The final impact of the Fail Mary


Week Three of the 2012 season (and, necessarily, the referee lockout) ended with a horrendous call at the conclusion of the Monday night game between the Packers and the Seahawks, giving Seattle a win it didn’t earn and Green Bay a loss it didn’t deserve.  (Hey, 12th man, you can complain all you want but you know in your hearts that it’s true.)

So what was the final impact of the “Fail Mary” on the final 2012 standings and playoff tree?  We’re glad you asked.  (Even if you didn’t.)

For the Seahawks, it was meaningless, thanks to the fact that they found a way to beat the Rams in Week 17.  Seattle finished 11-5, a game ahead of the Vikings for the No. 5 seed in the NFC.  Turning that Week Three win into a loss would have dropped the ‘Hawks to 10-6.  But they still would have secured the No. 5 seed from the Vikings, since the Seahawks beat the Vikings during the regular season.

For the Packers, the loss cost Green Bay a first-round bye, forcing them to play Minnesota again on Saturday and, if the Packers win, to travel to San Francisco in the divisional round.

Thus, in the end, the Packers were the only team negatively affected by the game.  And the impact ultimately could be significant .  Now, the Packers must win an extra game to get to the Super Bowl and also hit the road when instead they should have had to simply win one home game to qualify for the NFC finals.

In turn, Seattle’s division rivals picked up an ill-gotten benefit from the Seahawks’ good fortune.  The 49ers don’t have to play this weekend, and they’ll welcome Green Bay, Seattle, or Washington to Candlestick Park in less than two weeks.

It probably won’t be enough to prompt Jim Harbaugh to send a Happy New Year card to Pete Carroll, but it’s a nice little piece of irony that will add to their rivalry, especially if they cross paths again in the postseason.

89 responses to “The final impact of the Fail Mary

  1. I don’t know it’s true, but yes, I did know as sure as the sun would rise this morning that Mike would write a story about this.. though I was surprised he didn’t immediately write the story when the games completed Sunday.

    Fortunately for Mike the Niners won yesterday, or the impact of Seattle becoming the #2 seed would have caused him to spontaneously combust.

  2. It should also be noted that the Seahawks provided the Packers quite a few gifts this season as well, having stomped the Niners to put them in the position to get the #2 seed – which they failed in giving up 37 points to Christian Ponder… And they beat the Bears on the road to help the Packers win the division

  3. It’s a bunch of BS at this point. Bad calls cost teams all of the time. The Packers have only themselves to blame for losing to Minnesota yesterday. The Packets could have taken care of their own business and failed.

  4. Still waiting for that article on how the refs hand GB a win against the Vikings during their Super Bowl year. That allowed the Packers to get into the playoffs. Until you write that article then I don’t want to hear anymore about the Seattle game.

  5. “Thus, in the end, the Packers were the only team negatively affected by the game. And the impact ultimately could be significant . Now, the Packers must win an extra game to get to the Super Bowl and also hit the road when instead they should have had to simply win one home game to qualify for the NFC finals.”

    Or, they could have beaten the Vikings yesterday, and secured the #2 seed…Failure to do that is what had the biggest ‘negative impact’ on the Packers.

  6. Seriously? Are we ever going to let this go? This is going to follow the Hawks through the playoffs, even when it wasn’t their fault. GB could have prevented their QB from getting sacked 8 times in the first half and got a gift from the refs themselves on the phantom PI call on Kam Chancellor on 3rd down that extended the drive and led to the only Packer TD…

  7. Green Bay will do what it does best, dust themselves off and step up to play.

    Pete Carroll will eat his Fail Mary words – “Good call!”

  8. That’s quite alright considering how the NFL was carrying the Pack yesterday. An they still lost.

  9. It also means that Russell Wilson ties Peyton Manning’s rookie TD record.

    Without the fail mary he falls one TD short.

    I think it’s HILARIOUS that Hawks fans keep asking when this is going to be let go. Yes, it was the worst call in NFL history.

    Also, that PI call on Chancellor was legitimate by the rule book.

    Rule 8, Section 5, Article 2(b) Playing through the back of an opponent in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

  10. So your saying that the Vikes will never beat the Packers next week. I like their chances better in Green Bay than I did at the Dome. Mike sometimes you talk out of your a$$. Yours truly, Shifty.

  11. After having to put up with Steeler fans pointing out that the Seahawks had mulitple opportunities to overcome the bad officiating and win SB XL, it’s time to remind the Packers of the same thing.

