1963 Green Bay Packers season
|1963 Green Bay Packers season|
|Head coach||Vince Lombardi|
|General manager||Vince Lombardi|
|Home field||City Stadium
Milwaukee County Stadium
|Division place||2nd NFL Western|
|Playoff finish||Won Playoff Bowl (3rd place)
(vs. Browns) 40–23
The 1963 Green Bay Packers season was their 44th season in the National Football League. The two-time defending NFL champions posted an 11–2–1 record under fifth-year head coach Vince Lombardi for a second-place finish in the Western Conference, a half game back.
Both losses were inflicted by the Chicago Bears (11–1–2), the NFL champions in 1963, as the indefinite suspension of halfback Paul Hornung was too much for Green Bay to overcome. The Packers had won the previous five regular season games with rival Chicago, but scored just ten points total in the two games in 1963, and needed only a tie in one of them to advance to the championship game. (The tie at Detroit on Thanksgiving did not impact the Packers' title chances; ties were omitted from the winning percentage calculation until 1972.) Chicago's only loss was at last place San Francisco in October and they tied Pittsburgh and Minnesota in consecutive weeks after their second defeat of the Packers.
Quarterback Bart Starr suffered a hairline fracture in his passing hand at St. Louis on October 20. Up 23–0 in the third quarter, Starr couldn't find an open receiver on third down and took off on a run that gained 15 yards, tackled with a late hit out of bounds by Cardinal cornerback Jimmy "Iron Claw" Hill, who was ejected. Second-string quarterback John Roach filled in for the rest of the game, a 30–7 win in 85 °F (30 °C) heat, and the next four starts. Zeke Bratkowski was acquired in late October, waived by the Rams, and saw some action, too. Starr returned a month later, in week eleven on November 24 against San Francisco in Milwaukee, a week after the second loss to Chicago.
Following their regular season finale, a 21–17 win at San Francisco on Saturday, Green Bay needed Detroit to defeat the Bears at Wrigley Field on Sunday. The game's progress was updated to the Packers during their flight home; Chicago's 24–14 win ended Green Bay's bid for an unprecedented third consecutive championship game win, which came four years later in 1967.
In the third place Playoff Bowl in Miami three weeks later on January 5, the Packers overwhelmed the Cleveland Browns, 40–23. Green Bay led 28–10 at halftime and extended it to 38–10 in the fourth quarter.
|1963 Green Bay Packers final roster|
|1||September 15||Chicago Bears||L 3–10||0–1||City Stadium||
|2||September 22||Detroit Lions||W 31–10||1–1||Milwaukee County Stadium||
|3||September 29||Baltimore Colts||W 31–20||2–1||City Stadium||
|4||October 6||Los Angeles Rams||W 42–10||3–1||City Stadium||
|5||October 13||at Minnesota Vikings||W 37–28||4–1||Metropolitan Stadium||
|6||October 20||at St. Louis Cardinals||W 30–7||5–1||Busch Stadium||
|7||October 27||at Baltimore Colts||W 34–20||6–1||Memorial Stadium||
|8||November 3||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 33–14||7–1||Milwaukee County Stadium||
|9||November 10||Minnesota Vikings||W 28–17||8–1||City Stadium||
|10||November 17||at Chicago Bears||L 7–26||8–2||Wrigley Field||
|11||November 24||San Francisco 49ers||W 28–10||9–2||Milwaukee County Stadium||
|12||November 28||at Detroit Lions||T 13–13||9–2–1||Tiger Stadium||
|13||December 7||at Los Angeles Rams||W 31–14||10–2–1||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||
|14||December 14||at San Francisco 49ers||W 21–17||11–2–1||Kezar Stadium||
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|NFL Western Conference|
|Green Bay Packers||11||2||1||.846||9–2–1||369||206||W2|
|Los Angeles Rams||5||9||0||.357||5–7||210||350||L2|
|San Francisco 49ers||2||12||0||.143||1–11||198||391||L5|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
The Playoff Bowl matched the runners-up of the two conferences to determine third place in the league. It was played in January at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the week following the NFL Championship game.
|Playoff Bowl||January 5, 1964||Cleveland Browns||W, 40–23||Orange Bowl||54,921|
- "Hornung suspended". Milwaukee Sentinel. April 18, 1963. p. 1, part 1.
- "Suspend 2 football stars". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. April 18, 1963. p. 1, section 1.
- Strickler, George (September 16, 1963). "Bears shatter Packers' invincibility". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
- Strickler, George (November 18, 1963). "Showdown battle is all Bears, 26-7". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
- Lea, Bud (November 18, 1963). "Spirited Bears maul Packers, take lead". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
- Johnson, Chuck (November 18, 1963). "Bears rip Packers in showdown, 26-7". Milwaukee Journal. p. 9, part 2.
- Lea, Bud (October 21, 1963). "Packers win, 30-7; tie for 1st". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
- Hollow, Cooper (October 30, 1963). "Packers get Bratkowski from Rams as insurance". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
- Johnson, Chuck (October 30, 1963). "Packers get Rams' Bratkowski as insurance at quarterback". Milwaukee Journal. p. 21, part 2.
- "Packers buy Bratkowski". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. October 30, 1963. p. 11D.
- Lea, Bud (November 25, 1963). "Starr spurs Packers of 49ers". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
- Strickler, George (December 15, 1963). "Up to Bears, now! Packers win". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 2.
- Lea, Bud (December 16, 1963). "Packers are disappointed, not surprised". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 3, part 2.
- "Packers trounce Browns in Playoff, 40–23". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 23.
- Segreti, James (January 6, 1964). "Packers salvage runner-up honors; whip Browns, 40-23". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
- "Starr outshines Browns, 40-23". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 6, 1964. p. 27.
- Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Aug-26.