Packers Hoping 13 Is Lucky Number

What would it mean for the Packers to start 13-0? A first-round bye and playoff home game, for one thing.

The Green Bay Packers, who clinched their first NFC North championship since 2007, are looking become the eighth team in NFL history to start a season 13-0.

Of the previous seven, the 1972 Dolphins, 1998 Broncos and 2009 Saints won the Super Bowl. The other four: the 2007 Patriots (lost Super Bowl XLII), the 2009 Colts (lost Super Bowl XLIV), the 1934 Bears (lost the NFL Championship Game) and the 2005 Colts (lost in divisional playoffs).

The Packers, who would clinch a first-round bye and home game in the divisional playoff round by beating Oakland on Sunday, are the second defending Super Bowl champions to start a season 12-0. The other: the aforementioned Broncos, who beat Atlanta in Super Bowl XXXIII.

"Every week is going to be a challenge," coach Mike McCarthy said. "We're 12-0, but we need to get to 13-0. We have other goals in front of us before we can even entertain 16-0. I hope we're in a position to talk about that, but right now, we aren't. Homefield advantage is our goal now. We've got 12 wins and it's important for us to stay focused. There's so much more in front of us to accomplish. Winning the Super Bowl is what this business is all about."

The Packers have won 18 consecutives games, which is tied for the second-longest winning streak in NFL history behind the Patriots, who won 21 in a row in 2003 and 2004. Six other teams have won 18 straight, most recently the 2007 Patriots, who won their first 18 games before losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

To get to 13-0, Green Bay must beat the Oakland Raiders, who are 4-2 on the road this season. The Packers, however, are 16-1 in their last 17 home games, which is tied with New England for tops in the NFL. Green Bay is 5-0 at home this season and is averaging 39.0 points in those games.

And from the statistical oddball department, there's this: The Packers improved to 12-0 last week when Mason Crosby kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the Giants. It marked only the third time in NFL history that a team maintained a perfect record at least 10 games into a season by scoring the winning points in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

In 1934, the Chicago Bears improved to 10-0 with a 10-9 win over the Giants on a 24-yard field goal by Jack Manders with 50 seconds to play. In 2007, New England moved to 12-0 with a 27-24 victory at Baltimore on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Jabar Gaffney with 44 seconds remaining.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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