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Remmel: Packers Still Looking To Find Winning Ways In Buffalo


The record shows that the Green Bay Packers have yet to defeat the Buffalo Bills in a regular season Buffalo.

And that, surprisingly, is the fact of the matter as the Green and Gold focus on their fifth regular-season invasion of the "Queen City" this weekend.

Admittedly, the Packers have not often set foot in New York state's second-largest city. But over a 12-year span, they have lost all four of their regular-season appearances there - 19-12 in 1979, 28-0 in 1988, 29-20 in 1994 and 27-18 in 2000. And, consequently, they are still looking for their first win in Marv Levy's "hometown."

It's probably too bad that preseason games couldn't be factored into the overall competitive record between next Sunday's combatants, due to collide at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium. If so, it would make much better reading for the average Packerphile.

The Packers have won eight of those 11 non-league encounters, including three of the last four - and one on foreign soil.

The last-named success was registered in Toronto's SkyDome, better known to the legions of sports fanatics as the home of Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays of the American League.

The Green and Gold emerged from the dome with a one-sided 35-3 victory in August of 1997.

That '97 season, it may be remembered, was one climaxed by a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance for the Packers...and by their first-ever loss in the "Big Dance" - courtesy of the Denver Broncos - in the wake of three victories.

Although the Bills hold a 6-3 lead in the regular-season series, it should be noted - in all fairness - that Buffalo also has not had great success while performing in the state of Wisconsin. The Bills have lost three of five road games against the Packers, the last by a 10-0 shutout at blustery Lambeau Field in 2002.

The latter also happens to have been the last time the Packers blanked an opponent in a league game.

Surprisingly, speaking of shutouts, there have been three of them in the Packers' preseason series with the Bills. The Green and Gold scored a 34-0 victory in their very first meeting with Buffalo at Lambeau Field in 1970 and the Bills returned the favor twice, 37-0 in 1976 and 14-0 in 1980, both in Buffalo.

From the Packers' perspective, a major series highlight to date occurred during the strike-shortened 1982 season.

On that early December occasion, they slogged through rain and mud to outlast the Bills at Milwaukee County Stadium, 33-21, behind veteran placekicker Jan Stenerud's four field goals, which turned out to be the precise difference in the final score.

The all-day rain contributed to some precarious ball-handling, the Bills losing three of five fumbles and the Packers two of four.

The victory was one of five the Packers registered en route to a 5-3-1 record and a berth in that year's Super Bowl Tournament.

The Green and Gold, then in the postseason hunt for the first time since 1972, went on to dispatch the St. Louis Cardinals in a subsequent divisional playoff in Lambeau Field, 41-16, thereby setting a club postseason scoring record with the 41-point effusion.

They thus qualified for a second-round matchup with the Cowboys at Dallas and returned to Titletown on the short end of a 37-26 shootout, despite a then-team playoff record 466 yards of offense - punctuated by a 332-yard passing performance from quarterback Lynn Dickey.

Wide receiver James Lofton, later to become a Buffalo Bill, emerged from that one with 109 yards on five receptions and spiced a second-half Packers comeback by taking a reverse 71 yards for a touchdown, matching the NFL's longest postseason run from scrimmage.

The culprit, from the Packers' standpoint, was the Cowboys' Dennis Thurman, who intercepted three passes, returning one 39 yards for a touchdown and another to end the Packers' last-gasp possession in the fourth quarter.

*Continuing an association with the team that is more than 55 years old, Lee Remmel was named the first official Team Historian of the Green Bay Packers in February 2004. The former Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter and Packers public relations director, Remmel will write regular columns for as part of his new assignment.

In addition to those articles, Remmel will answer fan questions in a monthly Q&A column. To submit a question to Remmel, click here.*


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