Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers
Current season
Established August 11, 1919; 99 years ago (1919-08-11)[1]
First season: 1919
Play in and headquartered at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay Packers logo
Green Bay Packers wordmark
LogoWordmark
League/conference affiliations

Independent (1919–1920)
National Football League (1921–present)

Current uniform
Packers 2015 uniforms.png
Team colorsDark green, gold, white[2][3]
              
Fight song"Go! You Packers Go!"
Personnel
Owner(s)Green Bay Packers, Inc. (360,760 stockholders—governed by a Board of Directors)[4]
ChairmanMark H. Murphy
CEOMark H. Murphy
PresidentMark H. Murphy
General managerBrian Gutekunst
Head coachMatt LaFleur
Team history
  • Green Bay Packers (1919–present)
Team nicknames
  • Indian Packers (1919)[5]
  • Blues (1922)
  • Big Bay Blues (1920s)[6]
  • Bays (1918–1940s)[6]
  • The Pack (current)
  • The Green and Gold (current)
Championships
League championships (13)†
Conference championships (9)
Division championships (18)
† - Does not include the AFL or NFL championships won during the same seasons as the AFL-NFL Super Bowl championships prior to the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger
Playoff appearances (32)
Home fields

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team 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. It is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919,[7][8] and is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States.[9] Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957.

The Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the league's early days of 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, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.[10]

The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and 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 of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two subsequent Super Bowl wins came in 1996 and 2010.[11]

The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the 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. They have played over 100 games against each of those teams through history, and have a winning overall record against all of them, a distinction only shared with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921.

History

Founding

Curly Lambeau, founder, player and first coach of the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers were founded on August 11, 1919[1] by former high-school football rivals Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun.[12] Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company.[13] He was given $500 ($7,200 today) for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor.[14] 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.[15]

1929–1931: Lambeau's team arrives

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.[16] 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.[17][18] 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.[19]

1935–1945: The Don Hutson era

Don Hutson with the Packers; his jersey number was the first retired by the Packers (1951)

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.[20] 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.

1946–1958: Wilderness

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 1946–49 Packers. 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 insurance money paid for many of the Packers' debts.[21]

A 1950 depiction of Tony Canadeo, whose #3 was retired by the Packers in 1952

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.[22]

1959–1967: The Lombardi era and the glory years

Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr

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.

1959: Lombardi's first season

Ray Nitschke – his #66 jersey is one of six numbers retired by the Packers

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.

1960

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.

1961

The "Golden Boy" Paul Hornung, featured on a 1961 sports card

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.[23] It was in 1961 that Green Bay became known as "Titletown."

1962

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 to 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".[24] 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 kicking of Jerry Kramer and the determined running of Jim Taylor. The Packers defeated the Giants in New York, 16–7.

1965

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.

1966: the first "AFL-NFL World Championship Game"

Packers Willie Davis (left) and Henry Jordan tackling a Chiefs player in the first AFL-NFL Championship (Super Bowl I).

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.

1967: Super Bowl II, and Lombardi's departure

The 1967 season was the last for Lombardi as the Packers' head coach.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] 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 of cancer on September 3, 1970, the 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.

1968–1991: Post-Lombardi and decline

The Packers, pictured against Cardinals in the 1982–83 playoffs, only qualified for the postseason twice during the team's post-Lombardi "dark ages" (1969–91).

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 worse record than his predecessor. Poor personnel decisions were rife, notoriously the 1974 trade by acting general manager 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 11/2 seasons in Green Bay.[28] Another came in the 1989 NFL Draft, when offensive lineman Tony Mandarich was taken with the second overall pick ahead of future Hall of Fame inductees Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, and Deion Sanders. 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.[29]

1992–2007: Brett Favre era

Packers great Brett Favre, a three time All-Pro, three time NFL MVP, and Super Bowl XXXI champion in his 16 years in Green Bay
Packers great Brett Favre played for 16 years in Green Bay. He had his #4 jersey retired by the Packers in 2015.

The Packers' performance in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s led to a shakeup, with Ron Wolf hired as general manager 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.

1996: Super Bowl XXXI champions

Reggie White in 1998. White is widely considered one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, and had his number retired by the Packers in 2005

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, 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.

1997: defeat in Super Bowl XXXII

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 111/2 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.

1998: Holmgren's last season

Holmgren, one of three Packer coaches to win a Super Bowl, pictured in 1998

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 confirmed the fumble, but referees were unable to review the play; the next season the NFL reinstituted an instant replay system.[30] 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).

