The Packers win Vince Lombardi’s debut with a stunning 9-6 upset of the Bears, and Lombardi is carried off the City Stadium field by his players. Held scoreless through three quarters, the Packers finally break through on a 5-yard touchdown run by Jim Taylor, who rushed for 98 yards in the game. The Bears are held to just 164 total yards and two field goals, with Green Bay’s defense tacking on a safety late in the game for the final margin.
Four months later, Lombardi is named the NFL’s coach of the year, turning around a 1-10-1 team that finishes 7-5.
The record may seem modest, but prior to 1959, the Packers had not finished above .500 since 1947, and they had not won at least seven games in a regular season since their last championship under Curly Lambeau in 1944.Lombardi’s first team was a streaky one, starting 3-0 before losing five straight and then winning four in a row to finish out the year. A 28-24 loss to the Baltimore Colts on Nov. 15 was Green Bay’s last defeat of the year, and to illustrate how far the Packers had come, the Colts would go on to win the Western Conference with a 9-3 record.