To some Green Bay Packers fans, this game meant a little more than a normal preseason game, and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate was public enemy number one.
Friday night was the first meeting between the Packers and Seahawks since the infamous “Fail Mary” game. As most football fans know by now, the Seahawks won a controversial Monday night game during week 3 of regular season last year. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary as time expired, and Packers safety M.D. Jennings caught the ball while Tate just happened to put one hand on the football. One of the replacement referees signaled touchdown while another signaled touchback, with touchdown being the final decision.
This preseason game did seem to have a little carryover from last year’s game. There were many instances during the game when both teams got into a shoving match after the whistle had blown. On the playing field, defense seemed to rule the day as both teams only scored three points during the first half. The Packers picked off Wilson two times in the second quarter. The Packers first team offense didn’t fare much better. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers only played one series, going four for seven for 41 yards. Head coach Mike McCarthy said before the game that the starters would only play a few series because he wanted to get every player play time so the Packers staff could further evaluate the talent on their roster.
With Rodgers only playing one series, that allowed Graham Harrell and Vince Young to get extended playing time. Harrell and Young were both competing to be Rodgers’ backup, and after Friday, the Packers found their answer. Harrell played the entire second quarter and the first series of the second half. He went six for 13 and passed for 49 yards. In three preseason games, Harrell threw zero touchdowns. Young fared much better. He passed for 41 yards, completing six of seven passes. One of those completed passes ended with a one-yard touchdown pass to fullback Jonathan Amosa. On Saturday, the Packers released Harrell, and put Young in the driver’s seat for the backup job.
While the “Fail Mary” rematch didn’t quite live up to whatever hype it had, it did solve the backup quarterback problem for the Packers. With Harrell gone, Young is on track to start his career all over again. On Thursday, the Packers finish their preseason by traveling to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. The Chiefs had the worst record in the league last year and are starting a new era with former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid now in charge. By the way, the Seahawks did win the game 17-10.