle and became the Seahawks' offensive coordinator, although Sherman did not call the plays during games. Despite Sherman's apparent anonymity, Wolf was blown away in the interview process by the coach's organizational skills and attention to detail. Sherman's inaugural season started slowly, but the Packers won their final four games to achieve a 9–7 record. Brett Favre praised the atmosphere Sherman had cultivated in Green Bay's locker room and fans were optimistic about the team's future. In the offseason, however, Wolf suddenly announced his own resignation as GM to take effect after the April 2001 draft. Packers President Bob Harlan was surprised by Wolf's decision and felt unsure of how to replace him. Harlan preferred the structure Green Bay had employed since 1991; a general manager who ran football operations and hired a subservient head coach. But with the momentum and locker room chemistry that was built during the 2000 season, Harlan was reluctant to bring in a new individual with a potentially different philosophy. Wolf recommended that Harlan give the job to Sherman. Though Harlan was wary of the structure in principle, he agreed with Wolf that it was the best solution. In 2001, Sherman assumed the duties of both GM and head coach.
From 2001 to 2004, Sherman coached the Packers to respectable regular-season success, led by the spectacular play of Brett Favre, Ahman Green, and a formidable offensive line. But Sherman's teams faltered in the playoffs. Prior to 2003, the Packers had never lost a home playoff game since the NFL instituted a post-season in 1933 (they were 13–0, with 11 of the wins at Lambeau and two more in Milwaukee.). That ended January 4, 2003, when the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Packers 27–7 in an NFC Wild Card game. The Packers would also lose at home in the playoffs to the Minnesota Vikings two years later.
By the end of the 2004 season, the Packers team depth appeared to be diminishing. Sherman also seemed overworked and reportedly had trouble communicating with players on the practice field with whom he was also negotiating contracts. Harlan felt the dual roles were too much for one man to handle and removed Sherman from the GM position in early 2005, while retaining him as a head coach. Harlan hired Seattle Seahawks Vice President of Operations Ted Thompson as the new Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations. The relationship between Thompson and Sherman appeared strained, as Thompson immediately began rebuilding Green Bay's roster. Following a dismal 4–12 season, Thompson fired Sherman.
In 2006, Thompson hired Mike McCarthy, the former offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints as his new head coach. McCarthy had also previously served as the quarterbacks coach for the Packers in 1999.
After missing the playoffs in 2006, Brett Favre announced that he would return for the 2007 season; it would turn out to be one of his best. The Packers won 10 of their first 11 games and finished 13–3, earning a first round bye in the playoffs. The Packers' passing offense, led by Favre and a very skilled wide receiver group, finished second in the NFC, behind the Dallas Cowboys, and third overall in the league. Running back Ryan Grant, acquired for a sixth-round draft pick from the New York Giants, became the featured back in Green Bay and rushed for 956 yards and 8 touchdowns in the final 10 games of the regular season. In the divisional playoff round, in a heavy snowstorm, the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks 42–20. Grant rushed for three touchdowns and over 200 yards, while Favre tossed three touchdown passes and 1 snowball to receiver Donald Driver in celebration.
On January 20, 2008, Green Bay appeared in their first NFC Championship Game in 10 years facing the New York Giants in Green Bay. The game was lost 23–20 on an overtime field goal by Lawrence Tynes. This would be Brett Favre's final game as a Green Bay Packer with his final pass being an interception in overtime.
Mike McCarthy coached the NFC team during the 2008 Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Al Harris and Aaron Kampman were also picked to play for the NFC Pro Bowl team as starters. Donald Driver was named as a third-string wideout on the Pro Bowl roster. Brett Favre was named the first-string quarterback for the NFC, but he declined to play in the Pro Bowl and was replaced on the roster by Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback Jeff Garcia. The Packers also had several first alternates, including Chad Clifton and Nick Barnett.
In December 2007, Ted Thompson was signed to a 5-year contract extension with the Packers, while it was announced on February 5, 2008 that head coach Mike McCarthy signed a 5-year contract extension as well.
On March 4, 2008, Brett Favre tearfully announced his retirement. Within five months, however, he filed for reinstatement with the NFL on July 29. Favre's petition was granted by Commissioner Roger Goodell, effective August 4, 2008. On August 6, 2008, it was announced that Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick in 2009.
