Sunday, December 20, 2009

Halftime: Packers 14 - Steelers 21

After finishing up the 1st quarter deep in Steelers' territory, the Packers did what they are becoming all-too-good at this season: stalling out in the redzone.

In this case, it set up a 34-yard field goal attempt by the increasingly unreliable Mason Crosby. And, to no one's surprise, Crosby pushed it wide right...again. Missed opportunity.

The Packers tied the score late in the quarter on a 15-yard scramble by QB Aaron Rodgers, his fourth rushing TD of the season.

The Steelers came back to make a go-ahead TD with about 26-seconds remaining in the quarter, courtesy of too many missed tackles by the Packers that helped keep their drives alive. The Packers had about a 40-plus yard Hail Mary attempt to close out the half that was unsuccessful.

The Packers were plagued by dropped passes in the 2nd quarter. They were nearly plagued by a missed extra point, too, as Crosby's extra point kick on the second TD was almost pulled wide left. Crosby's psyche appears not to be in a place where he is confident of making anything at this point. In prior games, he was missing kicks over 40-yards; now he's missed a kick under 35 yards. Not good. Not good at all.

LB Clay Matthews got two sacks in the quarter. Apparently, the one in the 1st quarter was wiped out on the challenged call on the sack/fumble/so-called incomplete pass play.

The Packers have to keep getting pressure on Roethlisberger in the second half to have a hope in this game. They also have to start catching the passes they should be catching. And it would be nice to see a game plan that included some rushing attempts; through the first half the Packers ran a grand total of 6 times out of 35 plays for a total of 27 yards. That's like the kind of "balance" you get on Fox News: non-existent.

This is going to be a tough one to pull out. We knew that going in. But the Packers again have not played sharply and they have again missed opportunities. You can get away with that against lesser opponents. Despite the record, the Steelers are definitely not a lesser team in the scheme of things.