|1997 Green Bay Packers season|
|Head coach||Mike Holmgren|
|General manager||Ron Wolf|
|Home field||Lambeau Field|
|Division place||1st NFC Central|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (Buccaneers) 21–7|
Won Conference Championship (49ers) 23–10
Lost Super Bowl XXXII (Broncos) 24–31
The 1997 Green Bay Packers season was their 79th season overall and their 77th in the National Football League. The 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. 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. The Packers became the first team to have six NFL MVP award winners.
1997 NFL draft
|2||60||Darren Sharper||FS||William & Mary|
|3||90||Brett Conway||K||Penn State|
|7||213||Chris Miller||WR||Southern California|
|7||231||Terrance Lucas||CB||Montana State|
Ronnie McAda was Mr. Irrelevant.
Undrafted free agents
|Randy Kinder||Running back||Notre Dame|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1997 Green Bay Packers roster|
Rookies and first-year players in italics
|August 1, 1997||Miami Dolphins||W 20–0||Lambeau Field||1–0|
|August 8, 1997||New England Patriots||W 7–3||Lambeau Field||2–0|
|August 16, 1997||at Oakland Raiders||W 37–24||Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum||3–0|
|August 24, 1997||at Buffalo Bills||W 35–3||SkyDome||4–0|
|August 28, 1997||New York Giants||W 22–17||Camp Randall Stadium||5–0|
|Week||Date||Opponent||Result||Game site||Record||TV Time (CT)||TV Announcers||Attendance|
|1||September 1, 1997||Chicago Bears||W 38–24||Lambeau Field||1–0||ABC 8:00pm||Al Michaels, Frank Gifford & Dan Dierdorf|
|2||September 7, 1997||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 9–10||Veterans Stadium||1–1||FOX 3:00pm||Pat Summerall & John Madden|
|3||September 14, 1997||Miami Dolphins||W 23–18||Lambeau Field||2–1||NBC 12:00pm||Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire & Phil Simms|
|4||September 21, 1997||Minnesota Vikings||W 38–32||Lambeau Field||3–1||FOX 12:00pm||Pat Summerall & John Madden|
|5||September 28, 1997||at Detroit Lions||L 15–26||Pontiac Silverdome||3–2||FOX 12:00pm||Dick Stockton & Matt Millen|
|6||October 5, 1997||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 21–16||Lambeau Field||4–2||FOX 12:00pm||Pat Summerall & John Madden|
|7||October 12, 1997||at Chicago Bears||W 24–23||Soldier Field||5–2||FOX 12:00pm||Kevin Harlan & Jerry Glanville|
|9||October 27, 1997||at New England Patriots||W 28–10||Foxboro Stadium||6–2||ABC 8:00pm||Al Michaels, Frank Gifford & Dan Dierdorf|
|10||November 2, 1997||Detroit Lions||W 20–10||Lambeau Field||7–2||ESPN 7:00pm||Mike Patrick & Joe Theismann|
|11||November 9, 1997||St. Louis Rams||W 17–7||Lambeau Field||8–2||FOX 12:00pm||Joe Buck & Bill Maas|
|12||November 16, 1997||at Indianapolis Colts||L 38–41||RCA Dome||8–3||FOX 12:00pm||Paul Kennedy & Bill Maas|
|13||November 23, 1997||Dallas Cowboys||W 45–17||Lambeau Field||9–3||FOX 12:00pm||Pat Summerall & John Madden|
|14||December 1, 1997||at Minnesota Vikings||W 27–11||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||10–3||ABC 8:00pm||Al Michaels, Frank Gifford & Dan Dierdorf|
|15||December 7, 1997||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 17–6||Houlihan's Stadium||11–3||FOX 12:00pm||Dick Stockton & Matt Millen|
|16||December 14, 1997||at Carolina Panthers||W 31–10||Ericsson Stadium||12–3||FOX 3:00pm||Pat Summerall & John Madden|
|17||December 20, 1997||Buffalo Bills||W 31–21||Lambeau Field||13–3||NBC 11:30am||Tom Hammond & Randy Cross|
The Packers suffered a shocking loss to the 0–10 Indianapolis Colts, but did not lose another game until the Super Bowl.
|(2) Green Bay Packers||13||3||0||.813||422||282||W5|
|(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||6||0||.625||299||263||W1|
|(5) Detroit Lions||9||7||0||.563||379||306||W2|
|(6) Minnesota Vikings||9||7||0||.563||354||359||W1|
|Week||Date||Opponent||Result||Game site||TV Time||Attendance|
|Divisional||January 4, 1998||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 21–7||Lambeau Field||FOX 12:00pm|
|NFC Championship||January 11, 1998||at San Francisco 49ers||W 23–10||3Com Park||FOX 3:15pm|
|Super Bowl||January 25, 1998||Denver Broncos||L 24–31||Qualcomm Stadium||NBC 5:15pm|
NFC Divisional Game vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
at Lambeau Field
- Date: January 4, 1998
- Game time: 11:30 p.m. PDT
- Game weather: 27 degrees, relative humidity 79%, wind 17 mph
NFC Championship Game at. San Francisco 49ers
at 3Com Park
- Date: January 11, 1998
- Game time: 1 p.m. PDT
- Game weather: 54 degrees, relative humidity 90%, wind 10 mph
Super Bowl XXXII vs. Denver Broncos
at Qualcomm Stadium
- Date: January 25, 1998
- Game time: 3:30 p.m. PDT
- Game weather: 59 degrees, relative humidity 79%, wind 6 mph
The Packers advanced to their fourth Super Bowl appearance, which was also their second consecutive appearance. Despite being favored by double digits, they were denied their fourth ring, as well as their second consecutive championship, by John Elway and the Denver Broncos, who defeated them 31–24. To date, the loss is the only Packers' Super Bowl loss in team history.
Awards and records
- Brett Favre, NFC Leader, Completions (304)
- Brett Favre, NFC Leader, Passing Yards (3,867)
- Brett Favre, NFC Leader, Touchdown Passes (35)
- Brett Favre, NFL Most Valuable Player
- Brett Favre, NFC Pro Bowl Selection
- Brett Favre, All-Pro Selection
- Brett Favre, Best NFL Player ESPY Award
- Brett Favre, First Player to win Three Consecutive MVP Awards
- Robert Brooks, National Football League Comeback Player of the Year Award
- "Super Bowl XXXII – Denver 31, Green Bay 24". Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- "List of APMVP winners". sportsline.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 400
- 1998 Jets
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1940 to 2011, in the regular season, team won game, in games against playoff teams only, only in games against teams with winning record for season, sorted by most games in season matching criteria.
- "NFL Draft History – Green Bay Packers". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- "Administration and Coaching Staff". Green Bay Packers 1997 Official Media Guide. pp. 6–37.
- "All Time Coaches Database". Packers.com. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "1997 NFL Standings". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-Dec-14.