When you think of famous rivalries in pro sports you tend to think of New York and Boston, Chicago and Detroit, and Dallas and Philadelphia, just to name a few. But not all rivalries have had that level of recognition.
Not to say bad blood rivalries don’t exist, but sometimes, they do go a little unnoticed.
You may look at the Chicago Bears as Green Bay’s most important rival because they share the same division, and while that is true, their rivalry with Seattle has been more painful than their foes in the Windy City.
When you mention Green Bay and Seattle in the same sentence, it’s more than likely that person is referencing the infamous 2014 NFC Championship Game between the two teams. In which — look away Green Bay fans — led 19-7 in the final moments in the fourth quarter before Seattle stormed back to win the game in overtime.
We don’t call the fourth quarter the “Heart Attack Quarter” for nothing, you know.
Not to mention the equally infamous “Fail Mary” game that also cost Green Bay a victory in 2012 when the replacement referees ruled the Hail Mary a touchdown rather than an interception.
Still, five seasons have passed since that fateful day that denied Green Bay a trip to the Super Bowl, and Sunday’s game will give Green Bay a chance at redemption and exonerating any playoff demons that still linger.
Only a handful of players remain from that 2014 season for Green Bay and now includes rookie head coach Matt LaFleur getting a taste at the helm.
Green Bay has played Seattle four times, winning three of those contests at Lambeau Field, and losing once at CenturyLink Field last season in a heartbreaker, 27-24.
With Sunday’s Divisional Round game being in Wisconsin rather than Seattle — which looks to be roughly 22 degrees when that game starts — all of Green Bay will be glued to a game that has so much on the line.
While the winner won’t advance to the Super Bowl with a win, Green Bay can also prove that they belong in these playoffs and that a 13-3 record wasn’t a fluke. However, it’s funny, and maybe a bit cruel, that the road to the Super Bowl does involve the very team that denied them.
The two quarterbacks have had similar success dating back to 2012 — in which it’s a little eery how close the stats are.
Russell Wilson vs. Aaron Rodgers
Wins: 86-41-1 — 72-39-1
Comp Pct: 64.5 — 64.1
Pass TD: 227 — 232
Passer Rtg: 101.2 — 101.5
Postseason W-L: 9-5 — 5-5
No matter how this one plays out, Green Bay knows a lot is at stake. And if the moniker of winning ugly propels them to a win over Seattle, then they’ll take it. Because winning 13 games is hard enough and winning playoff games is even harder.
But the monkey on their back will be Seattle until they end their season on Sunday. Wilson will be hard to contain, but Green Bay must stay disciplined on Sunday letting the game come to them.
The last time one of these team’s declared they were going to score, it resulted in a Matt Hasslebeck Pick-6 at Lambeau Field during the 2001 Wild Card Playoffs.
If you thought you'd heard everything about the Packers-Seahawks playoff moments, including Matt Hasselbeck's coin-toss claim, I promise you haven't heard this:
Hint: It involves an Al Harris photo hanging in a certain someone's hotel room and a Sharpiehttps://t.co/9DRNPAcQoE
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) January 9, 2020
Now, with a win over Seattle during the Divisional Round, 28-23, in 2019, Green Bay can put some of those past playoff demons past them. It was a back-and-forth affair between the two teams, but the Packers successfully defended Lambeau Field.
Their final home game of the season came against a fitting opponent, and exacting some revenge from 2014 has to feel good for this Packers team. But now that one beast has been slain, they’ll look to keep their magical season alive against San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.
But rivalries tend to stick around when you have two all-class quarterbacks in Rodgers and Wilson playing their best football. Here’s to the next time these two meet again on the gridiron.
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