Second-round matchup in the all-time Green Bay Packers tournament — No. 3 seed 1996 vs. No. 11 seed 2007.
Green Bay’s first Super Bowl winner in nearly 30 years got it done on both offense and defense. The Packers led the NFL in both points for (456) and against (210) and their plus-246 point differential was nearly 100 greater than any other team (Carolina, +149). NFL MVP Brett Favre threw for 3,899 yards and 39 touchdowns with Antonio Freeman (56 catches, 933 yards, nine TDs) his favorite target. Tight end Keith Jackson, though, had the team’s most receiving TDs (10). Edgar Bennett rushed for 899 yards but it was Dorsey Levens who was the running back who found the end zone (566 rushing yards, 5 TDs; 226 receiving yards, 5 TDs). A solid defense had only one All-Pro – safety LeRoy Butler (87 tackles, five interceptions) and two Pro Bowl selections – Butler and defensive end Reggie White (8.5 sacks) but still allowed only 3.5 yards per rush and had 26 INTs. Punt returner Desmond Howard averaged 15.1 yards per return with three touchdowns. The Packers rolled through the playoffs, winning all three of their games by 14 or more points, including in the Super Bowl against New England.
First round: 1996 (No. 3 seed) 16, 1995 (No. 14 seed) 10
Second round: 1996 27, 2007 (No. 11 seed) 24
The dynasty was forming but not quite there yet. Green Bay finished second in the NFL in both points for and against and eventually suffered the first – and only – postseason defeat of Vince Lombardi’s Packers head coaching tenure. Green Bay had a lethal 1-2 punch in the backfield as Jim Taylor rushed for 1,110 yards and 11 TDs and Paul Hornung for 671 yards and 13 TDs. The quarterback play was not strong with Bart Starr (57.0%, 1,358 yards, 4 TD, 8 INT) and Lamar McHan (36.3%, 517 yards, 3 TD, 5 INT). Nevertheless, somehow Max McGee averaged 20.7 yards per catch (38-784-4). Bill Forrester and Henry Jordan were All-Pros. The pieces were forming as Ray Nitschke, in his third year, made six starts and Willie Davis joined the team after two seasons with Cleveland. The Packers lost to Philadelphia, 17-13, in the NFL championship.
First round: 1960 (No. 10 seed) 34, 1967 (No. 7 seed) 17
Second round: 1960 20, 1966 (No. 2 seed) 17