1972 Green Bay Packers season
Head Coach Dan Devine
Home Field Lambeau Field
Milwaukee County Stadium
Record 10–4
Place 1st NFC Central
Playoff Finish Lost NFC Divisional Playoff
(at Redskins) 16–3
Previous season Next season
1971 1973

The 1972 Green Bay Packers season was their 54th season overall and their 52nd season in the National Football League. The club posted a 10–4 record under second-year head coach Dan Devine, earning them the NFC Central division title. The Packers returned to the playoffs after a four-year drought; their most recent division title was in 1967, completing that postseason with a decisive win in Super Bowl II in January 1968.

In 1972, Green Bay entered the penultimate regular season game at Minnesota on December 10 with an 8–4 record. The Vikings (7–5) had won the season's earlier game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay by breaking a fourth quarter tie with two interceptions for touchdowns.[1] This time, the Packers overcame a 7–0 halftime deficit at Metropolitan Stadium with 23 unanswered points to clinch the division title.[2][3][4] Running back John Brockington became the first in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons,[5] and did it again the following season.

Placekicker Chester Marcol established an NFL rookie record for field goals in a season (since broken).[6] It was the fifteenth and final season of hall of fame linebacker Ray Nitschke.

The Packers' next division title came 23 years later, in 1995.


In February 1972, running back (and punter) Donny Anderson was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for MacArthur Lane.[7][8] Hall of fame quarterback Bart Starr retired as a player in July;[9][10] he was the quarterbacks coach and play caller in 1972. (He then pursued business interests and was a color analyst for CBS, then became Green Bay's head coach after the 1974 season.)[11][12][13]

NFL DraftEdit

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
17Willie BuchanonCornerbackSan Diego State
111 Jerry Tagge (From San Diego Chargers)QuarterbackNebraska
234Chester MarcolKickerHillsdale
486Eric PattonLinebackerNotre Dame
6138Nathaniel RossCornerbackBethune-Cookman
6147Bob HudsonRunning BackNortheastern State
7163Bill BushongDefensive TackleKentucky
8190Leland GlassWide ReceiverOregon
10242Keith WortmanGuardNebraska
11266David BaileyWide ReceiverAlabama
12294Mike RichRunning BackFlorida
13319Jesse LakesRunning BackCentral Michigan
14246Larry HefnerLinebackerClemson
15371Rick ThoneWide ReceiverArkansas Tech
16398Charles BurrellDefensive TackleArkansas AM&N
  • Yellow indicates a future Pro Bowl selection

Undrafted free agentsEdit

1972 Undrafted Free Agents of note
Player Position College
Bob Kroll Defensive back Northern Michigan


Green Bay Packers roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Rookies and first-year players in italics

Regular seasonEdit


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 17 at Cleveland Browns W 26–10 1–0 Cleveland Stadium
2 September 24 Oakland Raiders L 20–14 1–1 Lambeau Field
3 October 1 Dallas Cowboys W 16–13 2–1 Milwaukee County Stadium
4 October 8 Chicago Bears W 20–17 3–1 Lambeau Field
5 October 16 at Detroit Lions W 24–23 4–1 Tiger Stadium
6 October 22 Atlanta Falcons L 10–9 4–2 Milwaukee County Stadium
7 October 29 Minnesota Vikings L 27–13 4–3 Lambeau Field
8 November 5 San Francisco 49ers W 34–24 5–3 Milwaukee County Stadium
9 November 12 at Chicago Bears W 23–17 6–3 Soldier Field
10 November 19 at Houston Oilers W 23–10 7–3 Astrodome
11 November 26 at Washington Redskins L 21–16 7–4 RFK Stadium
12 December 3 Detroit Lions W 33–7 8–4 Lambeau Field
13 December 10 at Minnesota Vikings W 23–7 9–4 Metropolitan Stadium
14 December 17 at New Orleans Saints W 30–20 10–4 Tulane Stadium


Green Bay met the NFC East champion Washington Redskins (11–3) in the divisional playoffs on Christmas Eve at RFK Stadium. The Packers practiced the week before at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.[14][15] The two teams had played four weeks earlier at the same venue; the Redskins won by five points on November 26,[16] and were favored by in the playoff game by 4½ points.[14] The results were similar, as Green Bay scored first but lost again in D.C., this time by thirteen points, 16–3.[17][18]

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Divisional December 24, 1972 at Washington Redskins L 16–3 RFK Stadium


Template:1972 NFC Central standings

Awards, records, and honorsEdit


  1. Lea, Bud (October 30, 1972). "Vikings pick Packer pockets". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part2.
  2. "Packers win division title". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 1. December 11, 1972.
  3. Lea, Bud (December 11, 1972). "Vikings fall; the Pack is back!". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 2.
  4. "Green Bay smothers Viks for 'Black-Blue' NFL title". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press (Spokane, Washington): p. 12. December 11, 1972.
  5. "Playoffs shaping in pro grid play". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press (Washington): p. 17. December 11, 1972.
  6. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 409
  7. Johnson, Chuck (November 7, 1973). "Shuffled off to St. Louis, Anderson scores as a Card". Milwaukee Journal: p. 14-part 2.
  8. Lea, Bud (February 23, 1972). "Donny tells of rift with Devine". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1-part 2.
  9. "Starr, 38, quits as Packer player". Milwaukee Journal: p. 1, part 1. July 21, 1972.
  10. "Injuries finally end Bart Starr's career". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press (Oregon): p. 4B. July 22, 1972.
  11. Lea, Bud; Hofmann, Dave (December 24, 1974). "Starr to be named today". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 2.
  12. Kupper, Mike (December 24, 1974). "Starr, Packers, make it official". Milwaukee Journal: p. 1, part 1.
  13. Hofmann, Dale (December 25, 1974). "Starr pledges fresh start". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 2.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Lea, Bud (December 22, 1972). "Packers sharpen key weapons". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 2.
  15. Lea, Bud (December 23, 1972). "Pressure mounts, Packers keep cool". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 2.
  16. Lea, Bud (November 27, 1972). "Packers get skinned". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 2.
  17. Lea, Bud (December 25, 1972). "Redskins burst Packer bubble". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 1, part 2.
  18. "'Skins old men advance to finals". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press (Oregon): p. 1F. December 25, 1972.


AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Baltimore Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Buffalo Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Los Angeles
Miami Houston Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Washington
1972 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl VII

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