The Packers opened the season in Green Bay with a promising win over the rival Chicago Bears, the defending NFL champions. They then lost four of six, including three home games, and were 3–4 midway through the season, falling twice to the Baltimore Colts. The first three losses were by a total of five points, but the fourth on October 25, to the Los Angeles Rams in Milwaukee, was by ten and came after building a 17–0 lead.
In the season's latter half, Green Bay won five of six and tied the Rams in the finale to end 3½ games behind the Colts (12–2) in the West, tied for second with Minnesota. Based on point differential in the season split with the Vikings, the Packers were awarded the runner-up slot in the Playoff Bowl, the consolation third place game in Miami played three weeks after the regular season.
Green Bay had played in the previous season's Playoff Bowl and won decisively, which followed consecutive league titles in 1961 and 1962, and three straight appearances in the championship game. In the 1964 season's third-place game, the St. Louis Cardinals prevailed over the unmotivated Packers, 24–17.
Consecutive appearances in the consolation Playoff Bowl, and the loss, keyed Lombardi and the Packers to win three consecutive NFL titles; the latter two followed by victories in the first two Super Bowls. Since the playoff era began 83 years ago in 1933, no other team was won three straight NFL titles.
The NFL classifies the ten editions of the Playoff Bowl as exhibition games, not postseason contests.