Green Bay is one of the NFL’s oldest and most iconic franchises, dating back to 1921, while Seattle entered the league along with Tampa Bay in 1976. The two teams aren’t what you’d call traditional rivals. They’ve met 22 times (three times in the playoffs), with Green Bay holding a 13-9 edge overall.
The two teams do share a legendary figure – Mike Holmgren – who coached the Packers to a Super Bowl win in 1996 and then took charge of the Seahawks from 1999 to 2008. In Holmgren’s last season, his Seahawks fell to Green Bay 42-20 in a Divisional Playoff.
Recently, however, the teams have played some incredibly memorable games, two in the playoffs, one in the regular season. The first game listed features one of the most notorious endings in recent US sports’ history.
1. The ‘Fail Mary’ Game
September, 24, 2012, CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Seahawks 14 Packers 12 (Regular season)
One of the most contentious endings in the history of the NFL, this came down to the last play of the game. Russell Wilson evaded the pass rush, rolled to his left and threw a ‘Hail Mary’ pass that appeared to be intercepted by Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings. As Jennings fell to the ground, he landed on top of Seattle’s Golden Tate, who grabbed at the ball.
One referee signalled touchdown, the other interception. Complicating the matter was the fact that these were replacement refs, with the regular officials in the midst of a strike.
After a brief review, the touchdown was given and Seattle was awarded the victory. Twitter went crazy, with Packers fans still bitter over a blatant shove by Tate on Sam Shields that wasn’t called.
One of the great disgraces in NFL history.
— Peter King (@peter_king) September 25, 2012
We wondered when the replacement refs would cost a team a game. I believe we just saw one.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) September 25, 2012
2. “We Want The Ball and We’re Gonna Score”
January 4, 2004, Lambeau Field, Green Bay
Packers 33 Seahawks 27, OT (Wild Card game)
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck led his team on an improbable run to the playoffs that set up a clash with his old team, the Packers. The game went to overtime and when the Seahawks won the coin toss, Hasselbeck infamously said, “We want the ball and we’re gonna score.”
He was mic’d up and the prediction was heard by the passionate Lambeau Field crowd. A few plays later, Hasselbeck threw a Pick Six and the Packers won the game.
On this day back in 2004…
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2017
3. Miracle At The Clink
January 18, 2015, CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Seahawks 28 Packers 22 (NFC Championship)
With 5:13 left in the game and a 19-7 lead, the Packers were close to booking their tickets to the Super Bowl. But then, Green Bay imploded:
*Morgan Burnett intercepted Russell Wilson and instead of returning it for substantial yardage, he fell to the ground, stopping the clock and giving the Packers the ball in their own territory.
*The Packers ran only 1:04 off the clock, giving the ball back to Seattle, who promptly scored.
*Seattle tried an onside kick and Brandon Bostick cut in front of the sure-handed Jordy Nelson, fumbled it and Seattle recovered. The Seahawks scored, got the two-point conversion and took a 22-19 lead.
To be fair, the Packers rallied and tied the game on a field goal, but in the overtime period, it was all Seattle and it only took them six plays to destroy the Green Bay dream.
After trailing 16-0 at the half, the @Seahawks staged a stunning rally to defeat the Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship game! (Jan. 18, 2015)#Seahawks | #NFLPlayoffs#SEAvsGB: Sunday at 6:40pm ET on FOX pic.twitter.com/nZbNBvSmoR
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) January 7, 2020