Green Bay Packers Flashback Sunday: If Only They Had a Defense

If only they had a defense.

That is the puzzle that will sadly never be solved regarding the 1983 Green Bay Packers.

By the end of the 1983 season, goo gobs of points would be scored, records would be shattered, and the team would finish a mediocre 8-8 and out of the playoffs despite scoring 429 points.

If only they had a defense.

Long before Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers appeared on the scene, the Packers had a very, very good quarterback in Lynn Dickey. He was the definition of a gunslinger, and in the wild and crazy season of 1983, he did not hold back one bit.

Throwing for a then team record 4,458 yards and 32 touchdowns in 1983, Dickey benefited from having arguably the best receiving corp in team history. Wide receivers James Lofton and John Jefferson combined for over 2,100 yards and 15 touchdowns. Tight end Paul Coffman chipped in with over 800 yards and 14 touchdowns. Running back Gerry Ellis added another 600 yards out of the backfield just to make matters worse for opposing defenses.

Dickey might have also thrown 29 interceptions during this season, but let’s not discuss that.

It was an exciting offense to watch, scoring points at a record pace throughout the season. Optimism was high among the green and gold faithful, and rightfully so.

Sadly, as good as their offense was, their defense was the polar opposite.

The sieve of a defense in 1983 gave up 439 points. 439! It still boggles the mind that a team as powerful on offense as the ’83 team was could be so powerless on defense, which would ultimately seal the team’s fate and keep them out of the playoffs.

For as much grief as the 2011 defense got for not being able to stop anyone, the 1983 defense deserves so much more, because it was the reason the 1983 season will forever be remembered as a disappointment.

But my goodness, they were fun to watch.

So sit back, get your coffee, and remember just how exciting the 1983 Packers were with the game which epitomized the extremes between the offense and defense of that season. The Monday Night game against the Redskins is still talked about to this day, and if you’ve never seen it, you will know why after watching it:



If only they had a defense…

Don’t forget to stop by when you are done and check out this week’s edition of Surviving Sundays. It is a must read every Sunday during the off season.

Have a great Sunday! GO PACK GO!!!

John Rehor is a writer at and co-host of Cheesehead Radio. To contact John follow him on Twitter @jrehor or email