1966 Green Bay Packers season

1966 Green Bay Packers season
Head coach Vince Lombardi
General manager Vince Lombardi
Home field Lambeau Field
Milwaukee County Stadium
Record 12–2
Division place 1st NFL Western
Playoff finish Won NFL Championship
(Cowboys, 34–27)
Won Super Bowl I
(Chiefs, 35–10)

The 1966 Green Bay Packers season was their 47th in the National Football League. The defending NFL champions had a league-best regular season record of 12–2, led by eighth-year head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Bart Starr, in his eleventh NFL season.

The Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game, the Packers' second consecutive NFL title, fourth under Lombardi, and tenth for the franchise. Two weeks later, the Packers recorded a 35–10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the inaugural AFL-NFL Championship Game, retroactively known as Super Bowl I.

Quarterback Starr was named the league's most valuable player (MVP) in 1966. Said Cold Hard Football Facts about Starr's 1966 season, "Starr, always underappreciated, was at his classic assassin-like best in 1966, his lone MVP season. He led the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating, while his 4.7-to-1 [touchdown-to-interception] ratio remains one of the very best in history. Starr, as always, cranked out great performances when he absolutely had to: the 1966 Packers, for example, were the worst rushing team in football, with a meager average of 3.5 [yards-per-attempt] on the ground, despite the reputation Lombardi's Packers still carry with them today as a dominant running team."[1] Cold Hard Football Facts also notes that 1966 Packers had the best passer rating differential (offensive passer rating minus opponents passer rating), +56.0, in the Super Bowl Era. [2]

In 2007, the 1966 Packers were ranked as the 6th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.


Green Bay Packers 1966 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
41 Active, 0 Inactive


The Washington Redskins made overtures to Vince Lombardi about becoming their new head coach. Lombardi refused their offer and the Redskins had to settle for Otto Graham as their new head coach.[3] Lombardi replaced Graham in Washington in 1969.

NFL Draft

In the 1966 NFL draft, held in late November 1965, the Packers selected running back Jim Grabowski of Illinois with the ninth overall pick.[4] Common for pro football in the mid-1960s, the Packers found themselves in a bidding war for Grabowski. The expansion Miami Dolphins of the American Football League selected Grabowski with the first overall selection of the AFL Draft, held the same day.[5] Lombardi's plan was to groom Grabowski to take over for Jim Taylor at fullback. Despite being offered more money by the Dolphins, Grabowski said it was an honor to be drafted by the Packers.[6] Grabowski signed with the Packers and landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated in August, with veteran backfield tandem Paul Hornung and Taylor on the main cover and rookies Grabowski and Donny Anderson on the foldout.[7][8] The signing of Grabowski upset Taylor, who felt that he was underpaid and made it publicly known that he would leave Green Bay once his contract expired. Taylor had been given an offer by the expansion Atlanta Falcons, but agreed to honor his contract before moving to another team and played out his option in 1966.[9][10][11][12]

Fellow rookie running back Anderson of Texas Tech was the seventh overall selection of the 1965 draft as an underclassman, and he stayed in school for his senior season in 1965. Due to their large contracts, signed during the height of the pre-merger bidding war with the AFL, as well as their high visibility as the apparent replacements for Hornung and Taylor, Anderson and Grabowski were nicknamed the "Gold Dust Twins."[13]

The 1966 draft (November 1965) was the last one held separately for the two leagues. Following the merger agreement of June 1966, a common draft was conducted in March 1967.

