Today’s season finale at Detroit is the sixth time the Packers have played a game on New Year’s Eve. The first four times were postseason contests, but with the season stretching a bit longer in more recent times, the last two have been regular season-enders. The Pack has won all five played thus far, giving fans an additional reason to celebrate the New Year in each case.
All four playoff games were played in Green Bay, starting with the 37-0 1961 championship game victory over the Giants that renamed the city Title Town. Second, of course, was the Ice Bowl, a last second 21-17 1967 NFL title victory over the Cowboys in a minus-46-degree wind chill.
Third was the 1994 16-12 Wild Card beat down of the Lions in which the defense held Barry Sanders to minus-one yard rushing in 13 carries, and Dorsey Levens and Chris Jacke scored all the points for Green Bay.
A year later, the Packers took apart Atlanta 37-20 in the Wild Card round. Jeff George threw the ball 55 times for the Falcons, but after a 65-yard TD pass to Eric Metcalf three minutes in, it was all Green Bay. The Packers led 27-10 at the half and cruised to the win with Edgar Bennett, Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Mark Chmura and Dorsey Levens all reaching the end zone.
The first regular season meeting came in 2006. In Mike McCarthy’s first season, the rebuilding Pack closed the year with a bang, winning their last four games to get to 8-8 for the campaign. The finale was against the 13-2 Bears, on their way to a stumbling loss in the Super Bowl against Peyton Manning’s Colts. The Bears were “led” by Rex Grossman, who gave a foreshadowing of his Super Bowl performance by going 2-13 passing with two pick-sixes in the first half against the Packers. Green Bay built a 23-0 halftime lead and won 26-7.
Custom cards in altered Topps styles.