Seahawks-Packers rivalry has some memorable games — these are the top 5

Jan 9, 2020, 1:48 PM


The "Fail Mary" against the Packers is one on the strangest plays in Seahawks history. (Getty)


You don’t need to be in the same division to have a true rivalry in the NFL. There are plenty of teams that have bitter histories with one another despite not having to play twice a year. Think of 49ers-Cowboys, Patriots-Colts, Giants-49ers, Seahawks-Panthers and more recently Saints-Vikings.

What they’re saying: Seahawks preview playoff matchup with Packers

These teams have played memorable games that have seen both sides end up winners and losers, with a ton at stake in most of the contests.

On Sunday, the Seahawks and Packers add another chapter to their growing rivalry that has already seen them play twice in the playoffs and a handful of times in the regular season with exciting or strange outcomes. Let’s take a look at five of those games.

5) Sept. 10, 2017: Packers 17, Seahawks 9

It’s not often that the most critical play of a game happens in the first quarter, but about 5 1/2 minutes in and with the Packers at the Seahawks’ 40-yard line, Aaron Rodgers threw a pass that was intercepted by Seattle defensive tackle Naz Jones and run all the way back for a touchdown to break a scoreless – or so we thought.

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was called for a personal foul and ejected despite Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams grabbing his facemask and swinging him around. I don’t have a clue what the officials saw on this play – it was later explained that Lane threw a punch, but the replay shows no such occurrence.

Mike Daniels’ strip sack of Russell Wilson in the third quarter led to a Ty Montgomery touchdown run and the Packers took the opener 17-9 (there’s that score again).

4) Sept. 14, 2014: Seahawks 36, Packers 16

These two teams seem to play a lot in September.

Coming off their Super Bowl win seven months earlier, the Seahawks had the honor of hosting the first game of the year on a Thursday night. The talk leading up to the game centered around Rodgers and whether or not he’d tempt fate and throw in Richard Sherman’s direction. The answer was a resounding no.

Rodgers ended up targeting Jordy Nelson several times, who was covered by Byron Maxwell, and paid for it when one of those passes went off of Nelson’s hands and into Maxwell’s.

Marshawn Lynch rushed for 110 yards, Russell Wilson threw for a pair of touchdowns and away the Seahawks went with a 36-16 win to begin their title defense.

3) Jan. 4, 2004: NFC playoffs – Packers 33, Seahawks 27 (OT)

“We want the ball and we’re gonna score.”

That’s what this game will be remembered for. In fact, that might be what Matt Hasselbeck is remembered for – fair or unfair.

After the game went into overtime and the Seahawks won the coin toss, Hasselbeck explained to the officials what the Seahawks wished to do with the ball. The microphone picked up his bravado, making it audible on the FOX broadcast and throughout the entirety of Lambeau Field.

At 4:25 into overtime, Hasselbeck threw a pass intended for receiver Alex Bannister, but it was intercepted by Green Bay cornerback Al Harris, who took it 52 yards to the house for the 33-27 win.

With the way it ended, it’s easy to forget that Hasselbeck threw for 305 yards and a touchdown in the game. Shaun Alexander rushed for three touchdowns, each of which were for 1 yard.

The Seahawks would be eliminated again the following season in the Wild Card round before their 2005 run to the Super Bowl.

2) Sept. 24, 2012: Seahawks 14, Packers 12 – “The Fail Mary”

Seattle was 1-1 and hosting Monday Night Football against a Packers team that had gone 15-1 the previous year.

In the first half, the Seahawks’ defense absolutely manhandled Aaron Rodgers, sacking him eight times – four of which came from defensive end Chris Clemons.

Fast-forward to the final possession of the game: Down 12-7, Russell Wilson produced the first miracle of his NFL career. With eight seconds to go in the game, Wilson took the snap at the Packers 24-yard line and heaved the ball to the back left corner of the end zone for Golden Tate. What happened next is anyone’s guess.

After Tate pushed Sam Shields and escaped an offensive pass interference call, he and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings both went up for the ball and came down to the ground with their arms “equally” wrapped around the ball. Compounding matters was the fact that the NFL officials were on strike at the time and the league was using replacement crews, which to that point in the season had yielded disastrous results – none more controversial than this one.

One official signaled touchdown and the other signaled touchback. After review, it was determined that Tate scored the touchdown and CenturyLink Field exploded into a frenzy.

To this day, football fans debate who really came down with true possession of the ball.

1) Jan. 18, 2015: NFC title game – Seattle 28, Green Bay 22 (OT)

For the second year in a row, CenturyLink Field was the host site for the NFC Championship and unbelievably the drama of this game topped what we experienced the year before.

A 16-0 deficit at the half may not seem insurmountable under normal circumstances, but the way the Seahawks (and Wilson in particular) were playing, their chances looked bleak. Wilson threw four interceptions, most the result of tipped passes by receiver Jermaine Kearse. Penalties destroyed drives or extended them for Green Bay.

It was an ugly afternoon until Pete Carroll jump-started his team by running a fake field goal with punter Jon Ryan hitting a wide open Garry Gilliam (an offensive lineman, by the way) in the end zone to make it 16-7 early in the second half.

Still trailing 19-7 with about four minutes to go, Wilson conjured up some magic to lead a quick drive down the field, capped off by his own 1-yard touchdown run to make it 19-14.

With no choice but to run an onside kick, the Seahawks did just that. Little-used receiver Chris Matthews recovered the ball after it bounced off of Brandon Bostick’s hands.

We then saw vintage Marshawn Lynch four plays later when he motored 24 yards to give Seattle a 20-19 lead. The Seahawks then successfully converted a two-point conversion when Wilson, under duress, lollipopped a pass to Luke Willson, who hauled it into the end zone.

Rodgers managed to lead the Packers back down the field to tie the game on a Mason Crosby field goal, but by that point the Seahawks had the momentum.

In overtime, Wilson and Kearse hooked up for one of the most memorable plays in the history of the franchise with a 35-yard touchdown pass right down the center of the field.

Wilson was in tears as he gave a postgame interview, Michael Bennett rode a police bike around the stadium, Doug Baldwin angrily/joyfully screamed at anyone who would look in his direction, and the Seahawks were onto their second Super Bowl in as many years.

Watch a video of highlights here or the full game itself here.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom Wassell on Twitter.

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