2012 NFL Playoffs: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants Share Rich Playoff History

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2012 NFL Playoffs: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants Share Rich Playoff History
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers will meet the New York Giants next Sunday in a NFC divisional game at Lambeau Field.

In the history of the Packers and the Giants, they have plenty of connections, to this day.  Running back Ryan Grant signed as an undrafted rookie by the Giants, before being traded to the Packers just before the 2007 season for a sixth-round pick. 

Safety Charlie Peprah, who has been with the Packers a couple of times now, was originally acquired on waivers in 2006 when the Giants released him.

Head coach Tom Coughlin of the Giants has some Green Bay connections as well, as he coached for Forrest Gregg and the Packers in 1986-87.  But the biggest coaching connection between the two teams is on Vince Lombardi. 

Lombardi was an assistant coach (offense) with the Giants from 1954 to 1958 under Jim Lee Howell, as was Tom Landry (defense).  The Giants won the NFL title in 1956.  Lombardi was also very good friends with Giants owner Wellington Mara from their college days at Fordham. 

After Lombardi went on to Green Bay and had the Packers in the NFL championship game in 1960 in just his second year, the Giants and Mara tried to get him back as their next head coach.  But Dominic Olejniczak, the president of the Packers at the time, refused to let Lombardi leave.

Good thing, too, as the Packers ended up winning five NFL championships in seven years, including three straight titles from 1965-1967.  The Packers also won the first two Super Bowls under Lombardi.

Lombardi also had some key help on his Green Bay roster from players he was able to get from the Giants.  In 1959, Lombardi acquired safety Emlen Tunnell for cash.  The Hall of Fame safety played with the Packers for three years and helped mentor a young safety that would also someday go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame...Willie Wood. 

In addition, Lombardi also traded for kicker Don Chandler prior to the 1965 season, as Paul Hornung had been having major issues kicking then.  Chandler brought stability to the placekicking position for the Packers for three years, plus he punted as well and once boomed a 90-yard punt.

The Packers and the Giants first started playing each other back in 1928.  In the regular season, the teams have met 48 times, with the Packers having a 27-21-2 advantage.  The Packers have also placed the Giants quite often in the preseason too, as the teams have played 30 times, with the Packers once again having the advantage by a 19-9-2 margin.

The Packers and Giants also have a rich championship history, as the teams have met six times in championship games, and the Packers have the edge there too by winning four of those games.  The last championship struggle was the 2007 NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field in frigid conditions (game-time temperature of minus-one), as the Giants won in overtime 23-20. 

Until that game, the two teams hadn't played in a championship game since the 1962 NFL championship game at Yankee Stadium.  That was the game where several participants from the Ice Bowl said that the conditions in "the house that Ruth built" were even worse that day.  The temperature was above zero, but winds were gusting up to 40 miles per hour as the Packers won 16-7.

The Packers and Giants played four other championship games before the one in 1962.  In 1938, the Giants beat the Packers at the old Polo Grounds in New York 23-17.  In 1939, the Packers whipped the Giants 27-0 at State Fair Park in Milwaukee.  In 1944, the Packers defeated the Giants 14-7 at the Polo Grounds in New York.

Overall, the Packers have won 13 NFL championships (the most in the NFL history, while the Giants have won seven NFL titles.

Sunday's matchup between the Giants and Packers will be the first time these teams have met in the postseason without a championship on the line.  However, the winner of this game will advance to the NFC Championship Game.

Let us take a look at the postseason history between these two storied franchises.  

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