Skip to main content

Notebook: 1929 Was Historic Season Indeed

With the Packers wearing 1929 replica uniforms as throwbacks this week, the players aren’t being quizzed on their knowledge of team history dating back eight decades.


But there are some interesting tidbits with regards to that season, which was the first of Green Bay's 12 world championships, won by virtue of a 12-0-1 regular-season record.

--The Packers' defense pitched shutouts in eight of 13 games that season, including the one tie, a 0-0 affair. In fact, through the first five games, the only points scored against Green Bay were a pair of safeties, and no NFL team scored more than six points against the Packers that year.

--The opponents included some from cities familiar to the current NFL landscape – the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, New York Giants and Minneapolis Red Jackets – as well as others that didn't survive – the Dayton Triangles, Frankford Yellow Jackets and Providence Steam Rollers.

--1929 was technically Curly Lambeau's last season as both a player and coach. His days in a dual role began back in 1917 as a senior at Green Bay East High School, and he was both a player and coach from the Packers' inception in 1919. He played in just one game in 1929 and then became strictly the team's coach thereafter.

--The Packers played the first five games of that season at home, and all the remaining games were on the road, including a trip to play the Memphis Tigers for the final game of the year. The Packers lost that one, 16-6, but it was not an official league game and therefore didn't count against the team's record or affect the winning of the title, which was awarded in those days to the team with the best record. There were no playoff games until 1936.

On another note, Sunday's game will mark just the second time the Packers will wear throwback uniforms at Lambeau Field. Of the previous six times the Packers have worn throwbacks, between 1994 and 2003, five of them were for road games.

The one home game was on Sept. 25, 1994, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game the Packers won, 30-3, on the strength of Brett Favre's 306 passing yards and three touchdowns. That season, the Packers sported 1937 uniforms four times in celebration of the NFL's 75th anniversary season.

More history to ponder
The San Francisco 49ers have beaten the Packers just once in the last 13 meetings, a stretch dating back two decades. That one, of course, was in the 1998 NFC Wild Card playoff game in San Francisco, where 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Steve Young with 3 seconds remaining to cap a dramatic comeback, 30-27.

"I was in high school when T.O. caught that ball," said Packers receiver James Jones, who was born and raised in San Jose, Calif., and grew up a Niners fan. "I was probably jumping up and down in the house, rooting against the Packers. But now, there's no T.O., and hopefully there will be none of those catches."

To find the last time the 49ers beat the Packers in the regular season, you have to go all the way back to Nov. 4, 1990, when quarterback Joe Montana came into Lambeau Field and threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-20 victory for San Francisco.

At the time, that was the most yards passing ever recorded by a quarterback at Lambeau, but the mark has since been surpassed three times – by Minnesota's Randall Cunningham in 1998 (442 yards), St. Louis' Marc Bulger in 2004 (448 yards) and Houston's Matt Schaub in 2008 (414 yards) – and now ranks fourth in stadium history.

The Packers' current run of dominance over the 49ers began with the 1995 NFC Divisional playoff in San Francisco and includes three other postseason wins. The Packers are 4-1 against the Niners in the playoffs and 8-0 against them in the regular season since Montana's big day at Lambeau.

But no one in the Green Bay locker room is reading anything into that. The players all know how close the Niners came to rallying from a 20-point deficit in the second half at Lambeau last season, and San Francisco comes into this game having won three of their last four and four of their last six following an 0-5 start.

"The past won't matter on Sunday," cornerback Charles Woodson said.

Healing quickly
Receiver Greg Jennings admitted he was a little worried about his foot on the plane ride back from Atlanta after spraining it on the first of his five catches Sunday, a 30-yard catch-and-run up the far sideline in the first quarter. He said his foot planted awkwardly in the Georgia Dome turf as he was tackled on the play.

But after an X-ray and MRI on Monday, Jennings was breathing a little easier, knowing he was just dealing with some excessive swelling, which had subsided enough to allow him to practice on Thursday. Jennings was a limited participant after sitting out Wednesday's practice (his wife gave birth to the couple's third daughter that morning), though Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Jennings took some team snaps and was close to full participation.

"I'm good," Jennings said. "I'm working my way through it. Is it sore? Of course. But Week, what is this, 13? You're going to have things that are going to nag you. But it's crunch time. I told (receivers) Coach (Jimmy) Robinson, I told Mike, it really doesn't matter what's ailing anybody right now. It's go time, so if you can play, you're going to be out there."

Jennings said the foot didn't bother him much in the game until the fourth quarter, when he was limping a bit more jogging off the field and between plays. But then, as expected, it swelled up considerably after the game when he took his cleat off.

"The swelling is going down a lot, a ton, so I'm able to run on it now," he said. "That's all I really care about."

Jennings is one of the hottest receivers in the league, having caught 37 passes for 639 yards and six TDs over the past six games. His 106.5 yards per game during this stretch is tops in the league.

More on injuries
In addition to Jennings, three other players were upgraded on the injury report on Thursday. Tackle Chad Clifton (knee) and defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf) went from limited to full participants, while running back Dimitri Nance passed all the post-concussion testing and was also a full participant after sitting out on Wednesday.

McCarthy said Nance and rookie running back James Starks would be competing the rest of the week to see who would be active for Sunday's game. McCarthy also didn't rule out the possibility both could be active.

Two players on the injury report were downgraded – defensive end Ryan Pickett (ankle) and cornerback Charles Woodson (toe) went from full participants on Wednesday to limited on Thursday with the team practicing in full pads.

Safety Nick Collins (shoulder) and linebacker Clay Matthews (shin) remained limited for the second straight day, while safeties Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Anthony Smith (ankle) and cornerback Pat Lee (ankle) sat out once again.

McCarthy said Matthews' shin injury will more than likely keep him limited in practice for the rest of the season, though he did feel that playing three of the final five regular-season games on grass at Lambeau Field will help reduce some of the irritation Matthews feels after games. The Packers have played their last two games on FieldTurf at Minnesota and Atlanta and play two more games on FieldTurf after this week's game, at Detroit and New England.

Additional coverage – Dec. 2

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.