The Green Bay Packers entered the NFL in 1921. The Washington Redskins came into the NFL in 1932, but were then known as the Boston Braves. Those two teams have not played as often as one might think, but still the history is rich in terms of historical games, and also some very important connections.
Believe it or not, the two teams have only met 31 times in the regular season in 81 years, plus have played just two postseason games. The teams have also met 25 times in the preseason.
The Packers hold a 17-13-1 advantage over the Redskins in the regular season, while both teams have each won a game in the postseason. The Packers win came in the 1936 NFL title game, when Green Bay defeated the then Boston Redskins in New York City at the Polo Grounds, 21-6.
The game was played in New York because then owner Preston Marshall was upset with the dwindling attendance the team was getting in Boston. The Redskins played the championship game in the Big Apple, and then moved the team to Washington for the 1937 season.
That game 77 years ago is the only championship game that the two teams have played against each other.
But both teams know how to win NFL titles.
The Packers have won 13 NFL championships (most in league history) and also four Super Bowls, while the Redskins have won five NFL titles, including three Super Bowls.
The other postseason game the two teams played was in 1972, when Dan Devine's squad from Green Bay took on the the "Over-the-Hill Gang" of Washington, who were coached by George Allen. The Packers vaunted running game with John Brockington was stopped cold, and the Redskins beat the Packers 16-3 at RFK Stadium in Washington.
The Packers and Redskins were also involved in the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history, when Green Bay edged Washington 48-47 at Lambeau Field in 1983. The game featured 11 touchdowns and six field goals in a great back-and-forth battle.
The game ended with Redskin kicker Mark Mosely missing a 39-yard field goal with three seconds left in the game. Mark Murphy, the current President & CEO of the Packers, was a starting safety for the Redskins in that game.
There are a couple other very interesting connections between the two teams.
When one visits Lambeau Field and goes to Robert E. Harlan Plaza in front of the Atrium, there are two bronze statues. One statue is of Curly Lambeau, and the other one is of Vince Lombardi. Together the two coaches brought the Packers 11 NFL titles and two Super Bowl wins.
Both men would end up in Washington at the end of their NFL careers.
Lambeau was one of the founders of the Packers and the team's first head coach for 29 years. Lambeau also played nine years in the NFL.
Lambeau compiled a 209-104-11 record over those years in Green Bay, and he also coached six NFL title teams.
At the end of his tenure in Green Bay, Lambeau was having issues with the executive committee, and he ended up resigning in 1950.
Lambeau coached four more years in the NFL, as he coached both the Chicago Cardinals and the Redskins for two years apiece. At his last stop in Washington, Lambeau's teams were 10-13-1 in 1952-53.
Lombardi coached the Packers for nine years, with his teams winning five NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls. That impressive legacy is what allowed Lombardi's name to be put on the Super Bowl trophy.
Lombardi retired from coaching after the 1967 season and was the team's sole general manager in 1968. Lombardi realized after just one year that he still wanted to coach. That scenario quickly took place when Lombardi accepted the head coaching job with the Redskins in 1969.
The Redskins ended up 7-5-2 that year, which was the first winning campaign in Washington in 13 years. Tragically, Lombardi died of colon cancer the very next year.
The game on Sunday between the Redskins and the Packers brings together two coaches who together have won three Vince Lombardi trophies. Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Redskins won his first Super Bowl in 1998, when his Denver Broncos upset Mike Holmgren and the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII.
Head coach Mike McCarthy and his Packers won Super Bowl XLV. Earlier that season, the Packers lost to the Redskins 16-13 in overtime in Washington. That was the last time the two teams played.
With excellent quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and Robert Griffin III of the Redskins behind center for years to come, the history between the two teams should get even richer down the road.
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