Ranking the Biggest Comebacks in Green Bay Packers History

The Green Bay Packers have been involved in some of the most dramatic games in NFL history in the past 100 years including some exciting come from behind victories.

Here is a look back at some of the biggest comebacks in Packers history. Included are games against division rivals, last second wins and stunning turnarounds.

Feel free to share your memories of these games or to mention another game that deserves consideration for this list:

9. November 30, 1941: Packers 22, Redskins 17. Deficit: 17 points

The Packers entered this game 9-1-0 and were in a dog fight with the Bears for the Western Conference title while the Redskins were 5-4.

The Redskins looked like they were going to run away with this one when a 41-yard pass from Sammy Baugh to Bob Seymour made it 17-0 Washington at the half.

But that was before Don Hutson took control of the game. “The Alabama Antelope” caught three touchdown passes from Cecil Isbell in the second half including a 40-yard play in the fourth quarter that helped the Packers score 22 unanswered points and win the game. A safety in the fourth quarter clinched the win for the Packers.

Hutson finished the game with nine catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns as the Packers awaited the outcome of the Bears final game to see who would win the Western Conference crown.

8. October 16, 1972: Packers 24, Lions 23. Deficit 17 points

Howard Cosell and company were on hand as the Packers met the Lions in Detroit on Monday Night Football for a battle between NFC Central Division foes.

The Lions jumped out to a 17-0 lead on touchdown runs by quarterback Greg Landry and running back Altie Taylor sandwiched between a field goal by former Packer Errol Mann.

The Packers managed to come back even though their passing game struggled throughout most of the season.

The turning point came on an 80-yard punt return by cornerback Ken Ellis in the third quarter. That dramatic play changed the momentum of the game and pulled the Packers to within

The Packers finally took the lead with 1:54 left when quarterback Scott Hunter found Leland Glass for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Chester Marcol’s extra point gave the Pack their first lead of the day at 24-23. The winning drive was a 14-play, 84-yard march that took 7:28 seconds off the clock.

The win improved the Packers record to 4-1-0 and gave them sole possession of first place in the division. Green Bay would finish the season 10-4-0 and make their only playoff appearance of the 1970s that season under head coach Dan Devine.

7. October 17, 1965: Packers 31, Lions 21. Deficit: 18 points

Vince Lombardi’s club fell behind 21-3 at the half after allowing a pair of touchdown passes by Milt Plum and a 36-yard interception return by Wayne Rasmussen.

But the Packers came back with a vengeance in the third quarter scoring three touchdowns to take the lead for good. Bart Starr threw three long scoring passes, one of 62 yards to Bob Long, the second of 31 yards to running back Tom Moore and then finally a 77-yard bomb to Carroll Dale to give the Packers a 24-21 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Pack wrapped up the win on a four-yard touchdown run by Starr to make the final score 31-21.

Starr finished the game 15-of-23 for 301 yards and three touchdowns. This was the fourth 300-plus yard game of Starr’s NFL career.

The win gave the Packers a 5-0-0 start while the Lions fell to 3-2-0. The Packers won Lombardi’s third NFL title that season and his first since 1962.

6. September 14, 2014: Packers 31, Jets 24. Deficit 18 points

The Jets took an early 21-3 lead after quarterback Geno Smith ran for one touchdown and threw for another but the Green Bay offense proved too explosive for the visiting Jets and the Pack came back to win 31-24.

Mason Crosby kicked three field goals including a 55-yard effort in the second quarter while Randall Cobb caught a pair of touchdowns to help get the Packers back it the game.

Aaron Rodgers completed 25-of-42 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns. Jordy Nelson had one of the best games of his career, catching nine passes for 209 yards and the game-winning, 80-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers in the third quarter that put the Packers ahead to stay.

The win evened the Packers season record at 1-1 while the Jets were also 1-1 after losing this one.

