In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
The Green Bay Packers win their second straight NFL Championship beating the New York Giants 16-7 at Yankee Stadium. It is the second straight season the Packers led by former assistant coach Vince Lombardi beat the Giants in the championship game. Leading the way for the Packers was Ray Nitschke who was named the game’s most valuable player, leading the defensive effort while Jerry Kramer filling in for an injured Paul Hornung had three field goals.
A year after losing to the Packers 37-0 in the NFL Championship Game, the New York Giants coached by Allie Sherman looked for redemption, easily winning the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-2. Leading the way for the Giants was quarterback Y.A. Tittle, who at the age of 36 had his best season, setting a new NFL record with 33 touchdown passes.
The Green Bay Packers meanwhile had become the team to beat in the NFL. Ever since hiring Vince Lombardi after the 1958 season, Green Bay had steadily improved. In 1959, the Packers posted a 7-5 record for their first winning season in 12 years. A year later they won the Western Conference, with a record of 8-4, but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Championship Game. In 1961 the Packers repeated as champions in the Western Conference with a record of 11-3 and beat the Giants 37-0 in Green Bay for the NFL Championship. The 1962 Packers may have been the best of Lombardi’s teams as they posted a record of 13-1, with their one loss coming on Thanksgiving to the Detroit Lions at Tiger Stadium 26-14. Leading the way for the Packers was Jim Taylor, who led the NFL in rushing, with 1,474 yards and touchdowns with 19 to win the NFL MVP.
The Green Bay Packers went into Yankee Stadium, nearly a touchdown favorite as sub-freezing temperatures and high winds combined to make it feel like it was eight degrees as 64,892 fans were on hand. The field was hard to traverse in the cold, as it had frozen over. The Packers scored the only points in the first quarter on a 26-yard field goal by Jerry Kramer. In the second quarter, Green Bay extended the lead to 10-0 on a seven-yard run by Jim Taylor. The wind worsened in the second half making conditions even worse for both offenses. The Giants who were shutout in six quarters of championship football finally broke through in the third quarter, blocking a punt and recovering it in the end zone to cut the Packers lead to 10-7. However, it was as close as the Giants would get. After forcing the Packers to punt again, Sam Horner fumbled at 42-yard line, setting up the Packers for another Jerry Kramer field goal from 29 yards. Kramer hit a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to bring the final to 16-7 in favor of the Packers.
A few hours after the game Ray Nitschke, the game’s most valuable player made a famous appearance on the game show, “What’s My Line?” The Packers hopes for a third straight NFL Championship were hampered by a one-year suspension for gambling to Paul Hornung. After falling short again in 1964, the Packers dynasty resumed in 1965 as they began a run of three straight NFL Championships that would run into the Super Bowl era.
The New York Giants would again lose the NFL Championship Game in 1963, falling to the Chicago Bears 14-10. Between 1958-1963, the Giants played in the NFL Championship Game five times in six seasons, losing all five games.