    How is the WEEK 3 loss keeping them from enjoying a bye week, when they lost a HOME GAME to the Vikings in WEEK 17? (I won’t even mention the loss to the Colts or the Giants)

    Suck it Packer fans (and the rest of the NFL). The Seahawks have been jobbed by more bad calls over the years (Testaverde phantom TD, SB XL, etc.) that it’s about time a close call went in our favor.

    And it’s REALLY going to sting when we’re hosting the Vikings in the NFC Championship game in Seattle!

    I’ve got your “Fail Mary” RIGHT HERE!!!

  12. “(Hey, 12th man, you can complain all you want but you know in your hearts that it’s true.)” Not sure who is complaining. The comments all seem to be over this even if you aren’t, Mike.

    Bad calls happen. They happen to every team in the NFL. Unfortunately, some of these calls impact the outcome of the game significantly. That’s the case here.

    At this point, it simply looks like you’ve erected a straw man, put a Seahawks 12 jersey on him, and created about 10 posts about it. PFT owned the hell out of that fool.

  13. I wish Seattle complained about the Superbowl loss this much – as they were robbed of that in 2005 by the Refs.

    In the NFL you have to take good calls and bad. Even in the GB game there were called against the Seahawks that the refs blew. You can’t take away 1 single bad call and say all the others stand.

  14. I find it amusing the media continues to harp on this blunder by the replacement refs and ignores the multiple game changing blunders done by the real refs since they came back. Remember the game where they gave an extra time out, the one they ran off 2 minutes or the many other game changing mistakes they caused.

  15. Give it a rest. According to the NFL the only thing wrong with that call was the missed offensive PI, something I continued to see not called even yesterday. GB was the beneficiary of a poor PI call that allowed them to score, just like they did yesterday and still didn’t win.

    GB had a chance to be the #2 seed thanks to the Hawks. You don’t deserve it if you let Ponder put up that many points.

  16. Can somebody pass the ketchup to the Packer fans. Seems as though they are still choking on that WAAAAAAAAAmburger from months ago.

    The Packers benefited from double digit ridiculous calls in 2011; no one made a huge deal about that. They were the #1 seed in 2011, and choked when it mattered.. Put this story to bed.

  17. Seahawks are still owed some karma after the sham of an officiating job they got in the Superbowl. In my mind, they deserve a couple calls against the Redskins – then the score will be even.

  18. Can we stop all the nonsense about week 3 already! I’m a Browns fan so I don’t care one way or another but the call isn’t nearly as horrendous as you’re making it sound. And the “real” refs have been absolutely terrible all year. So can we please move on?

  19. I think the Fail Mary is, in the big picture for the individual teams, just one of those things. There have been many questionable calls over the years, and no good coach will ever blame the refs for everything that went wrong and everything that could have been. It stinks that the Pack might have a harder road to the Super Bowl. But as noted, the Packers had their chances in other games.

    Never mind that last year, the Packers thought they had an easy road. It is quite possible that having to play that extra game and having to stay focused on the road will serve the Pack as well as it did two years ago.

  20. I’ve posted this 3 or 4 times but it never makes it through your BS censorship but I will try one more time. The “fail mary” call was correct. The league acknowleded it to be correct. It was caught by both the offense and defense. Rules say that the offense gets the completion. Did the defense make a better looking catch? Yes he had 2 hands on the ball. The offense also caught the ball using one hand but still a catch. Style points are not considered in the rules.

  21. If I had a dollar for every questionable call by an nfl official this year, i’d be a rich man. Why keep beating a dead horse.

  22. Nothing to see here, folks… move along.

    The playoff-caliber teams all made it in. The Packers had their destiny in their own hands and failed, so they lost-out on a week of rest.

    The only thing Goodell & the NFL has to be embarrassed about is themselves, and their fines, team penalties and heavy-handed “Big Brothering”.

  23. Most of us Seahawks fans KNOW what the right call was. As soon as the ref confirmed touchdown, I was screaming my head off in disgust knowing it would loom on us. But it was the refs call. No one will remember the name of the ref who called it. They’ll just point out that the Seahawks cheated, which isn’t the case. Everyone in Seattle knows the name Bill Leavy, because he cost Seattle the Super Bowl. Blame those who deserve the blame people. Seattle didn’t screw Green Bay. Lance Easley did.

  24. The biggest game affecting the bye week was in week 1, SF won at GB. Every team in the NFC can win it all IMO.

  25. As a Packer fan I disagree. They had a chance for the bye yesterday and blew it. They can’t blame the Seahawks for 2 consecutive three and outs to start the game.

