Sunday’s NFC Championship Game between the football Giants of New York and the mighty Packers of Green Bay is an old NFL classic. The last time these two teams played with so much on the line was the 1962 NFL Championship Game.
The 1962 game was a rematch of the 1961 NFL title game, a game where the Packers dominated New York, winning by a score of 37-0. The Giants were coached by Allie Sherman and led by Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle at quarterback. In 1962, Tittle passed for over 3,300 yards and had 33 touchdown passes. Alex Webster led the team in rushing with 743 yards while Del Shofner had 53 catches for 1,133 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Giants had Dick Lynch, now one of their radio broadcasters at cornerback, and he had nine interceptions that season. The other famous defensive starters included Sam Huff at linebacker and Andy Robustelli at defensive end. New York had won the NFL Eastern Division with a 12-2 mark.
The Western Division champion Packers finished the 1962 season with a sparking 13-1 record, losing only to Detroit 26-14 on Thanksgiving Day. The Packer lineup was the classic Packer lineup with Bart Starr at QB. Starr threw for 2,438 yards in ’62, while running back Jim Taylor rushed for 1,474 yards and “Golden Boy” Paul Hornung added 219 yards. Both Max McGee and Boyd Dowler each caught 49 passes and tight end Ron Kramer grabbed 37 more.
Defensively, the Packers were led by linebacker Ray Nitschke, cornerback Herb Adderly, who had seven interceptions and safety Willie Wood who finished with nine picks. The Packers, who had lost to Philadelphia in the 1960 NFL Championship made it back-to-back titles with a 16-7 won over New York.
The 1960s certainly were the glory years for Green Bay. Before winning the first two Super Bowls, the Packers won NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965. On the other hand, the Giants could never get over the top in the 1960s. They had last won the NFL Championship in 1956, but lost in the title game in 1961, 1962 and 1963 to George Halas and the Chicago Bears. After ’63, the Giants would not have a winning season until the 1970 season and would not make the playoffs again until the 1981 season.
Packers-Giants this Sunday on the frozen tundra at Lambeau Field. The Giants are hoping for a change of history.