GREEN BAY – The Packers are 4-0 at the season’s quarter pole for the first time in five years and for the 12th time in the team’s NFL history, which dates back to 1921.
Curiously, every time the Packers started 4-0 prior to the 1970 league merger, they won the NFL title, seven of them in all. But every 4-0 start since ’70 has come up short.
So for some bye weekend reading material, here’s a rundown of the franchise’s history of being 4-0.
The Packers’ first three league titles, which were all determined by league standing and had no playoff system, all began with 4-0 starts.
The ’29 team finished unbeaten at 12-0-1, winning 10 straight to start the year before a 0-0 tie against the Frankford Yellow Jackets. The next year, the Packers started 8-0 before winning only two of their last six games, but 10-3-1 was still good enough for first place. In ’31, a 9-0 start became a 12-2 mark and a third straight championship.
The franchise’s sixth league title began with a 4-0 start that became 6-0, with a non-league loss mixed in. From there, the Packers lost two of their last four, including one by a 24-0 score to the Giants, to finish 8-2. But it was good enough to get a rematch with the Giants in the NFL Championship Game at the Polo Grounds, which the Packers won, 14-7.
Three of Vince Lombardi’s five titles as head coach began with 4-0 starts. The ’62 team, considered one of the greatest in NFL history, was 10-0 before suffering its only loss, on Thanksgiving at Detroit. A 13-1 overall mark got the Packers in the NFL Championship against the Giants at Yankee Stadium, a 16-7 triumph.
The ’65 club started 6-0 before two straight losses, and a 10-3-1 mark set up a Western Conference playoff game with Baltimore, which the Packers won in overtime, to get back to the NFL Championship. A 23-12 win over Cleveland at Lambeau Field took the crown.
In ’66, the 4-0 start was halted by a 21-20 loss at San Francisco in the fifth game, but the Packers only lost one more the rest of the way and got revenge on the 49ers in the process. At 12-2, they won at Dallas to take the NFL title and advance to the first Super Bowl, a 35-10 victory over Kansas City.