  26. At this point I’m so sick of hearing about how the Pack was robbed because they finally had a call go against them.
    It’s so lame & annoying that I want Seattle to go into Lambeau and blow the Pack out by 4 scores in the NFC Championship game just to shut up Rodgers, Pack fans, the media about this.
    I find it laughable that so much focus is put on that one call and it’s used as the excuse for Green Bay losing, they lost becaus they weren’t good enough, deal with it, wrong calls that allowed Greenbay points were made, where is the crying about that? What about allowing 147 sacks in the first half, that had nothing to do with them coming up short did it?
    What’s the betting this post gets “lost” and never makes the comments.

  27. The Packers are a dome team in disguise anyways. They were going to be playing SF in Round 2 regardless, and I don’t think anyone on that team is heartbroke at the thought of playing it in sunny San Francisco instead of the elements at Lambeau Field. Home field is nice and all, but that team (especially the offense) is made for good weather.

  28. Seriously Mike, let it go. The Packers could be the #2 seed if they beat the 9ers in week 1.

    And if you think they’re the only team to lose b/c of a bad call the 9ers got screwed against the Rams, costing them a W. (see safety that really wasn’t a safety, which allowed the Rams to tie the game)

    and finally, it wasn’t like the game was fixed for Seattle, the previous drive had at least two very very terrible calls that allowed GB to take the lead to begin with. Seattle dominated that game, and had just as many bad calls against them during the game, just b/c one is the final bad call doesn’t mean it was worse than the previous 5 terrible calls.

  29. Ridiculous. The play was reviewed by full time NFL staff, give it up already…every team has calls that don’t go their way – the Packers lost 5 games they are where they deserve to be. I just hope the football gods give us Packers v Seahawks in the playoffs so the Seahawks can whoop-up on that O-Line again and shut up Packer fans once and for all!

  30. Anyone who honestly thinks this is the worst call in NFL History needs to know some NFL History… i’m not sure this play even falls into the top 5 worst calls.

  31. It is what it is, the game/call was months ago. Get over it. W-L since then don’t mean anything?…get a clue !
    Every week Golden Tate shows us he can make some amazing catches (WR corps as a whole lately), cry a river cheese-heads.

    Most people just don’t want to ever like or respect the Seahawks

    Hawk Yeah Go Hawks

  32. Apparently the crux of the position here is that “if you’re a reasonable, rational, discerning and objective person–then you certainly agree with me.”

    Well played.

  33. I don’t understand this article. This argument only holds water if you can assume that everything would have happened the same since that game. How do you know that the Packers would have won the same amount of games since that then?

  34. Haha I knew someone would make this story. You’re completely ignoring the fact that the Packers had their own destiny in their hands yesterday if they had beaten the Vikes, they would be the #2 seed. So the only thing to blame for not getting it are themselves. That makes about as much sense as Seattle blaming not winning the division on the Patriots because they didn’t beat the 49ers. Makes more sense that they blame it on themselves for not winning any of those 5 losses that they easily could have won, against lesser opponents

  35. I’m a Niner fan and I agree with anyone who thinks it was a horrible call, but I have to point out that the Seahawks have gotten screwed by officials worse than any team I know. When you get shafted by officials in a Super Bowl, that’s a super shaft. The Super Bowl Mike Holmgren’s Seahawks played against the Steelers was probably the most ridiculous performance by officials I have ever seen in a big game. The Seahawks got shafted big time. All this horrible call did was make it a little harder on the Packers. And really, right now, if you look at the Seahawks, can anyone say they don’t belong. That is a scary good team.

  36. “Fail Mary” = Get over it. Should Seattle have lost? Yes! Should Green Bay have won? Yes!….but the only thing that is different because of the outcome of that game is the 2 seed and 3 seed which Green Bay could’ve fixed YESTERDAY, but they let AP run all over them and made Ponder look like a perennial pro-bowler.

    Looking forward to seeing the ‘Hawks at the ‘Stick in 2 weeks.

  37. The Packers made the playoffs so there’s not much room to complain.

    That said I grow tired of Seahawk fans “OH KAM CHANCELLOR PI CALL in THE 4th”. A call that 100% decides the game isn’t the same as one at midfield with 11 minutes for the game to play out.

