1970 Green Bay Packers season
The 1970 Green Bay Packers season was their 52nd season overall and their 50th season in the National Football League. The team finished with a 6–8 record earning them a third consecutive third-place finish in the four-team NFC Central division. It was the third and final season for Phil Bengtson as head coach; he resigned shortly after the season ended.
|1970 Green Bay Packers season|
|Head coach||Phil Bengtson|
|Home field||Lambeau Field|
Milwaukee County Stadium
|Division place||3rd NFC Central|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
The Packers' 1970 season began in a state of mourning. After a summer in and out of Georgetown Hospital, Vince Lombardi succumbed to cancer on September 3, at the age of 57. Over 3,500 people attended Lombardi's funeral in New York City, including pallbearers Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, and Willie Davis. Three days after his funeral, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle announced that the Super Bowl trophy would be renamed in Lombardi's honor.
In the 1970 NFL draft, the Packers used their two picks in the first-round to choose Mike McCoy and Rich McGeorge. The first pick was obtained from the Chicago Bears in a January trade that sent Lee Roy Caffey and Elijah Pitts to Chicago. In total, the Packers selected 20 players in the draft, nine of those being in the first seven rounds.
|1||2||Mike McCoy||DT||Notre Dame|
|2||41||Al Matthews||DB||Texas A&M|
|6||145||Ervin Hunt||DB||Fresno St.|
|15||380||Mike Carter||WR||Sacramento State|
|17||432||Larry Krause||RB||St. Norbert|
|Green Bay Packers 1970 roster|
The Packers finished 6–8 in the regular season, failing to reach the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The schedule had the Packers play their final five games on the road and they lost four of them. For the first time, the Packers lost to the Dallas Cowboys; this year's game was on Thanksgiving on the artificial turf of the Cotton Bowl. Green Bay had won the first six meetings, four in the regular season (1960, 1964, 1965, 1968) and two in NFL championship games (1966, 1967). The Packers won the next meeting in Green Bay in 1972.
|1||September 20||Detroit Lions||L 0–40||Lambeau Field*||0–1||56,263|
|2||September 27||Atlanta Falcons||W 27–24||Lambeau Field||1–1||56,263|
|3||October 4||Minnesota Vikings||W 13–10||Milwaukee County Stadium*||2–1||47,967|
|4||October 12||at San Diego Chargers||W 22–20||San Diego Stadium||3–1||53,064|
|5||October 18||Los Angeles Rams||L 21–31||Lambeau Field||3–2||56,263|
|6||October 25||Philadelphia Eagles||W 30–17||Milwaukee County Stadium||4–2||48,022|
|7||November 1||at San Francisco 49ers||L 10–26||Kezar Stadium||4–3||59,335|
|8||November 9||Baltimore Colts||L 10–13||Milwaukee County Stadium||4–4||48,063|
|9||November 15||Chicago Bears||W 20–19||Lambeau Field||5–4||56,263|
|10||November 22||at Minnesota Vikings||L 3–10||Metropolitan Stadium||5–5||47,900|
|11||November 26||at Dallas Cowboys||L 3–16||Cotton Bowl||5–6||67,182|
|12||December 6||at Pittsburgh Steelers||W 20–12||Three Rivers Stadium||6–6||46,418|
|13||December 13||at Chicago Bears||L 17–35||Wrigley Field||6–7||44,957|
|14||December 20||at Detroit Lions||L 0–20||Tiger Stadium||6–8||57,387|
*Both Lambeau Field and Milwaukee County Stadium were home fields for the Packers through 1994.
|Green Bay Packers||6||8||0||.429||2–4||4–7||196||293||L2|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
After a turbulent season filled with labor disputes, blowout losses, and the final merger of the AFL and NFL, the Packers had only their second losing season (1968) since 1958. Thoroughly frustrated, third-year head coach Phil Bengtson resigned two days after being shut out in the season finale against the Detroit Lions. His overall record was 20–21–1 during three seasons as Lombardi's handpicked successor. Obviously the organization and the community craved the high standards of winning established a decade earlier; Lombardi's did not have a losing season but Bengston had two in three years and finished in third place in the four-team division each season.
The 1970 season was also the final season of Forrest Gregg as a Packer, a year later the Hall of Fame right tackle returned home to Texas to play for the Dallas Cowboys, where he joined his own teammate Herb Adderley.
The following players led the Packers in the following statistical categories in 1970.
- Bledsoe, Terry (December 22, 1970). "Bengtson quits, cites bad year". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, part 1.
- Lea, Bud (December 23, 1970). "Packer board won't be rushed". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
- Greene, Bob (December 23, 1970). "First Lombardi, now Bengston; what's next for the Pack???". Owosso Argus-Press. Michigan. Associated Press. p. 11.
- Lea, Bud (January 22, 1970). "Packers get Bears' no. 1 pick". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
- Pierson, Don (January 22, 1970). "Bears deal 2 – Mayes, No. 1 draft pick". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, part 3.
- "Draft History – Green Bay Packers". NFL.com. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
- "1970 Green Bay Packer's Game Results". Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
- Lea, Bud (November 27, 1970). "Cowboys end Packer jinx, 16-3". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
- Lea, Bud (October 2, 1972). "Patched up Pack jolts Dallas". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
- "1970 Green Bay Packers Statistics and Players". Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-01-06.