The Ice Bowl
The Packers faced the Cowboys for the second year in a row in the NFL Championship games, and they had followed up the previous years victory with a win over the AFL in the first Super Bowl. This matchup was such a legendary matchup on so many levels, coaching, players, the weather… the weather. Both coaches would become Hall of Fame coaches with legendary reputations, but they both first crossed paths when they were coordinators for the Giants. Landry took over the Defensive Coordinator position while still playing cornerback and Lobardi was the Offensive Coordinator. Both these men were amazing minds crafting a game plan for their specialty, and it would prove to be quite an amazing matchup when they went head to head.
Game-time temperature was around 15 below and everything was frozen: from the referees whistle, to the bands instruments, to the field itself. In what could be their last offensive drive, the Packers took over possession with 4:50 left in the game. Starr led his team down the field with three key completions: a 13-yard pass to Dowler, a 12-yarder to running back Donny Anderson, and a 19-yard throw to fullback Chuck Mercein. Then Mercein ran 8 yards to a first down on the Cowboys’ 3-yard line on the next play. Twice Anderson attempted to run the ball into the end zone, but both times he was tackled at the 1-yard line, the second time after his footing failed on the icy field. By then the thermometer read twenty below zero.
Starr returned to the huddle and called a Brown right 31 Wedge,but with him keeping the ball. Jerry Kramer and center Ken Bowman executed a double-team on left defensive tackle Jethro Pugh as Starr crossed the goal line. Bart Starr’s last play with just seconds on the clock scored for the Green Bay win. The coldest NFL game on record couldn’t stop the Packers, who went on to a second Super Bowl victory.
Super Bowl XXXI
Brett Favre joined the franchise in 1992 and in 5 years would lead us out of the slumping late 80’s with three quick playoff trips in the early 90’s that culminated in a run to the Super Bowl in the 96 season that began with a league best 13-3 regular season. Another key member of this mid 90’s Packer powerhouse was Minister of Defense Reggie White who joined the team in 1993.
The game was played in New Orleans at the Superdome where the Packers faced off against the New England Patriots with stars Drew Bledsoe and Curtis Martin. The Pack dominated the Pats on both sides of the ball, outgaining New England 323 yards to 257 and intercepting quarterback Drew Bledsoe four times. Packers defensive lineman Reggie White set a Super Bowl record with three sacks, including back-to-back takedowns in the 3rd.
The game MVP was Desmond Howard who had several huge returns and of course the game clinching 99 yard kickoff return for a TD. Brett Favre became the first QB to have 3 TD’s in a Super Bowl and not be named MVP.
Super Bowl XLV
It’s no coincidence that my favorite moment in Packers history happens to be the most recent great moment, and one I witnessed myself in Texas just a few years back. I’d anxiously awaited Aaron Rodgers fulfilling all his potential as the future of Packer football, and he did just that bringing Coach Lombardi’s trophy back to Green Bay.
There was great history in this game with the Pack matched up against another storied franchise in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers put up a fight, and even pulled within 3 of the Packers in the 4th quarter, but ultimately the high powered offense and shutdown defense proved to be too much and the Packers won 31-25.
The Packers were led by standout performances by Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Nick Collins and Clay Matthews. Of course I have to mention the MVP performance of Aaron Rodgers throwing for 304 yards and 3 TD’s.