The 1961 NFL Championship Game — Giants and Packers


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On Dec. 31, 1961 at New City Stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin the New York Giants 10-3-1 coached by Allie Sherman met the Green Bay Packers 11-3 coached by Vince Lombardi in the NFL Championship game.

New York was led on offense by quarterbacks 35-year old Y. A. Tittle (2272 YDS, 17 TDS) and 40-year old Charley Conerly (634 YDS, 7 TDS), running backs Alex Webster (928 YDS, 2 TDS) and Bob Gaiters (460 YDS, 6 TDS), and receivers Del Shofner (1125 YDS, 11 TDS), Kyle Rote (805 YDS, 7 TDS) and Joe Walton (544 YDS, 2 TDS).

Their place kicker was Pat Summerall who made 14 of 34 field goal attempts, and they were led on defense by Dick Lynch with nine interceptions, Jimmy Patton with eight and Erich Barnes with seven.

The Packers were led on offense by quarterback Bart Starr (2418 YDS, 6 TDS), running backs Jim Taylor (1307 YDS, 15 TDS) and Paul Hornung (597 YDS, 8 TDS), and receivers Max McGee (883 YDS, 7 TDS), Boyd Dowler (633 YDS, 3 TDS) and Ron Kramer (559 YDS, 4 TDS).

Paul Hornung was their place kicker and converted on 15 of 22 field goal attempts while they were led on defense by Willie Wood, John Symank, Hank Gemminger and Jesse Wittington who had five interceptions each.

It had snowed overnight and in the 19 degree weather, the Packers probably had an advantage over the Giants as they were used to playing in cold weather.

There was no scoring in the first quarter as Y. A. Tittle’s receivers had trouble catching the ball while Green Bay relied on its running game, consisting of Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung. That proved to be successful in the second quarter of play as Hornung scored on a six-yard run, Boyd Dowler on a 13-pass play from Bart Starr and tight end Ron Kramer on a 14-yard pass play from Bart Starr.

Together with a Paul Hornung 17-yard field goal that gave the Packers a 24-0 lead at halftime.

The Packers continued their momentum in the third quarter with a 22-yard Paul Hornung field goal and another Ron Kramer receiving touchdown, this time for 13 yards, from Bart Starr to make the score 34-0 at the end of three quarters of play.

The Pack added another Paul Hornung 19-yard field goal to make the final score 37-0 with Lombardi getting a decisive victory over his old team the Giants.

Y. A. Tittle was intercepted four times which hampered the Giants’ offense while Bart Starr threw no interceptions, and the Packers out rushed the Giants 181 yards to 31.

The win was even more remarkable as Hornung, Bowd Dowler and Ray Nitschke were all on leave from the army to play in the game.

The Packers and the Giants were back the next season in the NFL Championship game.

Statistics for this article were from and

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