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1989 Green Bay Packers season

Updated: 2017-06-09T22:30Z
1989 Green Bay Packers season
Head coachLindy Infante
General managerTom Braatz
Home fieldLambeau Field
Milwaukee County Stadium
Division place2nd NFC Central
Playoff finishdid not qualify

The 1989 Green Bay Packers season was their 70th in the National Football League. The Packers posted a 10–6 record, their best since 1972, but failed to make the playoffs. The team was often referred to as the "Cardiac Pack" due to several close-game wins. The 1989 Packers hold the NFL record for most one-point victories in a season with four. The team was coached by Lindy Infante and led by quarterback Don Majkowski, who attained his nickname "The Majik Man."


The Green Bay Packers selected Tony Mandarich with their first pick of the 1989 NFL Draft, passing on prospects such as Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, and Deion Sanders. Mandarich was a first-team All-American, an Outland Award finalist and a two-time Big Ten Lineman of the Year. Mandarich would later hold out most of the preseason, playing most of the regular season on special teams. Four years after signing Mandarich, the Packers cut him. ESPN rated Mandarich as the third biggest sports flop in the past 25 years.[1]

122Tony MandarichMichigan StateT
3258Matt BrockOregonDE
31874Anthony DilwegDukeQB
4387Jeff GrahamLong Beach StateQB
512124Jeff QueryMillikinWR
515127Vince WorkmanOhio StateRB
63142Chris JackeTexas-El PasoK
72169Mark HallSW LouisianaDE
83198Thomas KingSW LouisianaDB
811206Brian ShulmanAuburnP
92225Scott KirbyArizona StateT
103254Ben JessieSW Texas StateDB
112281Cedric StallworthGeorgia TechDB
123310Stan ShiverFlorida StateDB



1989 Green Bay Packers staff
Front office
  • President and Chief Executive Officer – Bob Harlan
  • Executive Vice President of Football Operations – Tom Braatz

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

  • Offensive Backs – Willie Peete
  • Wide Receivers – Wayne "Buddy" Geis
  • Tight Ends – Virgil Knight
  • Offensive Line – Charlie Davis
  • Offensive Assistant – Joe Clark
Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Howard Tippett

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Virgil Knight



1989 Green Bay Packers roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Rookies in italics

Regular season

Although the Packers failed to make the Playoffs, they recorded their best record since 1972. The Packers finished 10–6, placing them second in the NFC Central. The Minnesota Vikings also finished 10–6, but held the tiebreaker due to a better conference record. The team finished with a 10–6 record for their first winning season since the strike shortended 1982 season. It was also the first club to record 4 1-point victories in a season. The club was 6–2 at home and 4–4 on the road.[3] The Packers offense had success due to a strong passing game, headed by quarterback Don Majkowski. Majkowski finished first in the NFL in passing yards and completions. He earned a bid to the NFL Pro Bowl. Wide receiver Sterling Sharpe finished the season first in receptions, and second in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Sharpe would also earn a bid to the Pro Bowl.[4]

The Herschel Walker trade and the Packers

On October 8, 1989, the Packers hosted the Dallas Cowboys, featuring star running back Herschel Walker. Four days later, the Cowboys traded Walker to the Minnesota Vikings, the next team on the Packers' schedule. Walker's debut with the Vikings occurred three days after the trade, on October 15, 1989, against the Packers. The Packers faced Walker for a third time during the regular season, on November 26, 1989, when the Packers played the Vikings again. These regular season games between the Packers and Walker occurred in three different cities: Green Bay, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee.

The Instant Replay game

On November 5, 1989, the Packers beat the Bears 14–13, but not without controversy. Don Majkowski led the Packers to a comeback and a game-winning touchdown pass to Sterling Sharpe with less than a minute left to play. Initially the play was called a touchdown, but line judge Jim Quirk had called a penalty on Majkowski for being beyond the line of scrimmage when he threw the pass. With a nervous and tense crowd at Lambeau Field, the call went up to the instant replay official, Bill Parkinson. Several minutes later the call came down and the touchdown was awarded as recorded by instant replay. The Lambeau faithful and Packer players erupted with joy because it marked the first time since 1984 that the Packers had beaten their long-time rivals. The Packers would later beat the Bears again in the season.[5] The game was broadcast on CBS with Dick Stockton and Dan Fouts on the call.

The last team to beat San Francisco

On November 19, 1989, the Packers traveled to Candlestick Park and beat Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers. It would be one of only two losses for the 49ers, and the last before the 49ers finished out the season 8–0, including a 55–10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV. In that game, the Packers matched their win total from the previous season (4–12). Although regarded at the time as a fluke, Green Bay would proceed to win 13 of the next 15 contests with San Francisco over the next 21 seasons.[6]


WeekDateOpponentResultGame siteAttendance
1September 10, 1989Tampa Bay BuccaneersL 23–21Lambeau Field
2September 17, 1989New Orleans SaintsW 35–34Lambeau Field
3September 24, 1989at Los Angeles RamsL 41–38Anaheim Stadium
4October 1, 1989Atlanta FalconsW 23–21Milwaukee County Stadium
5October 8, 1989Dallas CowboysW 31–13Lambeau Field
6October 15, 1989at Minnesota VikingsL 26–14Metrodome
7October 22, 1989at Miami DolphinsL 23–20Joe Robbie Stadium
8October 29, 1989Detroit LionsW 23–20 (OT)Milwaukee County Stadium
9November 5, 1989Chicago BearsW 14–13Lambeau Field
10November 12, 1989at Detroit LionsL 31–22Pontiac Silverdome
11November 19, 1989at San Francisco 49ersW 21–17Candlestick Park
12November 26, 1989Minnesota VikingsW 20–19Milwaukee County Stadium
13December 3, 1989at Tampa Bay BuccaneersW 17–16Tampa Stadium
14December 10, 1989Kansas City ChiefsL 21–3Lambeau Field
15December 17, 1989at Chicago BearsW 40–28Soldier Field
16December 24, 1989at Dallas CowboysW 20–10Texas Stadium


NFC Central
Minnesota Vikings(3)1060.6256–28–4362356W1
Green Bay Packers1060.6255–310–4351275W2
Detroit Lions790.4384–46–6312364W5
Chicago Bears6100.3752–64–8358377L6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers5110.3133–55–7320419L4

Season statistical leaders

Awards and records


Hall of Fame Inductions


  1. ^ ESPN 25 Biggest Sports Flops Archived 2011-05-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "All Time Coaches Database". Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 266
  4. ^ 1989 League Leaders – NFL from Pro-Football-Reference
  5. ^ "Majik" Act Still A Big Hit With Packers Fans from 10/05/2004
  6. ^ See 1989 San Francisco 49ers season
  7. ^ 1989 Green Bay Packers Stats obtained 12/03/2006
  8. ^ a b c d 1989 NFL Pro Bowlers –

External links

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