Packers XLV

The Three Bs Were Just a Little Too Much.

Posted November 27th, 2017 @ 03:11pm

The Packers passed a major test in Pittsburgh Sunday night, showing resolve, grit and toughness in the face of adversity. But when the Steelers were able to move down the field in 17 seconds to kick the game winning field goal, it likely ended the team's hopes for a ninth straight playoff berth.

With five losses in the last six games, it seems preposterous to even think about the post season right now; so let's focus for a moment on what we saw at Heinz Field. We saw a young quarterback bounce back in a huge way against one of the top three defenses in the league. We saw a rookie running back take advantage of his opportunity and show his ability as a runner and a receiver. We saw a defense that was ultimately overmatched by the game's best running back-receiver duo.

And that, ultimately, was the difference in this one. The Packers defense had no answer for Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell. With Kevin King limited with his shoulder injury and Damarius Randall missing much of the game dealing with cramps, the secondary found itself overmatched by those two playmakers, Of course, it would have helped if the Pack could have gotten a semblance of a pass rush on Big Ben, who had oodles of time in the pocket all night.

Blake Martinez, Mike Daniels and Morgan Burnett stood out for the defense, but they weren't enough to prevent the potent Steelers from making big plays late. When the Packers forced a punt in the final 90 seconds, it looked like we were headed for overtime, but the final offensive series was a nightmare. It began with a helmet to helmet hit by TJ Watt on Hundley that wasn't called, but caused the team to lose some valuable time getting ready for its next play. When Williams went out of bounds on a second down carry, it opened the door for the Steelers to steal the game in regulation.

There's not much you can do when Brown makes a sideline catch like he did and you have to give their kicker credit for knocking in a 53 yarder to win it. The Packers did a lot of things right in this one, but a couple of mistakes in the final 60 seconds cost them.

Mike McCarthy deserves a lot of credit for getting Hundley turned around and having his undermanned team ready to compete against a team that's now 20-3 at home in prime time with Ben at QB. But McCarthy's decision to try a 57 yard field goal in the third quarter was infuriating--it didn't cost the Pack the game, but it gave the Steelers a ton of momentum, tying the game at 21-21. The Pack would not lead again.

When the Steelers took the lead 28-21 midway through the fourth quarter, it looked like curtains. But Hundley engineered his most impressive drive, a 12-play beauty that included a fourth down conversion and was punctuated by a Williams touchdown run. That drive spoke volumes about Hundley's growth, doing it on that stage against that defense.

But ultimately, a moral victory means nothing to a group of players who have grown accustomed to playing deep into January. Even if the Packers win the next two to improve to 7-6 and Rodgers comes back for the final three, they would need to win out and hope teams like the Falcons, Seahawks, Lions and Panthers stumble a few times along the way.

This may not be the Pack's year, but coming off two miserable, embarrassing losses at Lambeau the last three weeks, it was heartening to see the team play as well as it did in Pittsburgh. For Hundley, it was a major step forward and might cause another GM to come calling before the draft next spring--especially if he can follow up with strong games the next two weeks against teams the Packers should beat.

As for the playoffs, it would take a miracle. This team doesn't appear to have what it takes to 'run the table.' But for one night, we saw a Packers team compete like we expect them to.

I didn't think they had that in them.


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Comments (11):

Hey--how dare you attack my sweetie!?

on November 27th, 2017 at 01:27pm

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Packers reaching for moral victories. HAHAHA

on November 27th, 2017 at 02:33pm

The helmet-to-helmet ‘no call’ didn’t lose the game for GB and not so sure it should be called in that situation anyway. This loss hurts even more than a blowout loss would have. I’m just glad my bookie didn’t answer my last minute call, as I was about to bet the house Steelers would cover the 14.

on November 27th, 2017 at 10:27am

What ? ..... Yogi Bear said something which pertains to this Game ? .....I haven't watched that show in years but. it was one of my favorites ! .... I'll have to dig out my old VHS tapes and research that ! .....Thanks ! .....MM out.

on November 27th, 2017 at 10:35pm

My strategy nearly succeeded! ..... Pittsburgh thought they were playing the Sheboygan North High school team and, assumed they had another Bye week ! ....where's my Vicodin ? .... MM out.

on November 27th, 2017 at 10:44am

I tried to get you clowns the win, but you just aren't good enough to take advantage of my gifts. All the first downs via penalties aren't worth anything if you can't finish. BTW, Clay Matthews being "hurt" is a blessing in disguise. That clown can't play anyway.

on November 27th, 2017 at 11:44am

Your comments are for the most part accurate, with one exception that I have seen in pretty much all of the pro-Packer commentaries today: the Steelers had THREE turnovers and multiple drops, and in general played abysmally. They were clearly looking past the Pack. To the Pack's credit they almost made the Steelers pay for that but Packer fans need to realize that the Steelers did everything they could to hand the game off and still won. Better than the Ravens game but not a cause for great celebration.

on November 27th, 2017 at 11:59am

Our offense can't get a 1st down with 1:20 left to hang around for OT? Jesus, Joseph and Mary! The freakin refs miss the helmet to helmet call? What kind of crap is that? It's a good thing this season is quickly coming to an end. I can't take anymore of this nauseating garbage! I want a wholesale house cleaning after the season. Bye Bye TT and MM! It's time for a new era of Packer Football!!!!!

on November 27th, 2017 at 12:04pm

Yogi Berra was right. Remember that next week. ;-)

on November 27th, 2017 at 12:43pm

The Packers may be looking at the best of both possible worlds as they head into the closing stretch of the season. They are currently 9th in the NFC playoff standings but (not including tiebreakers) are only 2 games out of the playoff circle with 5 to play. They also currently hold the 17th place in next year's draft order; their highest in nearly a decade. But they are only one game away from the draft's top ten; the cream of consolation for a team that has a losing, non-playoff season. With Ted Thompson holding 13 picks in his hand already drafting high next year could net the Pack a bonanza of fresh new talent to reload and upgrade the team dramatically. We know the Packers will rebound to playoff contention immediately with the return of Aaron Rodgers. Whether that return will be this season or next we'll find out in just a couple of weeks. "10" will be the number to watch in either the win or loss column as the Packers try to make some lemonade from the lemon that has been the last 5 weeks of the season. Ten wins to make the playoffs again or ten losses to be sure of a top ten position in the draft. The Packers can win by winning or win by losing. It's the in between that would be most disappointing. Either way December football is going to be very interesting in Green Bay again.

on November 28th, 2017 at 05:36am

I guess I disagree a little with THC on this one. The defense got you 3 turn overs and the offense got zero points from them. This stress the defense in time of possession, points on the board and number of possessions. If we get any points, this game changes. Yes, Hundley looked better. Whether it was play calling or execution the offense didn't get it done. I agree that Pittsburgh was looking past us. The Browns and the Bucs won't be. I hope the be proven wrong, but I still doubt Hundley will convince anyone that he is a starting caliber QB.

on November 28th, 2017 at 10:35am

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