    It must be something with the West Coast fans since anytime the Jerry Rice fumble in the ’98 playoffs is mentioned it’s the same thing. “Oh remember that Don Beebe play in the middle of a regular season game where he was down and got a TD, guess this made up for it”.

  38. I appreciate a lot of the bravado I see in my fellow Niner fans regarding a rematch with the Seahawks, but come on. Can the Niners beat the Seahawks? Absolutely! Can a Niner fan be sure that’s going to happen? Please get serious. The Seahawks just got finished stomping us worse than any team has in two seasons. As much as any Niner fan might not want to admit it, the Seahawks are a serious contender and will be a huge challenge for any of the teams in the playoffs. I’m glad the NFC West is a powerful division these days and should be for a while.

  39. God… I hope, I PRAY, the Packers make it to the NFC Championship Game for a rematch with the Seahawks in Lambeau.

    As a Seahawk fan, that would be a dream come true. We match up perfectly against those cupcakes.

    And now that Wilson is on fire, they won’t have nearly as easy of a time keeping our offense out of the end zone. Only reason that game was so close was because our offense still hadn’t gelled in Week 3. We’re a different beast now. Green Bay has no defense or offensive line. They’d get pounded by the 49ers or the Seahawks. It takes more than offense to win championships, trust me. As a Seahawk fan, I know darn well first-hand how true that is. And I’m freakin stoked that we finally have a team built to handle offenses like GB. Won’t even be a game. The Redskins and 49ers will be much harder. But if we make it to Lambeau, I’ll be buying SuperBowl tickets and booking my airfare to New Orleans before we even play that game.

  40. Im sick of these Packer cry babies. If the Hawks get beat id be routing for the Niners to spank em. At least the teams in our dividion respect each other. Rogers and Mckarthy are such whimpy little entitled 3 year olds.

  41. Hey Green Bay sorry you feel like you got screwed. But quit blaming us Seahawks fans and our team. We didn’t make the call the refs did. The fact is we are 11-5 and we played you as well as anyone that day. I’m not gonna tell you as fans to get over it because I know it took me a long time to get over Super Bowl 40. I’m just gonna say stop blaming us, put the blame where it really belongs and that’s with the NFL for not giving us fans the best product possible by getting a deal done with the real refs. Best of luck in the playoffs

  42. What sticks out most to me about the Fail Mary is that Seattle seemed to use it to fuel an exceptional second half of the season while Green Bay (or at least the writers defending Green Bay) used it only as an excuse.

    This happening so early in the season gave both teams plenty of opportunities to secure their own futures, regardless. Seattle seized it while Green Bay let it get in their way.

  43. osoviejo says:Dec 31, 2012 11:21 AM

    The only missed call in the history of the NFL to affect the outcome of a game. How unlucky for the Packers.
    You’ve got to be joking, right. Missed calls happen every week that affect the outgame of most every game, blowouts excluded.

  44. Why don’t Green Bay fans (or the media, or the haters) ever consider that if M.J. Jennings had just done his JOB and knocked the pass down, this most likely wouldn’t have become the beaten horse it is? He had no reason to try to intercept it: knock it down, end of game – GB wins. Look at your own player – he ultimately made the showboat, selfish decision to up his stats with an attempt at interception.
    Bad calls affect every game.

  45. Man, Seahawks and bears fans sure are idiots.

    You think you’d destroy the packers, Seahawk fans? Interesting analysis. I suppose your team is the only one ever to improve during the season.

    After all, Rodgers was 8th overall in QB rating after week 5, now he is first. I know it’s tough for you, because you’re fans of one of the worst franchises in sports, but for Christs sake, act like you’ve been there before.

    Bears fans, your defense won’t be as good next year, your QB will still be mediocre, and the Packers will still own you. No amount of whining or idiotic behavior will change these facts.

  46. You think the whining’s bad now… Wait til next week when the Packers lose to the Queens in the 1st round. That will be the Seahawks fault too. Just like the 4 other losses on the Packers’ record are the Seahawks’ fault.

  47. The so-called “Fail Mary” is GB fans’ convenient scapegoat for the loss. The real story of the game: the NFL’s #1 ranked defense holding the prolific GB offense to just 12 points throughout the 59 minutes and 45 seconds leading up to Tate’s one-handed catch.

  48. nuwildcats says:
    Dec 31, 2012 2:47 PM
    The so-called “Fail Mary” is GB fans’ convenient scapegoat for the loss. The real story of the game: the NFL’s #1 ranked defense holding the prolific GB offense to just 12 points throughout the 59 minutes and 45 seconds leading up to Tate’s one-handed catch.


