Sunday, December 20, 2009

Further thoughts on the Packers loss to Steelers

This is by no means a thorough review or analysis of the game. Feelings are a bit too raw for that right now.

So just consider it some cosmic debris for use later...or you wish.
  • The Packers scored 22 points in the 4th quarter.
  • The Packers gave up 503 yards passing, the most in the league this year.
  • The final score, 37-36, is the first time in NFL history a game has ended with that score.
  • The Packers -- the most penalized team in the league this season -- had 3 penalties on the Steelers' last drive that kept the Steelers alive...including an illegal contact penalty on an interception that would have ended the game and sealed a Packers' win.
  • The unavailability of backup CB Brandon Underwood played a larger role in this game than would have been thought. It meant everybody got bumped up, including Jarrett Bush (who was burned repeatedly on big plays today...just as he was last season) and Josh Bell, who gave up the winning TD with no time remaining on the clock; this was only the second time this season (if memory serves...don't count on it) that he was active.
  • And, as mentioned in my game preview, we would have hated to see the game go down to a Mason Crosby kick...but that's just what happened. That 1st half miss from 34-yards would ultimately have given the Pack the victory. The team must bring in some kickers to work out this week. Relying on Crosby down the stretch is just now too big of a question mark.
Again, just some initial thoughts about this heartbreaker. The Packers are now 9-5 and still in control of their own destiny as far as reaching the playoffs. This is a game the Pack should have been able to win. The good Steelers -- the ones that haven't been seen the last 5 weeks -- showed up today. Unfortunately, the sieve-like Packers' defense -- the bad one that we hadn't seen since the first half of the season -- reappeared at a very inopportune time. Aaron Rodgers and the offense got the winning TD. But, as happened so often last season, the defense couldn't make that one last stop...literally, this time.

Next up Seattle at Lambeau. I think the Pack will be angry. And that's good. They're much better when they're angry.