American Football Database
1963 Green Bay Packers season
Head Coach Vince Lombardi
General Manager Vince Lombardi
Home Field City Stadium
Milwaukee County Stadium
Record 11–2–1
Place 2nd NFL Western
Playoff Finish Won Playoff Bowl (3rd place)
(vs. Browns) 40–23
Previous season Next season
1962 1964

The 1963 Green Bay Packers season was their 45th season overall and their 43rd season in the National Football League. The two-time defending NFL champions posted an 11–2–1 record under fifth-year head coach Vince Lombardi for a second-place finish in the Western Conference, a half game back.

Both losses were inflicted by the Chicago Bears (11–1–2), the NFL champions in 1963, as the indefinite suspension of halfback Paul Hornung was too much for Green Bay to overcome.[1][2] The Packers had won the previous five regular season games with rival Chicago, but scored just ten points total in the two games in 1963,[3][4][5][6] and needed only a tie in one of them to advance to the championship game. (The tie at Detroit on Thanksgiving did not impact the Packers' title chances; ties were omitted from the winning percentage calculation until 1972.)  Chicago's only loss was at last place San Francisco in October and they tied Pittsburgh and Minnesota in consecutive weeks after their second defeat of the Packers.

Quarterback Bart Starr suffered a hairline fracture in his passing hand at St. Louis on October 20. Up 23–0 in the third quarter, Starr couldn't find an open receiver on third down and took off on a run that gained 15 yards, tackled with a late hit out of bounds by Cardinal cornerback Jimmy "Iron Claw" Hill, who was ejected.[7] Second-string quarterback John Roach filled in for the rest of the game, a 30–7 win in 85 °F (30 °C) heat, and the next four starts. Zeke Bratkowski was acquired in late October, waived by the Rams,[8][9][10] and saw some action, too.[5][6] Starr returned a month later, in week eleven on November 24 against San Francisco in Milwaukee, a week after the second loss to Chicago.[11]

Following their regular season finale, a 21–17 win at San Francisco on Saturday, Green Bay needed Detroit to defeat the Bears at Wrigley Field on Sunday.[12] The game's progress was updated to the Packers during their flight home;[13] Chicago's 24–14 win ended Green Bay's bid for an unprecedented third consecutive championship game win, which came four years later in 1967.

In the third place Playoff Bowl in Miami three weeks later on January 5, the Packers overwhelmed the Cleveland Browns, 40–23.[14] Green Bay led 28–10 at halftime and extended it to 38–10 in the fourth quarter.[15][16]

This was the eleventh and final season for hall of fame center Jim Ringo as a Packer. In May 1964, he and reserve fullback Earl Gros were traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for linebacker Lee Roy Caffey and a first round draft choice.[17][18][19][20] Ringo played four years with the Eagles and then went into coaching; the draft pick was used to select halfback Donny Anderson as a "future" pick in the 1965 NFL Draft.

Hall of fame halfback Hornung did not play this season, suspended in April by commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on NFL games and associating with undesirable persons.[1][21]


1963 Green Bay Packers roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 15 Chicago Bears L    3–10 0–1 City Stadium
2 September 22 Detroit Lions W 31–10 1–1 Milwaukee County Stadium
3 September 29 Baltimore Colts W 31–20 2–1 City Stadium
4 October 6 Los Angeles Rams W 42–10 3–1 City Stadium
5 October 13 at Minnesota Vikings W 37–28 4–1 Metropolitan Stadium
6 October 20 at St. Louis Cardinals W 30–7 5–1 Busch Stadium
7 October 27 at Baltimore Colts W 34–20 6–1 Memorial Stadium
8 November 3 Pittsburgh Steelers W 33–14 7–1 Milwaukee County Stadium
9 November 10 Minnesota Vikings W 28–17 8–1 City Stadium
10 November 17 at Chicago Bears L    7–26 8–2 Wrigley Field
11 November 24 San Francisco 49ers W 28–10 9–2 Milwaukee County Stadium
12 November 28 at Detroit Lions T  13–13 9–2–1 Tiger Stadium
13 December 7 at Los Angeles Rams W 31–14 10–2–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
14 December 14 at San Francisco 49ers W 21–17 11–2–1 Kezar Stadium

Game summaries

Week 1

Week 2

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Lions 0 0 3 7 10
• Packers 3 7 7 14 31



Template:1963 NFL Western standings

Playoff Bowl

The Playoff Bowl matched the runners-up of the two conferences to determine third place in the league. It was played in January at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the week following the NFL Championship game.

Week Date Opponent Score Venue Attendance
Playoff Bowl January 5, 1964 Cleveland Browns W, 40–23 Orange Bowl 54,921



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Hornung suspended". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 1. April 18, 1963.
  2. "Suspend 2 football stars". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press: p. 1, section 1. April 18, 1963.
  3. Strickler, George (September 16, 1963). "Bears shatter Packers' invincibility". Chicago Tribune: p. 1, section 3.
  4. Strickler, George (November 18, 1963). "Showdown battle is all Bears, 26-7". Chicago Tribune: p. 1, section 3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lea, Bud (November 18, 1963). "Spirited Bears maul Packers, take lead". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 2, part 2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Johnson, Chuck (November 18, 1963). "Bears rip Packers in showdown, 26-7". Milwaukee Journal: p. 9, part 2.
  7. Lea, Bud (October 21, 1963). "Packers win, 30-7; tie for 1st". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 2, part 2.
  8. Hollow, Cooper (October 30, 1963). "Packers get Bratkowski from Rams as insurance". Chicago Tribune: p. 1, section 3.
  9. Johnson, Chuck (October 30, 1963). "Packers get Rams' Bratkowski as insurance at quarterback". Milwaukee Journal: p. 21, part 2.
  10. "Packers buy Bratkowski". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press: p. 11D. October 30, 1963.
  11. Lea, Bud (November 25, 1963). "Starr spurs Packers of 49ers". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 2, part 2.
  12. Strickler, George (December 15, 1963). "Up to Bears, now! Packers win". Chicago Tribune: p. 1, section 2.
  13. Lea, Bud (December 16, 1963). "Packers are disappointed, not surprised". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 3, part 2.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Packers trounce Browns in Playoff, 40–23". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press: p. 23. January 6, 1964.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Segreti, James (January 6, 1964). "Packers salvage runner-up honors; whip Browns, 40-23". Chicago Tribune: p. 1, section 3.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Starr outshines Browns, 40-23". Pittsburgh Press. UPI: p. 27. January 6, 1964.
  17. Lea, Bud (May 6, 1964). "Gros, Ringo traded to Eagles". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 2, part 2.
  18. "Ringo, Gros traded to Eagles, Packers get a linebacker". Milwaukee Journal: p. 2, part 2. May 6, 1964.
  19. "Packers trade Ringo, Gros". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press ((Florida)): p. 2C. May 6, 1964.
  20. "Packers pull trade, create new problem". Pittsburgh Press. UPI: p. 58. May 6, 1964.
  21. Grimsley, Will (April 18, 1963). "All pro leagues honor suspension of Paul Hornung, Detroit's Karras". Lakeland Ledger. Associated Press (Florida): p. 28.
  22. Retrieved 2014-Aug-26.

External links

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1963 NFL DraftNFL ChampionshipPro Bowl
Related: 1963 AFL Season