    Hmm. You have a loose definition of the term “catch.”

    Especially since the guy who made the call admitted it was wrong.

    Honestly, I hope the Packers end up playing the sea babies again.

    We want the ball and we’re gonna score.

  49. One question for the All mighty Cheese heads… So Seattle is horrible cause we won that game and are happy where we are as as team! I guess we should of argued with the NFL and demanded the win go to GB?? I’m sure that’s what the Packers would of done….. So quit you complaints and Pre Madonna bull..

  50. So basically you are saying Seattle is the reason for the GB Packers not getting the 2nd seed and that Seattle caused GB Packers to lose their other 4 games? C’mon really?

  51. Packer fans are over it, at least the ones I know. None of us wrote the article you see here so ignore it and move on.

  52. Seriously, the media is acting like this was the most egregious call ever. Yeah, Packers got robbed by a bad call…so has every team in football at some point. I remember a game in which Vinny Testeverde of the Jets was granted a TD that was clearly not (even under replay) and it cost the Seahawks a game late in the season. This loss actually kept the Seahawks out of the playoffs that year all together. Where was the outrage and the constant analysis? By the way, these were “real” refs…and the “real” refs this year have made some terrible calls, too….boo hoo Packers… They could have just beaten Minnesota yesterday and controlled their own destiny…they had to play the game anyway.

  53. Because of that Fail Mary from the scab refs is why out of all 32 teams, the Packers is the ONLY one that deserves to go and win the SB.
    NFL owes the Packers and it’s fans big time. Big time.

  54. It would be great if the packers/Seahawks met on the NFC championship and it came down to the packers last drive, and the refs just randomly awarded GB a touchdown for no reason. I bet seababy fans wouldn’t complain at all.

    I mean, the same thing happened for them, so they’d see no problem when it happened against them, right?

  55. It is amusing to see that this guy keeps writing with such strong belief that the Packers deserved to win a game in which they only scored twelve points, and their only touchdown came on a drive with a pass interference call that was more egregious than the Tate catch.

    Maybe you can argue that the Hawks didn’t earn the win, by holding Aaron Rodgers and company to twelve points (really just six legit points) while sacking him eight times, but that seem like a path to victory in the NFL to me.

    Enjoy your delusions. The Seahawks will just enjoy the win.

  56. Analyze the play, and the rules conflict with each other.

    Can’t have Dual possession, until you make a catch.
    Can’t have a catch until you have possession, AND both feet, or a knee or elbow on the ground.
    Tate has one hand on the ball in the air, ( hundreds of one handed catches through the years) Packer defender has both hands on the ball in the air.
    Tate touches the ground FIRST, and has both hands on the ball Packer defender still hasn’t touched the ground.
    So how can you rule defender intercepted the ball if he hasn’t completed the ACT of a catch, by having both feet/knee/elbow on the ground?
    If anyone completed the ACT of a catch it was Tate.
    Tate may have only had one hand on the ball in the air, (still enough to claim possession) but he had both hands when he touched the ground, completing the ACT of a catch.

    Not enough video evidence to overturn what was ruled on the field.
    JAGS fan here.

  57. I am amazed that so many football people simply choose to ignore what the NFL rule book constitutes a completed catch? By rule Tate completed the catch first and then Jennings. The NFL community needs to pull their collective heads out!! Not to mention that they want to discuss that one play/call but not the other calls during the game that allowed GB to score their only touch down. If it was not for the poor officiating during the game Green Bay would of only scored 3 points!!!

  58. Maybe it was the refs, not the Seahawks that made the call. But we Packers fans don’t care, because the previous year in our playoff game, it was the refs, not the Packers who made the controversial calls against the Giants, but nobody wanted to hear that. So we Packers fans will continue to blame the Seahawks.

  59. seattlerogueburner says: Dec 31, 2012 10:13 AM

    Most of us Seahawks fans KNOW what the right call was. As soon as the ref confirmed touchdown, I was screaming my head off in disgust knowing it would loom on us. But it was the refs call. No one will remember the name of the ref who called it. They’ll just point out that the Seahawks cheated, which isn’t the case. Everyone in Seattle knows the name Bill Leavy, because he cost Seattle the Super Bowl. Blame those who deserve the blame people. Seattle didn’t screw Green Bay. Lance Easley did.
    Of course the Seahawks cheated. Lance Easley didn’t commit the obvious OPI on the final play, Golden Tate did.

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