NFL Playoffs: Why the Packers and Seahawks Are Destined for 'Fail Mary' Rematch

Chris Schad@@crishadContributor IIIJanuary 8, 2013

The Week 3 play between the Packers and Seahawks could be a precursor to a rematch in the NFC Championship Game if both teams are able to score wins this weekend.
The Week 3 play between the Packers and Seahawks could be a precursor to a rematch in the NFC Championship Game if both teams are able to score wins this weekend.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The scene between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks was one of the most memorable of the 2012 NFL season.

After a back-and-forth battle on Monday Night Football, the Seahawks needed to score a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. With the Packers leading 12-7, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson launched a prayer into the end zone as time expired.

In a play that became known as the "Fail Mary," two replacement officials declared the play a touchdown, as it appeared to them that M.D. Jennings and Golden Tate had simultaneous possession. However, it appeared to everyone else that Tate had grabbed onto the football after Jennings had fallen to the ground.

After a lengthy review, the officials ruled that the play would stand as called.

The Seahawks would use that momentum to race to a surprising 11-5 record while the Packers recovered to win the NFC North championship.

Nearly four months later, the Packers could get the chance to avenge that ugly loss against the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.

There are several theories as to why this rematch would be a gigantic win for all football fans outside of San Francisco and Atlanta, but the logic starts where it will become a reality—on the football field.

The Packers and Seahawks are two of the hottest teams in the NFL heading into this weekend's divisional round.

The Seahawks have won eight of their last nine games and have seen several young players mature before their eyes.

Wilson is no longer the wide-eyed rookie that he was in Week 3. Receivers Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have become legitimate threats who will test the Falcons defense on Sunday afternoon, along with one of the league's best running backs in Marshawn Lynch.

Seattle is also armed with the league's best defense, allowing 245 points on the season.

The secondary, led by Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, is physical enough to give Atlanta's Roddy White and Julio Jones fits. The Seahawks also have a lethal pass rush that got to Aaron Rodgers eight times in that Week 3 meeting.

But Green Bay is also set up for success.

If it weren't for two superheroes in Minnesota and Denver recovering from injuries in 2012, Rodgers could have been in line for his second MVP award. Instead, he has led the Packers offense despite several injuries to key pieces such as Greg Jennings and Cedric Benson.

As the Packers head to San Francisco on Saturday night, they are healthy for the first time all season.

Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Charles Woodson all returned from injuries against the Vikings last Saturday and will make life tough on an equally talented 49ers team.

However, this potential matchup in the NFC Championship Game may be a simple case of destiny.

A perfect example of this was a tweet sent out during a Sunday night game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, another matchup that was destroyed by replacement officials.

#IfNFLwereWWE, games would be decided because of incompetent officiating, setting up emotionally-charged rematches down the road. Oh wait...

— Phil Mackey (@PMac21) September 24, 2012

Professional wrestling is not the best avenue to use here, but it makes the point that the fans of the NFL want to see a rematch between the Seahawks and the Packers.

Think of the outrage that went down the days following the "Fail Mary."

Packer fans protested outside of Lambeau Field later that week. Millions of fans suddenly forgot that regular officials could also make bad calls and instead decided to throw their anger and rage toward Roger Goodell in the hopes that their teams wouldn't suffer the same fate.

All of this while the Seahawks gladly took the win and smiled.

Now, they're one week (and a victory) away from that emotionally charged rematch, which will give Packers fans a chance at vengeance with an appearance in the Super Bowl on the line.