1997 Green Bay Packers season
Head Coach Mike Holmgren
Home Field Lambeau Field
Record 13–3
Place 1st NFC Central
Playoff Finish Won NFC Divisional Playoff
Won NFC Championship
Lost Super Bowl XXXII (Denver Broncos)
Previous Season Next Season
1996 1998

The 1997 Green Bay Packers season concluded with the team winning its second consecutive NFC championship, but losing in a 31-24 upset to John Elway's Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII.[1] The team narrowly missed its opportunity to post back-to-back Super Bowl wins.

After a dominating 1996 campaign which ended with a victory in Super Bowl XXXI, many expected the Packers to repeat as champions in 1997. During training camp, star safety LeRoy Butler, among others, said that the Packers had the chance to run the table and go 19-0. This opinion drew increased coverage from the media as the Packers notched impressive victories in all five preseason games. The undefeated hype ended quickly, however, when Green Bay lost week 2 in Philadelphia. Following a relatively slow 3-2 start, the Packers caught fire in the second half of the season, finishing with a 13-3 regular season record and 8-0 home record for the second consecutive year. In the playoffs, Green Bay defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field in the divisional round, and San Francisco 49ers at 3Com Park in the NFC Championship. Some in the media dubbed the NFC title game as "the real Super Bowl" because of the 49ers' and Packers' league dominance, and the relative inferiority of the AFC in recent Super Bowls. Green Bay's win marked the third consecutive year the team had defeated San Francisco in the playoffs. The Packers entered Super Bowl XXXII as 11 1/2 point favorites. The point spread was likely determined by Green Bay's victory in the previous Super Bowl, the AFC's string of 13 consecutive Super Bowl losses, and Denver's losses in four previous Super Bowls. The game itself was a seesaw battle, and one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history. The Broncos won the thriller 31-24, earning John Elway his first Super Bowl victory at the age of 37, and the first championship in franchise history. Years later, Brett Favre said the Broncos were far underrated, and credited Denver's innovative blitz packages and strategies, foreign to the league at that time, for confusing the Packers.

Packers' quarterback Brett Favre was named the league's MVP for the third year in a row in 1997. Favre was the first player in the history of the award to win three MVPs, and remains the only player to have won three MVPs consecutively.[2] The Packers became the first team to have six NFL MVP award winners.[3]

Offseason[edit | edit source]

1997 NFL draft[edit | edit source]

Despite picking last in the 1997 NFL draft, the Packers did well, picking up future all-pro tackle Ross Verba and free safety Darren Sharper.[4]

1997 NFL Draft selections
Round Sel# Player Pos. College
1 30 Ross Verba T Iowa
2 60 Darren Sharper FS William & Mary
3 90 Brett Conway K Penn State
4 126 Jermaine Smith DT Georgia
5 160 Anthony Hicks LB Arkansas
7 213 Chris Miller WR Southern California
7 231 Terrance Lucas DB Montana State
7 240 Ronnie McAda QB Army

Ronnie McAda was Mr. Irrelevant

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Staff[edit | edit source]

1997 Green Bay Packers staff

Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning


Roster[edit | edit source]

This is the roster that is printed in the Green Bay Packers 1997 Official Media Guide. This information was printed previous to the playing of the season and does not reflect the regular season cut down or any mid season transactions.

1997 Green Bay Packers roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Rookies and first-year players in italics

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Preseason[edit | edit source]

Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
August 1 Miami Dolphins W 20-0 Lambeau Field 1-0
August 8 New England Patriots W 7-3 Lambeau Field 2-0
August 16 at Oakland Raiders W 37-24 Oakland Coliseum 3-0
August 24 at Buffalo Bills W 35-3 SkyDome 4-0
August 28 New York Giants W 22-17 Camp Randall Stadium 5-0

Regular season[edit | edit source]

The Packers finished the 1997 regular season with a 13-3 record, clinching first place in the NFC Central division, as well as a first-round playoff bye.[6]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
1 September 1 Chicago Bears W 38-24 Lambeau Field 1-0
2 September 7 at Philadelphia Eagles L 9-10 Veterans Stadium 1-1
3 September 14 Miami Dolphins W 23-18 Lambeau Field 2-1
4 September 21 Minnesota Vikings W 38-32 Lambeau Field 3-1
5 September 28 at Detroit Lions L 15-26 Pontiac Silverdome 3-2
6 October 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 21-16 Lambeau Field 4-2
7 October 12 at Chicago Bears W 24-23 Soldier Field 5-2
8 Bye week
9 October 27 at New England Patriots W 28-10 Foxboro Stadium 6-2
10 November 2 Detroit Lions W 20-10 Lambeau Field 7-2
11 November 9 St. Louis Rams W 17-7 Lambeau Field 8-2
12 November 16 at Indianapolis Colts L 38-41 RCA Dome 8-3
13 November 23 Dallas Cowboys W 45-17 Lambeau Field 9-3
14 December 1 at Minnesota Vikings W 27-11 Metrodome 10-3
15 December 7 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 17-6 Houlihan's Stadium 11-3
16 December 14 at Carolina Panthers W 31-10 Ericsson Stadium 12-3
17 December 20 Buffalo Bills W 31-21 Lambeau Field 13-3

Standings[edit | edit source]

NFC Central
Green Bay Packers 13 3 0 .813 422 282
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 6 0 .625 299 263
Detroit Lions 9 7 0 .563 379 306
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 354 359
Chicago Bears 4 12 0 .250 263 421

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
Divisional January 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 21-7 Lambeau Field
NFC Championship January 11 at San Francisco 49ers W 23-10 3Com Park
Super Bowl January 25 Denver Broncos L 24-31 Qualcomm Stadium

Awards and records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Super Bowl XXXII - Denver 31, Green Bay 24. Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  2. List of APMVP winners. sportsline.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  3. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 400
  4. NFL Draft History - Green Bay Packers. NFL.com. Archived from the original on 2007-01-29. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  5. All Time Coaches Database. Packers.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-03.
  6. 1997 NFL Standings. NFL.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
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