While the Packers trail several AFC teams by big margins in their head-to-head series, the series against the Chargers is the exact opposite. In fact, the Packers' win percentage over the Chargers (.900) is their best win percentage against any team. Currently, the Packers hold a massive 9-1 lead in the head-to-head series.
An original AFL team, the San Diego Chargers joined the NFL as a result of the merger between the rival leagues in 1970. In that first year after the merger, the Packers went into San Diego and won 22-20 on a late field goal. The series shifted to Green Bay for 1974, when the Packers routed the Chargers 34-0 at Lambeau Field.
In 1978, the resurgent Packers, smarting after a blowout loss to the Raiders at home, went into San Diego. The Chargers would soon become the "Air Coryell" offense that would terrorize defenses, but that would not occur until late in the season. San Diego native Willie Buchanon intercepted four passes, including one he ran back for a touchdown, as the Packers rolled in San Diego again, 24-3.
The Chargers finally posted their first (and to date, only) win in the series by defeating the Packers in 1984 at Lambeau Field. While the Packers would finish 8-8 that season, they started the season 1-7 before surging to the 8-8 record. The series then went on hold for a few years. The Packers were due to face the AFC West in 1987 but the Chargers were not on the schedule even before the strike that year which forced the "replacement" teams.
The Packers and Chargers finally met up again in 1993. The Packers went into San Diego and won, 20-13. In 1996, the Packers again demolished the Chargers at Lambeau Field, 42-10. Leroy Butler ran an interception back for a touchdown and Desmond Howard got his first punt return touchdown as a Packer as well, as Green Bay rolled.
In 1999, the teams met again in San Diego. By then, Packers fans traveled very well with the team and 25,000 of them made the trip to San Diego, causing the Chargers to have their largest crowd ever at home (and following this game, increasing numbers of Packers fans made the trip to San Diego for games against the Chargers). That crowd watched the Packers intercept six passes (reminiscent of the 1978 game) as the Packers, taking advantage of all the mistakes, ran away with a 31-3 victory. The Chargers would lose five more games in a row, the first three of them by blowout, before rebounding to an 8-8 record that season.
The teams met in San Diego again in 2003, this time with close to 30,000 Packers fans in attendance. Green Bay needed a win to tie the rapidly fading Minnesota Vikings atop the NFC North division following the Vikings' loss to the Chicago Bears earlier in the day. Although the Packers led 17-3 at halftime, the Chargers fought back, taking a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter as Green Bay's offense struggled early on in the second half. As soon as the Packers fell behind the Chargers, however, the team responded in all phases. The special teams ran the ensuing kickoff back into San Diego territory, the offense struck in just two plays, and the defense forced a crucial turnover at the San Diego 1-yard-line as the Packers went on to win 38-21. Green Bay would ultimately win the division this year.
Perhaps the most memorable game between the teams occurred in 2007 at Lambeau Field. The previous year, San Diego had gone 14-2 and had posted the best record in the AFC. Early on in 2007, however, they struggled on defense. The Packers, after an abysmal showing on offense in a win over the Eagles followed by an opened-up offense against the Giants, broke their offense loose against the Chargers and took a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. San Diego came back, however, taking a 21-17 lead early in the second half. With Brett Favre one touchdown pass away from tying Dan Marino's all-time record, the Packers drove deep into San Diego territory but didn't crack the end zone, turning the ball over on downs. The defense held, however, and, given another chance, Favre struck, hitting Greg Jennings on a slant. Jennings did the rest, giving the Packers a 24-21 lead as Favre tied the NFL record for most touchdown passes all-time. The Packers defense then got a critical interception as Green Bay ultimately went on to win, 31-24.
Most recently, the teams met in San Diego in 2011. The Chargers scored first but the Packers ran two interceptions back for touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead. San Diego would not go away, and even attempted to rally after the Packers took a 45-24 lead (which caused the Chargers fans to head for the exits but which left 35,000 Packers fans in attendance). San Diego closed to 45-38, but Charlie Peprah sealed the win by intercepting another pass as the Packers moved to 8-0 in 2011.
What are your memories of the Packers playing the Chargers?