5. December 3, 2015: Packers 27, Lions 23. Deficit 20 points

This game is best remembered for Aaron Rodgers’ 61-yard Hail Mary pass to Richard Rodgers on the final play that helped the Packers beat Detroit 27-23. Rodgers threw the ball so high he almost hit the roof of Ford Field. The score came on an untimed down after Detroit’s Devin Taylor was called for a face mask on what would have been the game’s final play.

The Lions led 20-0 in the third quarter before the Packers started their comeback. Randall Cobb recovered a fumble in the end zone to get Green Bay on the board before Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Davante Adams and then ran 17 yards for another score.

The Packers really needed this victory, having lost four of their last five coming into this game. They improved their record to 8-4-0. Detroit fell to 4-8-0 after this devastating defeat.

4. September 9, 2018: Packers 24, Bears 23. Deficit 20 points

For a moment, the Packers season seemed over on opening night. Aaron Rodgers was injured and had to be carted off the field in the second quarter of their home game against the Chicago Bears. By the time Cody Parkey kicked a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter, the Bears held a 20-0 lead.

But Rodgers managed to return to action after halftime and led the Packers on a remarkable comeback that included three second half touchdown passes. First, Rodgers hit Geronimo Allison who made an outstanding catch in the end zone to cut the deficit to 20-10. Then, Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 12-yard scoring pass that pulled the Pack to within three points.

After another Parkey field goal extended Chicago’s lead to 23-17, Rodgers connected with Randall Cobb on a 75-yard touchdown pass with 2:13 left in the game to put the Pack ahead to stay.

Rodgers showed a lot of courage and resilience in finishing the game after suffering a serious knee injury.

Head coach Mike McCarthy was thrilled with Rodgers’ performance. “Aaron Rodgers was remarkable. I just can't tell you how proud I am with him,” McCarthy said after the game.

The Packers were off to a 1-0 start but finished the season a disappointing 6-9-1. McCarthy was fired in early December while Rodgers played the entire season on his injured knee.

3. September 17, 1989: Packers 35, Saints 34. Deficit: 21 points

The Packers served notice that 1989 would be a different season for them with their dramatic, 35-34 come from behind win over the visiting Saints.

New Orleans led 21-0 in the second quarter and 24-7 at the half before Don Majkowski started to work his magic.

Running back Brent Fullwood rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries to help get the Packers back in the game.

Meanwhile, Majkowski threw a pair of touchdowns to tight end Ed West before completing the comeback with a three-yard touchdown toss to Sterling Sharpe with 1:26 left on the clock.

It looked like the Packers comeback would fall just short when the Packers faced a 4th and 17 play from the Packers 48. Majkowski found wide receiver Jeff Query who got both feet in bounds for a 23-yard gain to keep the drive alive.

Van Jakes intercepted Bobby Hebert in the closing seconds to seal the win for the Packers.

The Pack evened their record at 1-1-0 on the season. This was one of the few occasions the Packers wore their white jerseys at Lambeau Field.

2. December 15, 2013: Packers 37, Cowboys 36. Deficit: 23 points

Things looked lost for the Packers as they trailed the Cowboys 26-3 at the half with their only points coming on Mason Crosby’s 57-yard field goal in the first quarter.

But Matt Flynn found a way to rally the team, throwing four touchdown passes in the second half and finishing the game with 299 yards passing. The scoring passes went to Jordy Nelson, tight end Andrew Quarless, running back James Starks and wide receiver James Jones.  

The Packers scored touchdowns on five straight possessions in the second half and took the lead for good on a one-yard touchdown plunge by Eddie Lacy with 1:31 left in the game. Lacy finished the game with 141 yards rushing on 21 carries and caught four passes for another 30 yards.

The win kept the Packers hopes of winning the NFC North alive as they improved to 7-6-1 on the season. They did win the division with an 8-7-1 mark after Aaron Rodgers returned to lead the Pack past the Bears in the season finale.

1. September 12, 1982: Packers 35, Rams 23. Deficit 23 points

The Packers overcame a 23-0 halftime deficit and scored 35 unanswered points to beat the Los Angeles Rams in the season opener.

