Even in the most far-fetched of dreams, Bob Harlan could not have foreseen this.
In October 1994, the former Green Bay Packers president and chief executive officer announced the team would play all its home games at Lambeau Field beginning with the 1995 season. Seldom has a decision yielded such strong dividends so many years after being made.
Green Bay’s 38-28 dismissal of the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night is just the latest example of how the team has prospered since ending the practice of playing some home games in Milwaukee. The win was the 10th in a row at home (regular season) for a club that is as unbeatable as any on its turf.
Since 1995, the Packers are 124-37-1 (.769) in regular-season games at Lambeau Field. Only New England at 125-37 (.772) is better at home.
Fret not. With its victory over the Chiefs, Green Bay has fashioned more home winning streaks of 10-plus games since 1995 than any other team — even the Patriots.
The Packers have had five. The Patriots have had four.
Think putting together a run of 10 is easy? Talk to the Bills, Giants or any of the other 12 teams that have failed to register even one such streak in the last two decades. The Texans haven’t won more than four home games in row since they began play in 2002.
Of Green Bay’s five streaks, its first was the longest. It ran from Sept. 17, 1995, through Sept. 13, 1998, and stretched to 25 games.
That display of excellence remains the second-longest home winning streak in NFL history behind the 27 straight of the Dolphins (1971-74).
Mike Sherman, not Mike Holmgren, was the coach the next time the Packers got hot at home. Sherman’s team closed the 2001 season with three straight wins at Lambeau Field and went unbeaten there in 2002, a string of 11 in a row.
Mike McCarthy has been at the helm for the other three. The lengths of those have been 13 (2010-11), 10 (2012-13) and 10 (2014-15).
Those home streaks are somewhat unusual. In their first 74 years as professionals (1921-94), the Packers had but three such spells: 20 (1929-32), 14 (1923-26) and 13 (1961-62).
Green Bay’s latest effort of 10 games is the longest current streak in the league. It began Sept. 14, 2014, with a come-from-behind 31-24 win over the Jets.
Familiar storylines emerged in Green Bay’s 10-point defeat of the Chiefs. As with most of their other nine wins, the Packers enjoyed a superior passing game, won the turnover differential and jumped to an imposing halftime lead.
Aaron Rodgers fired five touchdown passes and compiled a 138.5 passer rating. He’s thrown at least two TD passes and posted a rating above 109 in all 10 victories.
James Jones caught seven passes for 139 yards. It’s the eighth time a wideout has gone over 100 yards receiving during the winning streak.
Green Bay was without a turnover for the fifth time. The Chiefs committed one, a Sam Shields’ interception of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the third quarter that led to the second of Randall Cobb’s three receiving TDs.
As has been the case in all but the first win in the streak, the Packers outgained their opponent in the first half. Rodgers and Co. piled up 304 yards on 42 plays (7.2 average) to Kansas City’s 94 on 20 (4.7).
The result: Green Bay led 24-7 at the break. During the streak, the Packers have outscored opponents 249 to 68 in the opening two quarters.
The last 10-game home winning streak under McCarthy ended in a Monday night game against the Bears in which Rodgers broke his collarbone. With the rash of injuries the Packers have sustained in recent weeks, it would be a shame if this current run came to a halt because of injury.
The Packers have scored in 36 of their last 40 quarters in regular-season games at Lambeau Field, including in each of their last 16 quarters.
Eric Goska is a Packers historian. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Streaking at home
Since 1995, teams with the most streaks of 10 or more wins at home during the regular season. The lengths of the streaks are listed in parentheses in chronological order.
No. — Team
5 — Packers (25, 11, 13, 10, 10)
4 — Patriots (18, 12, 20, 16)
3 — Broncos (24, 13, 13)
3 — Chiefs (10, 11, 13)
3 — Colts (11, 12, 13)
3 — Seahawks (10, 12, 14)
3 — Steelers (11, 10, 11)
2 — Falcons (10, 11)
2 — Jaguars (13, 11)
2 — Rams (13, 15)
2 — Titans (12, 10)