The Packers began their 2008 season with their 2005 first-round draft pick, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, under center, as the first QB other than Favre to start for the Packers in 16 years. Rodgers played well in his first year starting for the Packers, throwing for over 4000 yards and 28 touchdowns. However, injuries plagued the Packers' defense, as they lost 7 close games by 4 points or less, finishing with a 6–10 record. After the season, eight assistant coaches were dismissed by McCarthy, including Bob Sanders, the team's defensive coordinator, who was replaced by Dom Capers.
In March 2009, the organization assured fans that Brett Favre's jersey number would be retired, but not during the 2009 season. In April 2009, the Packers selected defensive lineman B. J. Raji of Boston College as the team's first pick in the draft. The team then traded three draft picks (including the pick the Packers acquired from the Jets for Brett Favre) for another first-round pick, selecting linebacker Clay Matthews III of the University of Southern California.
During the 2009 NFL season, two match-ups between the franchise and its former legendary QB, Brett Favre, were highly anticipated after Favre's arrival with the division-rival Vikings in August. The first encounter took place in Week 4, on a Monday Night Football game which broke several TV audience records. The scheduling of this game was made possible when Baseball Commissioner and Packer Board of Directors member Bud Selig forced baseball's Minnesota Twins to play 2 games within a 12-hour span. The Vikings won the game 30–23. Brett Favre threw 3 TDs, no interceptions, and had a passer rating of 135. The teams met for a second time in Week 8, Favre leading the Vikings to a second win, 38–26, in Green Bay. Rodgers was heavily pressured in both games, being sacked 14 times total, but still played exceptionally well, throwing five touchdowns and only one interception. The next week, the Packers were upset by the win-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following a players only meeting, the team started to roll and found some stability on the offensive line with the return of tackle Mark Tauscher bringing a minor halt to sacks to Rodgers and opening the running game to Ryan Grant and the other running backs. Green Bay finished the season strongly, winning 7 out of their last 8 games, including winning their 16th regular season finale in the past 17 seasons, and earning a NFC wild-card playoff bid with an 11–5 regular-season record. The Packers defense was ranked No. 2 and the offense was ranked No. 6 with rookies Brad Jones and Clay Matthews III becoming sensations at linebacker and young players like James Jones, Brandon Jackson, Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson becoming threats on offense. Rodgers also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 4000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter. Also, cornerback Charles Woodson won NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors after recording 9 interceptions, forcing four fumbles, 3 touchdowns and registering 74 tackles and 2 sacks. In fact, Woodson's 9 interceptions were more than the 8 collected by all Packer opponents that season. Though the defense was ranked high, injuries to Al Harris, Tramon Williams, Will Blackmon, Atari Bigby and Brandon Underwood severely limited the depth of the secondary and teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers used that to their advantage by unleashing aerial assaults against inexperienced players with the NFL's best receivers. The season ended with an overtime loss in a wild card round shoot out at the Arizona Cardinals, 51–45.
After finishing the 2009 season with an 11–5 record, the Packers began the 2010 NFL Draft holding the 23rd pick. They selected Offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga from Iowa; with pick 2–56 they selected Defensive end Mike Neal from Purdue. They then traded picks 3–86 and 4–122 to the Philadelphia Eagles for pick 3–71, choosing Safety Morgan Burnett from Georgia Tech. With pick 5–154 they selected Tight end Andrew Quarless from Penn State. With their compensatory selection pick 5–169 they chose Offensive guard Marshall Newhouse from Texas Christian. With pick 6–193 they selected Running back James Starks from Buffalo. In their final selection, 7–230. they chose Defensive end C. J. Wilson of East Carolina.
The team lost Johnny Jolly to a season-long suspension after he violated the NFL drug policy. Their running corps suffered a blow when RB Ryan Grant sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Week 1. By the end of the season, the team had 16 people on injured reserve, including 7 starters: running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley, linebacker Nick Barnett, safety Morgan Burnett, linebacker Brandon Chillar, tackle Mark Tauscher, and linebacker Brad Jones.
After finishing the regular season 10–6 the Packers clinched the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoffs. They first faced No. 3 seeded Philadelphia, winning 21–16. In the Divisional round they defeated No. 1 seeded Atlanta 48–21. They then played the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in the NFC Championship Game – only the second playoff meeting between the two storied rivals (the other a 33–14 Chicago victory which sent them to the 1941 NFL Championship Game). Green Bay won 21–14 to move on to Super Bowl XLV. On February 6, 2011, they defeated the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers 31–25, becoming the first No. 6 seed from the NFC to win a Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers was named Super Bowl MVP.
