Packers vs. Giants: History, trivia and minutiae

Jonathan Daniel

The New York Giants host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, and the two teams are, of course, two of the most storied franchises in the history of the NFL. The names associated with the Giants and Packers are a who's who of the league's legends: Curly Lambeau, the Mara family, Vince Lombardi, Y.A. Tittle, Bart Starr, Sam Huff, Paul Hornung, Frank Gifford, Ray Nitschke, Lawrence Taylor, Brett Favre -- and we'll even include Super Bowl MVPs Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning. The Giants have an overall 21-27-2 regular season record vs. Green Bay, and are 3-4 in postseason play against the Packers, with the first five of those games being NFL Championship Games, followed by an NFC Championship Game and the seventh being a Division Round game. Here are a few assorted facts, figures and trivia about the two teams' rivalry, which is now in its 10th decade.

Though the Packers came into existence in 1921 and the Giants in 1925, the first time the two teams met came on Oct. 7, 1928, with the Giants winning, 6-0. New York went 4-7-2 that year, and defeated the Pottsville Maroons twice and the New York Yankees once for their other three wins. The Packers avenged that Giants loss, with a 7-0 victory over New York later that season. They finished with a 6-4-3 record. The Providence Steam Roller were the NFL Champs that season, by virtue of having the best regular-season record (8-1-2).

The Giants' record against the Packers by decade: 1920s: 1-2; 1930s: 8-8; 1940s: 4-3-2; 1950s: 2-1; 1960s: 0-5; 1970s: 1-2; 1980s: 4-4; 1990s: 1-2; 2000s: 2-2; 2010s: 1-2.

The biggest blowout of the series occurred on Nov. 21, 1948, with the Giants winning, 49-3. Charlie Conerly tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for one himself. The most points scored by one team, also came in a Giants win, when they defeated Green Bay, 55-24, on Dec. 20, 1986, which was the final game of the regular season and was the ninth consecutive win for Big Blue. The Giants' 448 total yards were the most that season for the Super Bowl-winning Giants, as were their 55 points. Phil Simms threw two touchdown passes to Mark Bavaro and one to Zeke Mowatt, while Lee Rouson rushed for the only two touchdowns of his career. The biggest shutout came in the 1961 NFL Championship Game, with the Packers crushing the Giants, 37-0.

The first time the two teams met in the playoffs was for the NFL Championship, on Dec. 11, 1938, and the Giants won their third title, beating Green Bay, 23-17. One year later, almost to the day (Dec. 10), the two teams met again for the NFL Championship, but this time Curly Lambeau's Packers came out on top, 27-0. They would again play back-to-back Championship Games, in 1961 and '62, with the Packers winning both, 37-0 and 16-7, respectively. In the '61 game, while Bart Starr (10-for-17, 164 yards) played a mistake-free game, tossing three touchdowns without a pick, Y.A. Tittle (6-for-20, 65 yards) threw four interceptions and couldn't get his team on the scoreboard (Conerly also played quarterback for the Giants that day). Paul Hornung scored a touchdown and kicked three field goals for the Packers in that game. A year later, Starr again didn't throw a pick, while Tittle threw one, though neither had a touchdown pass. Jim Taylor scored the Packers' only touchdown, while it was Jerry Kramer's turn to boot three field goals. In between those four games, the Packers defeated the Giants, 14-7, for the 1944 NFL Championship.

Eli Manning has faced Green Bay five times in his career, and has a 2-3 record against them. Those two wins, though, came in the postseason, winning in overtime, 23-20, in the NFC Championship Game, on Jan. 20, 2008, in minus-seven-degree temperatures in Green Bay, and again four years later, 37-20, with the Giants taking advantage of three Packer fumbles and an interception, and Hakeem Nicks memorably hauling in a Hail Mary before halftime. Manning's combined stats in those five games: 97-for-165 (.587), 1,440 yards (an average of 288 per game), nine touchdowns and seven interceptions (four of those picks came in one game, a 45-17 loss in 2010).

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