"That was kind of our ‘coming out party,'" said Packers quarterback Brett Favre. "We were not quite sure how good we were. I know San Francisco at that time and probably the rest of the football world knew they were going to win the game and go on, yet we kind of shocked the world. After that we were a championship team."
The overall series between the two teams is tied, 25-25-1.
By beating the Giants last Sunday, the Packers became only the seventh team in the organization's 81-year NFL history to win as many as 12 games in a season.
The 1929 and 1931 Packers were the first to win a dozen games, posting a 12-0-1 record in '29 and a 12-2-0 record in '31 under team founder Curly Lambeau – both championship years.
Vince Lombardi's Packers also had two such seasons, forging a 13-1 record in 1962 and a 12-2-0 record in 1966, both also title years.
Under Mike Holmgren, the Packers had back-to-back 13-3 records in 1996 and 1997 on the way to Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII.
The current Packers, closing the '01 season with a three-game winning streak, now have won 16 of their last 20 regular season games under Mike Sherman and six of their most recent seven.
Perfect at home
The Packers own a 10-0 postseason record at Lambeau Field and are 12-0 overall at home, dating back to 1939. The Packers' first playoff win at Lambeau came in 1961 with a 37-0 NFL championship game victory over the New York Giants, when the stadium was still known as Green Bay City Stadium (it was not renamed Lambeau Field until 1965).
Green Bay won its two other postseason games at State Fair Park in Milwaukee.
The Packers are 22-10 (.688) overall in the playoffs, best record in NFL history based on 10 or more postseason appearances.
Running back Ahman Green finished the regular season second in the National Football Conference in both rushing (1,387 yards) and total yards from scrimmage (1,981).
Washington's Stephen Davis emerged as the NFC's leading rusher (1,432 yard s) and the St. Louis Rams' Marshall Faulk as the leader in yards from scrimmage with 2,147.
Green also finished fourth in the NFC in non-kicker scoring with 66 points, third in the production of first downs with 81 (57 rushing and 24 receiving), and fourth in third-and-one rushing with an 81.8 percent success rate, based on 9 conversions in 11 attempts.
The former Nebraska Cornhusker also posted the NFC's longest run from scrimmage of the season, an 83-yard scoring excursion against Detroit in the P ackers' season opener September 9.
Favre finished third in the NFC and fourth in the league as a whole with a 94.1 passer rating, based on 314 completions in 510 attempts for 3,921 yards and 32 touchdowns, with only 15 interceptions, the latter his lowest such total since the Super Bowl year of 1996, when he threw 13.
Favre's 32 TD passes tied him with the 49ers' Jeff Garcia for the season's second-best total in the NFL, behind the 36 of the Rams' Kurt Warner.
Favre also finished second in the NFC in fourth-quarter passing with a 104.4 rating, based upon 72 completions in 113 attempts for 975 yards and 7 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions, and third in third-down passing with an 89.0 rating, based upon 79 completions in 145 attempts for 1,064 yards and 11 touchdowns, with 5 interceptions.
Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila closed out the season tied with the New Orleans Saints' Charlie Clemons for third place in quarterback sacks with 13.5. The Giants' Michael Strahan led the NFL with a record 22.5 sacks, followed by Leonard Little of St. Louis with 14.5.
Safety Darren Sharper finished the year in a four-way tie for sixth place among NFC interceptors with 6 and punter Josh Bidwell ended it as the seventh-ranking punter in the NFC with a 42.5-yard average for 82 punts.
Split end Bill Schroeder tied the Rams' Isaac Bruce for the NFC's best average-per-catch, 17.3 yards Schroeder making 53 receptions for 918 yards and 9 touchdowns.
From the team perspective, the Packers closed out the season sixth on offense and 12th on defense in the NFL.
Offensively, they ranked 21st in rushing and third in passing and, defensively, 16th against the run and 15th against the pass.