Round Selection Overall Player Position College
199Jim GrabowskiRBIllinois
11313Gale GillinghamOLMinnesota
21430Tom CichowskiOLMaryland
31345Fred HeronDLSan Jose State
31446Tony JeterTENebraska
41462John RoderickWR SMU
713108Ray MillerDLIdaho
814124Ken McLeanWRTexas A&M
913138Ron RectorRBNorthwestern
1014154Sam MontgomeryDLSouthern
1113168Ralph WenzelOL San Diego State
1214184Jim MankinsRB Florida State
1313198Ed KingLBUSC
1414214Ron HansonWRNorth Dakota State
1513228Grady BoltonOLMississippi State
1614244Bob SchultzDLWisconsin–Stevens Point
1713258Dave HathcockDBMemphis State
1814274Jim JonesDLNebraska-Omaha
1913288Dave MotonWRUSC
2014304Ed MarasWRSouth Dakota State


Date Opponent Site Result Score'

Regular season

The defending champion Packers finished the regular season with a league best record of 12–2, returning them to the NFL championship game as Western Conference champions. Until 1975, NFL playoff sites were rotated, so the Eastern Conference champion Dallas Cowboys (10–3–1) hosted the title game in 1966 at the Cotton Bowl on January 1, 1967.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site Attendance
1 September 10 Baltimore Colts W, 24–3 1–0 Milwaukee County Stadium
2 September 18 at Cleveland Browns W, 21–20 2–0 Cleveland Stadium
3 September 25 Los Angeles Rams W, 24–13 3–0 Lambeau Field
4 October 2 Detroit Lions W, 23–14 4–0 Lambeau Field
5 October 9 at San Francisco 49ers L, 20–21 4–1 Kezar Stadium
6 October 16 at Chicago Bears W, 17–0 5–1 Wrigley Field
7 October 23 Atlanta Falcons W, 56–3 6–1 Milwaukee County Stadium
8 October 30 at Detroit Lions W, 31–7 7–1 Tiger Stadium
9 November 6 Minnesota Vikings L, 17–20 7–2 Lambeau Field
10 November 13 Bye
11 November 20 Chicago Bears W, 13–6 8–2 Lambeau Field
12 November 27 at Minnesota Vikings W, 28–16 9–2 Metropolitan Stadium
13 December 4 San Francisco 49ers W, 20–7 10–2 Milwaukee County Stadium
14 December 10 at Baltimore Colts W, 14–10 11–2 Memorial Stadium
15 December 18 at Los Angeles Rams W, 27–23 12–2 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum


NFL Western Conference
Green Bay Packers 12 2 0 .857 10–2 335 163 W5
Baltimore Colts 9 5 0 .643 7–5 314 226 W1
Los Angeles Rams 8 6 0 .571 6–6 289 212 L1
San Francisco 49ers 6 6 2 .500 5–5–2 320 325 L1
Chicago Bears 5 7 2 .417 4–6–2 234 272 W1
Detroit Lions 4 9 1 .308 3–8–1 206 317 L3
Minnesota Vikings 4 9 1 .308 4–7–1 206 304 L1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Baltimore Colts

1 234Total
Colts 0 300 3
Packers 0 14100 24


Week 2: at Cleveland Browns

1 2 34Total
Packers 0 7 7721
Browns 7 10 0320

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

Week 3: vs. Los Angeles Rams

1 2 34Total
Rams 0 6 7013
Packers 7 10 0724

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Week 4: vs. Detroit Lions

1 2 34Total
Lions 0 7 0714
Packers 10 7 3323

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Week 5: at San Francisco 49ers

1 2 34Total
Packers 3 0 10720
49ers 0 7 7721

at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, California

Week 6: at Chicago Bears

1 2 34Total
Packers 0 0 10717
Bears 0 0 000

at Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

Week 7: vs. Atlanta Falcons

1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 0 303
Packers 7 21 72156

at Milwaukee County Stadium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Week 8: at Detroit Lions

1 2 34Total
Packers 0 17 7731
Lions 0 7 007

at Tiger Stadium, Detroit, Michigan

Week 9: vs. Minnesota Vikings

1 2 34Total
Vikings 0 10 01020
Packers 7 3 7017

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Week 10: vs. Chicago Bears

1 2 34Total
Bears 0 0 066
Packers 0 7 0613

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Week 11: at Minnesota Vikings

1 2 34Total
Packers 7 14 0728
Vikings 3 0 6716

at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Week 12: vs. San Francisco 49ers

1 2 34Total
49ers 0 0 077
Packers 7 0 01320

at Milwaukee County Stadium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Week 13: at Baltimore Colts

