Packers all-time tournament: 1944 (8) vs. 1997 (9)
First-round matchup in the all-time Green Bay Packers tournament — No. 8 seed 1944 vs. No. 9 seed 1997.
How much has the game changed since World War II? Green Bay’s Irv Comp led the NFL with 1,159 passing yards. Also, he played halfback in the Packers’ “box” formation. Hall of Famer Tony Canadeo was the other halfback but played in just three games before leaving for the military. Of the 105 completions thrown by Green Bay passers, Hall of Famer Don Hutson caught 58 of them, for 866 yards and nine TDs. In an era of two-way football, Comp had six interceptions as did Ted Fritsch, who also played fullback. Hutson had four. The Packers beat the Giants in the NFL championship 14-7 on two second-quarter touchdowns by Fritsch – one rushing, the other a 28-yard pass from Comp.
Favre won another MVP after throwing for 3,867 yards with 35 TDs and 16 INTs, leading Green Bay to the best point differential in the NFC. The Packers’ dynamic offense included a 1,000-yard rusher (Levens with 1,435 and 7 TDs) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Freeman, 81-1,243-12, and Robert Brooks, 60-1,010-7). Meanwhile, the swarming defense had four players with 100+ tackles – safeties Butler (who also had five INTs) and Eugene Robinson and linebackers Bernardo Harris and Brian Williams. White had another double-digit sack season, with 11. Green Bay would make it back-to-back Super Bowl years after convincing wins over Tampa Bay and at San Francisco but came up short in its quest for a repeat championship vs. Denver.
UP NEXT: The winner will face No. 1 seed 1944.