1997 Green Bay Packers season

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1997 Green Bay Packers season
Head coach Mike Holmgren
General manager Ron Wolf
Home field Lambeau Field
Results
Record 13–3
Division place 1st NFC Central
Playoff finish Won NFC Divisional Playoff
Won NFC Championship
Lost Super Bowl XXXII (Denver Broncos)
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1996 1998 >

The 1997 Green Bay Packers season was the team's 78th season in the National Football League. The season concluded with the team winning its second consecutive NFC championship, but losing in a 31–24 upset to John Elway's Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII.[1] The team narrowly missed its opportunity to post back-to-back Super Bowl wins.

After a dominating 1996 campaign which ended with a victory in Super Bowl XXXI, many expected the Packers to repeat as champions in 1997. During training camp, star safety LeRoy Butler, among others, said that the Packers had the chance to run the table and go 19–0. This opinion drew increased coverage from the media as the Packers notched impressive victories in all five preseason games. The undefeated hype ended quickly, however, when Green Bay lost week 2 in Philadelphia.

Following a relatively slow 3–2 start, the Packers caught fire in the second half of the season, finishing with a 13–3 regular season record and 8–0 home record for the second consecutive year. In the playoffs, Green Bay defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field in the divisional round, and San Francisco 49ers at 3Com Park in the NFC Championship. Some in the media dubbed the NFC title game as "the real Super Bowl" because of the 49ers' and Packers' league dominance, and the relative inferiority of the AFC in recent Super Bowls. Green Bay's win marked the third consecutive year the team had defeated San Francisco in the playoffs.

The Packers entered Super Bowl XXXII as 11 1/2 point favorites. The point spread was likely determined by Green Bay's victory in the previous Super Bowl, the AFC's string of 13 consecutive Super Bowl losses, and Denver's losses in four previous Super Bowls. The game itself was a seesaw battle, and one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history. The Broncos won the thriller 31–24, earning John Elway his first Super Bowl victory at the age of 37, and the first championship in franchise history. Years later, Brett Favre said the Broncos were far underrated, and credited Denver's innovative blitz packages and strategies, foreign to the league at that time, for confusing the Packers.

Packers' quarterback Brett Favre was named the league's MVP for the third year in a row in 1997. Favre was the first player in the history of the award to win three MVPs, and remains the only player to have won three MVPs consecutively.[2] The Packers became the first team to have six NFL MVP award winners.[3]

The 1997 Packers are one of only two teams in NFL history[4] to win seven games against teams that would go on to make the playoffs.[5]

Offseason[edit]

1997 NFL draft[edit]

Main article: 1997 NFL Draft

Despite picking last in the 1997 NFL draft, the Packers did well, picking up future all-pro tackle Ross Verba and free safety Darren Sharper.[6]

1997 NFL Draft selections
Round Sel# Player Pos. College
1 30 Ross Verba T Iowa
2 60 Darren Sharper FS William & Mary
3 90 Brett Conway K Penn State
4 126 Jermaine Smith DT Georgia
5 160 Anthony Hicks LB Arkansas
7 213 Chris Miller WR Southern California
7 231 Terrance Lucas CB Montana State
7 240 Ronnie McAda QB Army

Ronnie McAda was Mr. Irrelevant.

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1997 Green Bay Packers staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

[7] [8]

Roster[edit]

This is the roster that is printed in the Green Bay Packers 1997 Official Media Guide. This information was printed previous to the playing of the season and does not reflect the regular season cut down or any mid season transactions.

1997 Green Bay Packers roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Rookies and first-year players in italics

Schedule[edit]

Preseason[edit]

Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
August 1, 1997 Miami Dolphins W 20–0 Lambeau Field 1–0
59,089
August 8, 1997 New England Patriots W 7–3 Lambeau Field 2–0
60,778
August 16, 1997 at Oakland Raiders W 37–24 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 3–0
42,956
August 24, 1997 at Buffalo Bills W 35–3 SkyDome 4–0
53,896
August 28, 1997 New York Giants W 22–17 Camp Randall Stadium 5–0
76,704

Regular season[edit]

