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“Fail Mary” still looms over the postseason

Laurie Larson

Green Bay Packers fan Laurie Larson holds up a sign in reference to a called made by the replacemeents referees that decided Monday’s night game between the Packrs and the Seahawks before an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 in Green Bay, Wis. between the Packers and the New Orleans Saints. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

AP

The good news for the folks who work at 345 Park Avenue is that the Seahawks’ postseason berth, clinched with a week to play, won’t be tainted by the Week Three win that everyone except card-carrying members of the 12th man believe the team didn’t deserve.

The bad news is that the 14-12 win over the Packers could still be viewed as spoiling the final playoff seeding.

If the Seahawks beat the Rams, if the Packers lose to the Vikings, and if the 49ers fall to the Cardinals, Seattle will win the NFC West -- and catch the Packers with an 11-5 record.

Breaking the tie would be Seattle’s ill-gotten head-to-head win over the Packers from Week Three, giving Seattle a bye and a home game in the divisional round.

Then, if the Falcons fall in divisional round, Seattle would host the NFC title game.

Right or wrong, it would all be traced back to a Monday night in September.

Seahawks fans don’t like it when we remind them of the potential impact of the win over Green Bay on the perception that Seattle’s standing has received an undeserved boost. And that’s understandable.

But the league office openly has acknowledged that offensive pass interference should have been called on the play. Moreover, Golden Tate could not have has simultaneous possession of a ball on which he had one hand while M.D. Jennings had two. As a result, objective fans will continue to believe that the final game of the officiating lockout has given the Seahawks an undeserved advantage when it comes to the configuration of the postseason field.

They may be right, they may be wrong. Either way, fans will believe it.

In the end, it likely won’t matter. The 49ers host the Cardinals. The 49ers should easily beat the Cardinals. If that happens, Seattle will be a wild card and the “Fail Mary” will have no impact whatsoever on the postseason field.

Surely, that’s the outcome the league office secretly is rooting for.