1999: Ray Rhodes' one-year tenure

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.

2000–05: Mike Sherman as head coach
Coach Mike Sherman, pictured in 2003

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 general manager 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 general manager 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 general manager position in early 2005 while retaining him as a head coach. Harlan hired the 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.

2006–07: McCarthy arrives, Favre departs

Former Packers wide-receiver Donald Driver

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 201 yards and three touchdowns, while Favre tossed an additional three touchdown passes to receiver Donald Driver (as well as a snowball, which Favre memorably threw at Driver in celebration).[31]

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 quarterback Jeff Garcia. The Packers also had several first alternates, including offensive tackle Chad Clifton and linebacker Nick Barnett.

In December 2007, Ted Thompson was signed to a 5-year contract extension with the Packers. In addition, on February 5, 2008, head coach Mike McCarthy signed a 5-year contract extension.

2008–present: Aaron Rodgers era

2008: Transition

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2008.

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.[32] On August 6, 2008, it was announced that Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick in 2009.[33]

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 4,000 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.

2009: Return to the playoffs

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 quarterback 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.[34] 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 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 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 4,000 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 shootout at the Arizona Cardinals, 51–45.

2010: Super Bowl XLV championship

Former Super Bowl winning Packers head coach Mike McCarthy

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.[35] 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.[36][37]

2011: 15–1 season

Clay Matthews (52) and Charles Woodson (21), two defensive stars for the Packers under Coach Mike McCarthy

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 receiving home-field advantage, Green Bay lost their first game to eventual Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants, 37–20.

2012

With an 11–5 record, the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC wild card round 24–10, but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the eventual NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers by a score of 45–31.[38] 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.[39]

2013: injury to Rodgers

In 2013, the Packers started 5–2, 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.

2014

The Packers recorded their 700th victory, against the Bears, in Week 4.[40] The team went undefeated at home 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.

2015

Jordy Nelson, who tore his ACL in the 2015 preseason, and would go on to be the NFL Comeback Player of the Year the following 2016 season upon returning from his injury

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.[41] Even without Nelson, the Packers managed to get off to a 6–0 start, but the Packers then lost four of their next five games, falling to 7–4.[42]

On December 3, 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 second half thanks to a touchdown by Davante Adams and a 27-yard touchdown run by Aaron Rodgers to bring the game within two 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 had one more un-timed play, which Aaron Rodgers threw a 61-yard Hail Mary touchdown to tight end Richard Rodgers.[43] It was the longest Hail Mary touchdown pass thrown in NFL history.[44] 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 Arizona 26–20, ending their season.

2016

After a 4–6 start to the season, the Packers went on a six-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 beaten by the second-seeded Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, 44–21.

2017 and 2018

The Green Bay Packers began the 2017 regular season with a 4–2 record.[45] On October 15, during a week 6 game against the Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Rodgers was driven to the ground by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr after throwing a pass. Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone during the play,[46] and the Packers placed him on injured reserve on October 20, with the stipulation that he could return in eight weeks (in accordance with NFL rules), especially if the injury healed quickly and the Packers were still in playoff contention.[47] Rodgers did indeed return to the field for a week 15 game against the Carolina Panthers on December 17, but the Packers were eliminated from the playoff hunt after a 31–24 loss. The team placed Rodgers back on injured reserve after the game, a move that prompted several teams to complain that the Packers had violated the NFL's rules about reactivating injured players.[48]

During Rodgers' absence, backup quarterback Brett Hundley stepped into the starting role for the first time in his professional career, but struggled to replicate Rodgers' success, despite a Pro Bowl-caliber season by receiver Davante Adams.[49] In a 23–0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in week 11, the Packers suffered their first shutout at Lambeau Field in 11 years (the last time was a 35–0 loss to the New England Patriots in 2006).[50] The Packers finished the season at 7–9, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Off the field, the Packers organization opened the Titletown District adjacent to Lambeau Field. This shopping, entertainment, and restaurant district includes a public plaza, park, and various commercial businesses.[51]

In 2018, the Packers again failed to qualify for the playoffs, finishing third in the NFC North with a record of 6-9-1.[52][53] Following a Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Mike McCarthy was fired as head coach, replaced by Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin on an interim basis.[54][55][56] Following the season, Matt LaFleur, the Offensive Coordinator of the Tennessee Titans the prior season, was hired as the Packers' new coach.[57]

Other Languages