With Green Bay having missed the playoffs in 1963 and 1964, Coach Vince Lombardi understandably was reluctant to offer predictions of a Packers championship.
After Green Bay easily defeated the Giants and Bears in exhibition play, Lombardi responded to title talk among reporters with a brusque, “You’re never going to get me to say anything. I don’t know why you keep asking.”
His stance didn’t change in Week 2 of the regular season when the Packers beat Baltimore 20-17.
“A prediction? Not under any circumstances.”
Perhaps Lombardi realized that his squad was not his most talented. The team’s running game all but disappeared. The offense sank to 12th overall, ahead of only Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Late in the season, the lowly Rams (1-9) threw a scare at the Packers, winning 21-10, and Green Bay (8-3) fell 1½ games behind the Colts (9-1-1) with three to play.
With the season on the line, Paul Hornung scored a team-record five touchdowns and sparked a 42-17 triumph over the Colts.
After tying at 10-3-1, Baltimore and Green Bay needed a playoff to decide who would face the Browns for the league title. Green Bay emerged a 13-10 winner on Don Chandler’s 25-yard field goal in overtime.
A week later, the Packers beat Cleveland 23-12 for the title.
“I think I marked this team pretty well,” Lombardi said. “I said this may not be the best team I’ve had, but it has the most character.”