The Green Bay Packers' 10 Best Seasons
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As the longest-standing franchise, active since 1921, the team has been through all of the highs and lows that football has to offer. Sometimes, the lows seem more prominent, such as the one-win 1958 season or the entire coaching tenure of Bart Starr.
On the other hand, Packers fans have more cause to celebrate than any other fanbase, boasting a whopping 13 NFL championships over the span of nine decades, more than any other team.
With all of the great seasons recorded in Green Bay over the years, it's hard to pick a mere 10. To choose 10 necessarily leaves at least three championship seasons out (and I left out a total of five).
Here are 10 of the best seasons in Packers history, 10 of the best seasons of football period and they're my top 10 of all time as a cheesehead.
No. 10: From Injuries to Invincible in 2010
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The 2010 season makes this list entirely on the strength of the difficulties faced by the Packers and the incredible extent to which they recovered to make a postseason run.
With 25 players on injured reserve over the course of the season, including a Week 1 injury that knocked Ryan Grant out for the season, the Packers fought for every bit of their 10-6 record, overcoming back-to-back overtime losses to edge the giants and 49ers for the final wild-card spot.
For the 2010 Packers, the playoffs started in Week 17, and they didn't disappoint, sealing close wins over the Bears and Eagles with late interceptions and dominating the top-seeded Falcons before defeating the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
No. 9: 1997 and the First Super Bowl Loss
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The 1997 season saw Brett Favre lead the Packers to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances for the first time since the first two Super Bowls were played in the Lombardi era.
The Packers secured a playoff berth with a solid 13-3 record, winning 10 of their last 11 games, while Favre became the only player in NFL history to win a third consecutive MVP award.
No. 8: The Packers Could Beat the Giants in the Postseason in 1939
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Oh, the good ol' days, when the Packers beat the Giants when they were supposed to in the postseason.
1939 was a great year for such a victory. Coach Curly Lambeau led the Packers to a 9-2 season, but that isn't the fact that lands that Packers team on this list.
The best thing about the 1939 season was the NFL championship game, in which the Packers defeated New York 27-0 to become the first team to win the NFL championship with a shutout.
No. 7: The Franchise-Record 15-1 2011 Season
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I know, the playoffs were a huge disappointment, and that's what keeps this team out of the top five. The defense that sealed wins in the 2010 playoff run didn't show up, resulting in the offense's need to dominate in order to win and an early exit in front of a home crowd.
But the 2011 season was still one of the greatest ever for the Packers.
They posted a franchise-best 15-1 record, with their only loss coming against the Chiefs in Week 15. Before that game, the Packers had been on a 19-game winning streak dating back to December of the previous season, and they nearly became only the second team to go an entire calendar year without losing a game.
They were one of only three teams to score 35 or more points seven times in a single season. In addition, Aaron Rodgers earned MVP honors for a ridiculous QB stat line that included a 45-6 TD-to-INT ratio.
No. 6: The NFL's First Three-Peat in 1931
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Only a decade after their arrival in the NFL, the Packers established themselves as the first dynasty in football in the 1931 season.
Led by coach/quarterback Lambeau, the Packers posted a fearsome 291-87 scoring margin on the way to a 12-2 record. The league-best record earned them the title of NFL champions, since the national championship game had not yet been instituted.
This historic season marked the first of two three-peats by the Packers (the other coming in '65-'67). To this day, Green Bay is the only franchise ever to win three consecutive NFL championships.
No. 5: A Packers Championship Game in 1936
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The 1936 season brought the first championship home to Titletown since the end of the streak after the 1931 championship.
The Packers posted a league-best 10-1-1 record, one of only four one-loss seasons for the franchise. However, after the 1932 Packers were named second place to the Chicago Bears, despite winning three more games than their rivals, the NFL instituted a single championship game.
This season marks the first time that the Packers won a title by beating another team, this time the Boston Redskins, in a postseason game.
No. 4: A Ring for Favre and Best in the 1996 League
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The 1996 Packers dominated the NFL.
Their 13-3 record was a league-best, and their 456 points for and 210 points against led all football teams for scoring offense and defense (they were the first team to lead in both since the '72 Dolphins). In addition, they allowed the fewest total yards in the NFL.
Favre led the 1996 team to its first Super Bowl in 30 years, defeating the Patriots 35-21 to earn its third Lombardi Trophy and 12th overall championship.
This was the only Super Bowl that Favre would win in his long career.
No. 3: Lombardi, Starr and the Dynasty of the 60s, Part 1: 1966
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1966 was a truly historic season for Green Bay.
With a league-best record of 12-2, they earned themselves a spot in the NFL championship game, where they defeated the Cowboys. Then, they participated in the first ever Super Bowl (then the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, before the merger in 1970) against the Chiefs, winning 35-10.
The Super Bowl victory also earned the Packers their 10th NFL championship—a mark that no other team has reached.
The Packers were nearly unstoppable this season, and in the decade as a whole. Under head coach Vince Lombardi, for whom the Super Bowl trophy is named, and Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr, the Packers won a total of five championships in the 60s.
No. 2: Lombardi, Starr and the Dynasty of the 60s, Part 2: 1962
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The Packers' dominance of the decade began early.
While having a great quarterback and one of the best coaches of any athletic team in history helped ensure success, so did a defense that tore its opponents apart.
The 1962 defense allowed only 10.8 PPG and held opposing quarterbacks to a mere 43.5 QB rating on average, playing a major part in securing a scoring margin of +267—the best of the 60s.
In 1962, the Packers earned a 13-1 record, with their only loss of the season coming against Detroit. Their regular season culminated in a 16-7 victory over the Giants in the NFL championship game; it was the second consecutive victory over New York in the title matchup and the second of five championships earned by Lombardi's team of the 60s.
No. 1: The Undefeated 1929 Packers and the Birth of a Dynasty
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The Packers have had many great teams, as the preceding slides have shown, but the 1929 squad stands out among the rest.
The 12-0-1, 1929 Packers never lost a game, only allowing a single 0-0 tie against the third-place Frankford Yellow Jackets. They dominated on defense, allowing a mere 22 points over the course of the season.
They averaged an allowed 1.7 PPG, posting seven shutouts (not counting the tie game). Their offense, led by Lambeau and Johnny "Blood" McNally, posted the second-highest point total that season, behind only the Giants, who they defeated 20-6.
This undefeated 1929 team was a proving ground for the earliest Packers Hall of Famers, and they also started a winning tradition that carries on into the present.
They earned the Packers' first-ever NFL championship and the first of three consecutive titles, beginning the NFL's first dynasty and earning Green Bay the name "Titletown."