In 2011, coming off their victory in Super Bowl XLV, the Packers won their first 13 games, eventually finishing the season 15-1. The 15 victories marked the franchise record for wins in a season, and tied for second most regular-season wins in NFL history, behind only the 2007 Patriots who went 16-0. Following the season, Aaron Rodgers would be named the NFL's MVP, his first such award.
Despite this success, the team faltered in the playoffs, losing their first game to the New York Giants 37-20, following the Packer's a first round bye.
In 2012, the Packers went 11-5. They beat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wildcard round 24-10, and but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the eventual NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers by a score of 45-31. The Packers offense finished the season fifth in points and eleventh in yards per game. The defense finished eleventh in points allowed and twenty-second in yards allowed per game.
The Packers topped the first-ever AP Pro32 rankings, a new pro football version of the AP Top 25 college football and basketball polls.
2013, the Packers got to a 5-2 start, leading up to a Week 9 match-up against the Bears. It was in that game which the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone; Rodgers would miss the next six games, during which the club would go 2-3-1 under three different quarterbacks: Seneca Wallace (injured during first start), Scott Tolzien (benched), and Matt Flynn.
Despite having a 7-7-1 record, the Packers were still in a position to win the NFC North division, if they were able to win their final game. With Rodgers returning, the Packers managed to beat the Bears in a Week 9 rematch, 33-28. Finishing at 8-7-1, the Packers won their division, and were awarded a home playoff game. However, despite Rodgers' return, the Packers would lose to the San Francisco 49ers 20-23 in the first round of the playoffs.
The Packers recorded their 700th victory against the Bears in Week 4. The team went undefeated in its home games, for the first time since the 2011 season; they also led the league in scoring, with 486 points, the second-most in franchise history. The 2014 season also marked the first time since 2009 that the team had a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers, and a 1,000-yard rusher. Overall, the team went 12-4, clinching the #2 seed in the NFC and a fourth consecutive NFC North division title, making the playoffs for the sixth straight season, tying a franchise record. The Packers beat the Cowboys in the divisional round, advancing to the NFC Championship to face the Seattle Seahawks. After leading throughout most of regulation, the Packers lost 28-22 in a historic overtime rally by Seattle.
Following the season, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the second time.
During Week 2 of the preseason against the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught an eight-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers, but then fell to the turf without contact. A few days later, it was revealed that Nelson had torn his ACL. He would remain inactive for the rest of the 2015 season. Even without Nelson, the Packers managed to get off to a 6-0 start. But the Packers then lost 4 of their next 5 games, falling to 7-4.
On the December 3rd game against the Detroit Lions, the Packers quickly fell to a 20-0 deficit going into halftime. Green Bay started to make a comeback in the 2nd half thanks to a touchdown by Davante Adams and a 27-yard touchdown run by Aaron Rodgers to bring the game within 2 points at 23-21. The Packers then got the ball back in their possession with 23 seconds left in the game. While attempting a "lateral" play, Rodgers was sacked with no time remaining but then a flag was thrown for a facemask penalty on Detroit. The Packers now ad one more un-timed play, which Aaron Rodgers threw a 61-yard Hail Mary touchdown to tight end Richard Rodgers. It was the longest completed Hail Mary pass thrown in NFL history. Green Bay then finished the season 10-6 and 2nd in the NFC North behind the Minnesota Vikings.
The Packers beat the Washington Redskins in the NFC Wild Card game to advance to the Divisional round with the Arizona Cardinals. A similar play to tie the game against the Cardinals happened between Aaron Rodgers and Jeff Janis. Janis caught a 41-yard touchdown from Rodgers which sent the game into overtime. However, the Packers fell to the Cardinals 26-20, ending their season.
Despite a 4-6 start to the season, the Packers went on a 6-game winning streak to finish the regular season with a 10–6 record. The team clinched the NFC North for the fifth time in six years with their Week 17 win over the Detroit Lions. They routed the fifth-seeded New York Giants 38–13 in the wild card round of the playoffs and upset the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys 34–31 in the divisional round of the playoffs, but their season came to an end when they were beat by the second-seeded Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game 44–21.
Copyright 2002-2022. © BuccaneersFan.com | © Ye Krew of Pewter | © Captain Booty All Rights Reserved. 2022 Professor Jam