1 2 34Total
Packers 7 0 0714
Colts 0 10 0010

at Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

Week 14: at Los Angeles Rams

1 2 34Total
Packers 7 10 01027
Rams 3 6 01423

at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California


NFL Championship Game

Green Bay Packers 34, Dallas Cowboys 27
1 2 34Total
Packers 14 7 7634
Cowboys 14 3 3727

at Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

  • Date: Sunday, January 1
  • Game attendance: 74,152
  • Box Score

Green Bay took an early 14–0 lead on two first-quarter scores; a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bart Starr to Elijah Pitts and an 18-yard fumble return by Jim Grabowski on the ensuing kickoff. The Cowboys tied the score with two touchdowns towards the end of the quarter.

Starr's third touchdown pass of the game gave the Packers a 34–20 lead with 5:20 left in the game, but the Cowboys responded with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Don Meredith to Frank Clarke. Dallas advanced to the Green Bay 22-yard line on their next drive, when a pass interference penalty gave the Cowboys a first down at the Packer 2-yard line. But Green Bay's Tom Brown intercepted a Meredith pass in the end zone with 28 seconds left to play to preserve the victory for the Packers.

With the win, the Packers earned their 10th NFL championship. It was their second in a row and fourth in six seasons.

Super Bowl I

Main article: Super Bowl I
Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 0 10 0010
Packers 7 7 14735

at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

  • Date: Sunday, January 15
  • Game time: 1:15 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: 72 °F (22 °C), sunny[15]
  • Game attendance: 61,946
  • Box Score

The first ever AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, later to be known as Super Bowl I, was played on January 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Packers faced the Kansas City Chiefs from the AFL, who finished their regular season at 11–2–1.

The Packers jumped out to an early 7–0 lead with Bart Starr's 37-yard touchdown pass to reserve receiver Max McGee, who had been put into the game just a few plays earlier to fill in for injured starter Boyd Dowler. Early in the second quarter, Kansas City marched 66 yards in 6 plays to tie the game on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Len Dawson to Curtis McClinton. But the Packers responded on their next drive, advancing 73 yards down the field and scoring on fullback Jim Taylor's 14-yard touchdown run with the team's famed "Power Sweep" play. The Chiefs then cut the lead with a minute left in the half, 14–10, on Mike Mercer's 31-yard field goal.

Early in the second half Dawson was intercepted by defensive back Willie Wood. He returned the interception 50 yards to the Kansas City 5-yard line. On the next play Elijah Pitts rushed 5-yards for a touchdown, giving the Packers a 21–10 lead. Max McGee scored his second touchdown of the game with a 13-yard reception from Bart Starr. The Packers held the Chiefs' offense to 12 yards in the third quarter. Elijah Pitts scored another touchdown for the Packers in the third quarter on a one-yard touchdown run. The Packers would win the game 35–10. Quarterback Bart Starr was named the MVP of the game, completing 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.

Season statistical leaders

Awards and records


  1. Cold Hard Football Facts: The Dandy Dozen: 12 best passing seasons in history
  2. Cold Hard Football Facts: 40 and Fabulous: in praise of passer rating
  3. When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 453, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  4. 1966 Green Bay Packers draft on Database Football obtained 18 December 2006.
  5. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 396
  6. When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 383, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  7. When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 384, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  8. "(cover)". Sports Illustrated. August 22, 1966.
  9. When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 385, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  10. "Jim Taylor playing out his option". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. Associated Press. October 24, 1966. p. 16.
  11. "Vince bans scribe after Taylor story". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. October 25, 1966. p. 15.
  12. Kuechle, Oliver E. (October 27, 1966). "The case of Jim Taylor of Green Bay". Milwaukee Journal. p. 17, part 2.
  13. "Jim Grabowski quits pro ball". Bryan Times. UPI. September 2, 1972. p. 7.
  14. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Sep-15.
  15. Pro Football Hall of Fame: Super Bowl Game-Time Temperatures
  16. 1966 Packers on Database Football obtained 18 December 2006.

External links

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