It is not easy trying to rank the best moments of a franchise that has the Super Bowl trophy named after a former head coach. The Green Bay Packers are a franchise that was considered by many to be the best in the NFL championship era. Although this team had a bit of a dry patch from 1967-1997, they are still one of the best of all time, in any sport for that matter.
I have gone over this list a million times, just to make sure I have not left anything too important out. I almost feel guilty putting any of these moments in the honorable mentions. Well here goes nothing, let us start this list off with the greatest moments to ever be left out of a top 10 list.
- Super Bowl I
- Winning three straight championships
- Matt Flynn‘s 480 yards, 6 TD’s
- Drafting Aaron Rodgers 24th overall
- Super Bowl XLV
10. Aaron Rogers Takes Over
Nobody knew how to react when Green Bay had pushed Brett Favre out. They especially did not know how to feel about his replacement, 25-year-old Aaron Rodgers who was drafted 3 years before. How can you blame them? This was the first time in 16 years they saw a quarterback other than Brett Favre start in a game. Although he came in and had an immediate effect, starting his career off by not throwing an interception in his first 157 attempts. He won his very first game with a score of 24-19 against the Minnesota Vikings. He ended up finishing the season with 4,053 yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, and only 13 interceptions. Aaron Rodgers came in and became the new face of the Green Bay Packers.
9.Antonio Freeman Catch on MNF
It was November 6, 2000, Monday night football was on. It was a rainy night in Lambeau. Minnesota Vikings (7-1) were in town to face off against the desperate Green Bay Packers (3-5) in search of a win. Halftime came and the score was very close at 13-10, in favor of the visiting Vikings. The Packers started off the third quarter with a game tying field goal, which was followed later by a Minnesota 45-yard touchdown on third-and-seventeen. Following that score was a 90-yard kickoff return to the Vikings 2-yard line, with Ahman Green eventually tying it up with a touchdown. This sent the game to overtime. On the first drive of the Packers possession, they found themselves facing a third-and-four at the Vikings 43-yard line. Brett Favre heaves the ball down the sideline and it is tipped by Cris Dishman. What seems like a for sure interception, ends up tipped into the air and bobbled into the arms of a grounded Antonio Freeman. He gains full control of the ball, gets up and runs it in for the game winning score. The play was reviewed and was confirmed that it never touched the ground. Touchdown stands, and the Packers win with a final score of 26-20.
8.Brett Favre’s Game After Father’s Death
On December 22, 2003, Brett Favre lost his father, Irvin Favre, unexpectedly. The next day he was set to play the Oakland Raiders on MNF, and he was unsure if he would actually play. At some point that Monday, he told himself that he had to play this game because that’s what his father would have wanted. Nobody expected what came next, although, we were all hoping for it. He went out and threw for 311 yards and 4 touch downs, with a 158.3 passer rating in the first half! Green Bay won the game with a score of 41-7. He ended up finishing the day in 2nd place on the all time touchdown list. What an amazing game from an amazing player, in the worst circumstances imaginable.
7. Aaron Rodgers Three Hail Mary Passes
Aaron Rodgers has completed more Hail Mary passes than any other quarterback in the history of the league. Completing three in total puts him one past Andy Dalton in second place with two. Let’s start with the one that started it all; it came against the Lions in 2015. Connecting with Richard Rodgers with a 61-yard touchdown pass with no time left in regulation to take a 27-23 win.
It did not stop there as he completed a second Hail Mary at the end of regulation against the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round of the playoffs, a 41-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Janis, sending the game to overtime. Although they were ultimately defeated, you have to respect Rodgers for keeping them in the game.
His most recent Hail Mary was at the end of the first half against the New York Giants. Randall Cobb made an amazing catch by dragging his feet in the back of the end zone, giving the Packers a 14-6 lead heading into halftime. It’s never a good feeling knowing your team has under five seconds to score a touchdown or lose, but having Rodgers at quarterback gives you that extra bit of hope.
6. The Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl XXXI
The 1996 Super Bowl was historic for many reasons, one being it was the first title the Packers had won in almost 30 years. It will be remembered as breaking the record for total points scored in the first quarter of the Super Bowl, with a score of 14-10 favoring the Patriots.
That was followed up by 17 unanswered points in the second quarter by the Packers, giving them a commanding 27-14 lead. Seven of those points came from a Super Bowl record breaking 81-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman from Brett Favre. Curtis Martin tried answering back with an 18-yard run to cut it to 27-21 but was shown up by Desmond Howard on the ensuing kickoff. He took the kickoff for a then record 99 yards, all the way for a touchdown. Making the score 35-21. This ended up being the final score of the game and gave Desmond Howard the first ever Super Bowl MVP for a special teams player. This also gave Brett Favre the first and only Super Bowl victory of his career.