Bert Jones, who was making his Rams debut after coming over in a trade from the Baltimore Colts, threw a first half touchdown pass to get the visiting team ahead early. The Packers didn’t help matters when Lynn Dickey threw three interceptions in the first half.

But in the second half, the Packers completely turned the game around. Dickey threw three touchdown passes, two to tight end Paul Coffman and one to future Hall of Famer James Lofton.

Meanwhile, running back Eddie Lee Ivery ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns including a 27-yard touchdown jaunt that gave the Packers a 12-point advantage.

Interceptions by linebackers George Cumby and John Anderson in the fourth quarter sealed the win for the Packers who thrilled the Milwaukee County Stadium crowd with their dramatic comeback win.




You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers


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Comments (10)

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

July 02, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Hey Gil,

Thanks for the interesting report. I listened to that 1982 game against the Rams on the radio in my car and that game came to mind when I first started reading you article. Lynn Dickey was one of the most talented passers I watched in the NFL and if the Packers would have had better defensive teams during his time in Green Bay, I believe he would have been better recognized as such.

I remember a game Green Bay played in Denver which was an exciting one during the Dickey/Loften era that was played in a snowstorm. Green Bay fell way behind and Dickey and Loften lit it up in the second half, but to the best of my recollection, Just like the Badgers did during the Rose Bowl when I was a sophomore at Wisconsin, we fell a little short, but Vanderkellen, just like Dickey, put on quite a second half show.

2 points
GilMartin's picture

July 02, 2020 at 12:55 pm

Hey Ferrari-Driver,
Glad you enjoyed the article. I also have fond memories of watching Lynn Dickey play quarterback for the Packers. His 1983 season in particular was outstanding. If the defense would have been average that year, just average, the Packers would have won at least 10 games and made the playoffs.

I also remember the Denver game you're talking about. It was on Monday Night in October and it snowed in Denver. The Broncos scored on two fumble recoveries on the Packers first two series, but Dickey and Lofton adjusted to the snow and just killed the Denver defense. As you said, the Packers fell just short and they lost 17-14 after falling behind 14-0 before most people even found their seats.

I checked the stats. Dickey finished the game 27-for-37 for 371 yards and a score with Lofton catching 11 passes for 206 yards and the touchdown.

Thanks for the comment.

1 points
Klincker's picture

July 02, 2020 at 12:31 pm

I was at #6. First Packers game ever. Too many memories to share. When Jordy scored the go-ahead TD, from where we were sitting, I could see Jordy get some space, stood up, and yelled, "HE'S GOT JORDY!", just before Rodgers threw the pass.

2 points
GilMartin's picture

July 02, 2020 at 12:56 pm

I love those moments where you see it just before it happens. At least Rodgers saw it too. Glad you were there and thanks for sharing the memory and for commenting, Klincker.

1 points
dobber's picture

July 02, 2020 at 01:39 pm

Was at #3, the Majik/Saints comeback game with tickets 3 rows from the top of the bowl (when it was still a bowl). Given that I was on the Majik train at the time, this was an incredible ride. Fun, fun game.

2 points
GilMartin's picture

July 02, 2020 at 02:48 pm

I remember watching that game at a sports bar in Washington, DC. What a thrilling finish. Thanks for sharing, dobber.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

July 02, 2020 at 04:35 pm

Hey Gil,

I'd love to see a list of the biggest Packer blowouts. One of my favorite games I went to in person the Packers blew away the Panthers. Game was over by halftime and it was a lot of fun to watch.

1 points
GilMartin's picture

July 02, 2020 at 05:41 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, JonathanSpader. You may just see an article like that coming soon...

1 points
4thand1's picture

July 02, 2020 at 06:14 pm

I say the ice bowl was the biggest come from behind wins ever. It's still one of the NFL's all time great games.
it wasn't a big deficit but they had to drive the field in the most brutal conditions ever.

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GilMartin's picture

July 02, 2020 at 08:57 pm

It was so special, so dramatic. Clearly to me, the greatest game in the history of this franchise. Thanks for commenting, 4thand1.

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