DETROIT -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy couldn't recall ever being on the winning end of a Hail Mary before. But he clearly hasn't forgotten what it felt like to be on the losing end of arguably the most controversial one in NFL history.
That, of course, was in the so-called "Fail Mary" game in Seattle in September 2012, when an NFL replacement official ruled that Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate -- yes, the same guy who coincidentally was at Ford Field on Thursday night as a member of the Detroit Lions -- had caught a game-winning touchdown to beat the Packers 14-12. McCarthy and his team believed the ball had been intercepted by safety M.D. Jennings.
So after watching Aaron Rodgers' 61-yard prayer to Richard Rodgers give his Packers a miraculous, come-from-behind, 27-23 victory over the Lions on Thursday night, the oft-reserved McCarthy couldn't help himself.
"I will just say this: At least our guy really caught the ball in this one," McCarthy said with a small smirk. "You can quote that."
Just as Aaron Rodgers said he'd never thrown a successful Hail Mary, McCarthy said he didn't think he'd ever been part of a successful one, either. In addition to Seattle's game winner in 2012, McCarthy recalled the New York Giants' successful Hail Mary just before halftime of the Packers' 2011 NFC divisional playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl XLVI champs at Lambeau Field.
"Yeah, I've been on the wrong side of it," McCarthy said. "It's been so long I can't remember being on the right side of [one]. Never to win the game. Maybe halftime."