1962

Background:  The Packers headed into this season as defending champions of the NFL and were pretty much content to stay with the nucleus of players that brought them the title last year.  Most of this group were heading into the prime of their playing careers and were beginning to peak.

Key Departures:  None.

Key Additions:  None. No big trades and none of the rookies who made the squad lasted more than two seasons, with most only staying a year.

Season summary:  Arguably the best Lombardi squad ever assembled (one could make the same argument for the ’66 squad, too) , it was only one game shy of the perfect sesaon.  The Packers come out of the gate with a 34-7 thrashing of the Queens and win nine more in a row, before dropping a Than

ksgiving Day tilt against the Lions.  Rebounding from that loss, the Packers win three in a row to close out the season.  Jim Taylor leads all NFL rushers this season, as well as emerging as the league scoring champion.  Injuries rob Paul Hornung of a large chunk of this season, but Tom Moore and Elijah Pitts fill in capably carrying the ball and Jerry Kramer is a solid 6 of 9 on FGs in Hornung’s absence.   On the other side of the ball, the Packer defense is the league’s stingiest unit.

The low point:  Not surprisingly, it was the 26-14 drubbing the Packers took from the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.  Anxious to avenge a close, early season loss, the Lions’ D attacks like a pack of wild dogs with Bart Starr being the Alpo.  This game was not as close as the score would indicate, as the Lions led at one point, 26-0.  It was the only blemish on the Packers’ season.

The high point:  Take your pick.  Was it the 49-0 blanking of the Barelys early in the season, or was it it 49-0 shutout of the Eagles later in the season?  It would be hard to argue against the Eagles game, though, since it amounted to a measure of revenge for the ’60 Title Game and the Packers amassed over 600 yards in total offense that day.

The key point:  Actually, I think there were two of them.  The first of these took place in the October 7th meeting with the Lions: both teams came into the game undefeated and the Lions were giving the Packers all they could handle and then some.  Trailing for most of the game, the Packers were staring at a 7-6 loss  late in the fourth quarter before Herb Adderley intercepted an ill-advised Milt Plum pass and took it deep into Lions territory.  A few plays later Paul Hornung kicks the GW FG, and the Packers win, 9-7.

The second key point was the second game played after the Thanksgiving Day Massacre–the Lions were still nipping at the Packers’ heels and only trailed them by a game in the standings when the Packers took on the Niners at Kezar.  At one point, the Packers trailed in the game, 21-10, before rallying to win 31-21, putting them a game ahead with one game to play.

Jerry Kramer boots one of three FGs in the '62 NFL Title Game

The Posteason:   The ’62 Packers ended the season in the same way the ’61 Packers did:  with a title matchup against the Giants.  This game, however, was played in Yankee Stadium and featured brutal game conditions, with cold temperatures and gale force winds.  Unlike the ’61 game, this contest was close and the Giants were primed for revenge.  At times this contest seemed more like a hand-to-hand street fight than a football game.  Ray Nitschke leads a ball hawking defense, Jim Taylor takes a horrific beating en route to scoring the Packers’ only TD, and Jerry Kramer boots three FGs into swirling winds to help the Packers to a 16-7 victory.

(hat tip: packershistory.net)