The Packers finished the 1997 regular season with a 13–3 record, clinching first place in the NFC Central division, as well as a first-round playoff bye.[9]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record TV Time Attendance
1 September 1, 1997 Chicago Bears W 38–24 Lambeau Field 1–0 ABC 8:00pm
60,766
2 September 7, 1997 at Philadelphia Eagles L 9–10 Veterans Stadium 1–1 FOX 3:15pm
66,803
3 September 14, 1997 Miami Dolphins W 23–18 Lambeau Field 2–1 NBC 12:00pm
60,075
4 September 21, 1997 Minnesota Vikings W 38–32 Lambeau Field 3–1 FOX 12:00pm
60,115
5 September 28, 1997 at Detroit Lions L 15–26 Pontiac Silverdome 3–2 FOX 3:15pm
78,110
6 October 5, 1997 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 21–16 Lambeau Field 4–2 FOX 12:00pm
60,100
7 October 12, 1997 at Chicago Bears W 24–23 Soldier Field 5–2 FOX 12:00pm
62,212
8 Bye
9 October 27, 1997 at New England Patriots W 28–10 Foxboro Stadium 6–2 ABC 8:00pm
59,972
10 November 2, 1997 Detroit Lions W 20–10 Lambeau Field 7–2 ESPN 7:00pm
60,126
11 November 9, 1997 St. Louis Rams W 17–7 Lambeau Field 8–2 FOX 12:00pm
60,093
12 November 16, 1997 at Indianapolis Colts L 38–41 RCA Dome 8–3 FOX 12:00pm
60,928
13 November 23, 1997 Dallas Cowboys W 45–17 Lambeau Field 9–3 FOX 12:00pm
60,111
14 December 1, 1997 at Minnesota Vikings W 27–11 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 10–3 ABC 8:00pm
64,001
15 December 7, 1997 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 17–6 Houlihan's Stadium 11–3 FOX 12:00pm
73,523
16 December 14, 1997 at Carolina Panthers W 31–10 Ericsson Stadium 12–3 FOX 3:15pm
70,887
17 December 20, 1997 Buffalo Bills W 31–21 Lambeau Field 13–3 NBC 11:30am
60,108

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 0 11 0 13 24
• Packers 3 15 6 14 38

[10]


Week 7[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
• Packers 0 14 7 3 24
Bears 10 0 7 6 23

[11]


Standings[edit]

NFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA
Green Bay Packers 13 3 0 .813 422 282
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 6 0 .625 299 263
Detroit Lions 9 7 0 .563 379 306
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 354 359
Chicago Bears 4 12 0 .250 263 421

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site TV Time Attendance
Divisional January 4, 1998 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 21–7 Lambeau Field FOX 12:00pm
60,327
NFC Championship January 11, 1998 at San Francisco 49ers W 23–10 3Com Park FOX 3:15pm
68,987
Super Bowl January 25, 1998 Denver Broncos L 24–31 Qualcomm Stadium NBC 5:15pm
68,912

NFC Divisional Game vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

NFC Divisional Game vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneerss – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Buccaneers 0 0 7 0 7
Packers 7 6 0 8 21

at Lambeau Field

  • Date: January 4, 1998
  • Game time: 11:30 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: 27 degrees, relative humidity 79%, wind 17 mph

NFC Championship Game at. San Francisco 49ers[edit]

NFC Championship at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 3 10 0 10 23
49ers 0 3 0 7 10

at 3Com Park

  • Date: January 11, 1998
  • Game time: 1 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: 54 degrees, relative humidity 90%, wind 10 mph

Super Bowl XXXII vs. Denver Broncos[edit]

Super Bowl XXXII vs. Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 7 7 3 7 24
Broncos 7 10 7 7 31

at Qualcomm Staduim

  • Date: January 25, 1998
  • Game time: 3:30 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: 59 degrees, relative humidity 79%, wind 6 mph

Awards and records[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Super Bowl XXXII – Denver 31, Green Bay 24". Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  2. ^ "List of APMVP winners". sportsline.com. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  3. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 400
  4. ^ 1998 Jets
  5. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1940 to 2011, in the regular season, team won game, in games against playoff teams only, only in games against teams with winning record for season, sorted by most games in season matching criteria.
  6. ^ "NFL Draft History – Green Bay Packers". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  7. ^ "Administration and Coaching Staff". Green Bay Packers 1997 Official Media Guide. pp. 6–37. 
  8. ^ "All Time Coaches Database". Packers.com. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ "1997 NFL Standings". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  10. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  11. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-Dec-14.