5. The Introduction Of The Lambeau Leap
There have been many unique celebrations through out the history of the National Football League. Not many have stayed as popular (or legal) as the Lambeau Leap. This has lasted through all of the celebration bans and many fines handed out. A touchdown celebration, that was created by a defensive player believe it or not. The day was 12/26/1993. The Green Bay Packers played host to the team, who was at that time, the Los Angeles Raiders. It all started with a fumble recovery by Hall Of Famer Reggie White. Before being tackled, he threw a lateral to strong safety Leroy Butler who ran it in for a touchdown. Then he decided to get the fans into the celebration by jumping into the stands. The celebration is a favorite of many Green Bay Packer’s players, none of which have perfected it like wide receiver Donald Driver. With such a fantastic vertical, he could leap up and land right into the crowd.
4. Trading For Brett Favre 1992
The Packers had an interest in Brett Favre at the draft but waited too long to draft him. When the Falcons got a new coach, who was not interested in him, they knew they had to act. The Falcons drafted him 33rd overall; he fell that far because of injury and character concerns.
The trade almost never happened, not everyone in the Packers organization was sold on him. It was suspected that the hip injury he suffered before the draft was supposed to be as bad as Bo Jacksons. He also had 30 inches of intestines removed following an accident right before his senior year. Regardless, the Packers pursued him and got their franchise quarterback for the next 16 years. They gave up a first round pick for the future hall of fame quarterback. He started three games into the season and every game after that through 2008, winning 160 regular season games along the way. He brought the franchise their first championship since the Vince Lombardi era. This trade changed the franchise forever.
3. Ice Bowl (1967 NFL Championship)
This game is remembered by many as one of the best ever. The Dallas Cowboys came to Lambeau Field to visit the Green Bay Packers for a rematch of the 1965 NFL championship. The game got its nickname for the freezing temperatures, reading -15 F (with an average wind chill -36 F). Rumored to be canceled because of the freezing temperatures, the game continued on anyway.
It was a closely contested game with a score of 14-10 in favor of the Packers at halftime. The third quarter would end up scoreless. Despite the temperature dropping to -50 F with the wind chill, things began to heat up in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys came out and scored an early fourth quarter touch down to gain a 17-14 lead. At the halfway point of the quarter, the Packers missed a game tying 40-yard field goal. They found themselves with the ball again, with 4:50 remaining in the game.
They drove down the field and get to the 1-yard line, with a fresh set of downs, and just under a minute remaining. Donny Anderson tried to run it in twice, with no success, slipping on the icy field both times. The Packers burned their final timeout with 16 seconds left in the game. It was third and goal and everyone was expecting a pass because a running play would run too much time off the clock and stop them from having a chance at a field goal if they failed to convert. But Bart Starr wanted to try and run it in himself. He tells this to Vince Lombardi and Lombardi candidly replies, “run it and let’s get the hell out of here.” He snaps the ball and dives into the end zone for the game winning touchdown, giving the Packers a 21-17 victory.
2. Drafting Bart Starr In the 17th Round
I know this is a controversial pick for number two, but I stand by my selection. This is what would be the biggest steal of any draft in professional sports history. If you think taking Tom Brady in the 6th round was amazing, think about taking a Hall of Famer in the 17th round! With pick 200, the Green Bay Packers selected Bart Starr. Starr would go on to win seven championships with the Packers, being honored as the MVP in the first two Super Bowls ever. He won a season MVP award as well in 1966. His career was capped off by being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame and having his number 16 jersey retired by the Packers, one of only six numbers to be retired by the storied franchise. That’s an impressive feat for a number one overall pick, let alone by a man drafted two-hundred overall. To me, this is the greatest draft pick ever made.
1. Signing Vince Lombardi
It was not easy deciding the number one moment in the history of this franchise. I changed the order many times, but this stayed in my top three the entire time. The signing of Vince Lombardi changed not only the future of the Green Bay Packers but the entire league forever. Being regarded by many as the greatest coach of all time, he went on to win eight championships in his career, receiving coach of the year twice. He had a career record of 105-35-6. Those are amazing career numbers, but his most impressive statistic to me was his playoff record of 9-1. This was a man who performed when it mattered most. He turned the Packers into the historic franchise they are today.