The Green Bay Packers, who have clinched the NFC North division title, defeated the New York Giants 38-35 in Week 13 to improve to 12-0 and become the second defending Super Bowl champion (1998 Denver Broncos) to start the following season 12-0.
“It’s the NFL, so I think everybody is going to give you their best shot every week,” says quarterback AARON RODGERS, who is one of three quarterbacks – Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS (1959) and PEYTON MANNING (2004) – to throw multiple touchdown passes in each of a team’s first 12 games. “Being undefeated and the defending champions, there might be an extra motivation at times. We’re looking forward to each challenge.”
With a victory against Oakland on Sunday, the Packers will become the eighth team in NFL history to start a season 13-0.
“Every week is going to be a challenge,” says head coach MIKE MC CARTHY. “We’re 12-0, but we need to get to 13-0. We have other goals in front of us before we can even entertain 16-0. I hope we’re in a position to talk about that, but right now, we aren’t. Home-field advantage is our goal now. We’ve got 12 wins and it’s important for us to stay focused. There’s so much more in front of us to accomplish. Winning the Super Bowl is what this business is all about.”
Green Bay has won 18 consecutive games overall, including last year’s run in the playoffs that resulted in the team’s NFL-record 13th championship. The Packers’ 18-game winning streak (including the postseason) is tied for the second-longest in league history and Green Bay can move into sole possession of second place this weekend with its 19th win in a row.
The Packers improved to 12-0 last week when MASON CROSBY kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the Giants. It marked only the third time in NFL history that a team maintained a perfect record at least 10 games into a season by scoring the winning points in the final minute of the fourth quarter.
· In 1934, the Chicago Bears improved to 10-0 with a 10-9 win over the Giants on a 24-yard field goal by JACK MANDERS with 50 seconds to play.
· In 2007, New England moved to 12-0 with a 27-24 victory at Baltimore on an eight-yard touchdown pass from TOM BRADY to JABAR GAFFNEY with 44 seconds remaining.