Steelers – Packers Game: Best Game this Year?

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace, right, catches a touchdown pass from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in front of Green Bay Packers' Josh Bell (26) with time running out in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 37-36. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)

Wow, what a game! Yesterday afternoon, I watched the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Green Bay Packers in a game that went about the way I expected, until the final drive. For most of the game, I had steeled myself for the inevitable meltdown I was sure would come. Even so, despite my best attempts to not care about the fourth quarter, I was really nervous in the final minutes. But, when Mike Wallace caught that TD pass from Big Ben with no time left on the clock, I yelled like a little kid. I’m normally pretty reserved, so this is unusual for me. But, anyway, that was among the best finishes to game that I can ever remember. Here are my thoughts on the game.

In the first half of the game, I was sort of numb to the ups and downs of the game. I enjoyed some of the good plays, and I was pulling for Hines Ward to get his 1,000 yards on the season. But in the back of my mind, I knew that no lead was big enough, so I watched it almost in the same frame of mind as a preseason game.

Given that the Steelers have found ways to blow leads in just about every loss they’ve had this season, I kept predicting bad things throughout the fourth quarter. Even when the Steelers were up by 10 points, I knew that the lead wasn’t big enough. When Green Bay scored early in the 4th to pull within 3 points, my wife asked what the Steelers needed to do. I said they needed to score a TD. I expected a 3 and out, so I was surprised that they drove down the field. But, then they blew a TD with an offensive PI call against Heath, and settled for a FG. Great drive squandered. The Packers, of course, marched down and scored to take the lead. So, the Steelers needed to answer, but again, only managed a FG.

Then, came the fateful onside kick. Of course, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman blasted the call and said things like, “If the Steelers lose, Tomlin will have to answer for that.” I thought that it was the perfect call. Better to give the Packers a short field so they wouldn’t be able to milk all of the clock than to let them march down, run the clock down, and kick a FG to win. Of course, an interception sure would have been nice right about then. But, it was not to be. They allowed a third TD in the fourth quarter, again. But, at least, Ben would get the ball last.

That last drive was certainly not a thing of beauty. What were there, two holding penalties? The Steelers were fortunate to get a couple of timely defensive holding penalties and an illegal contact against Green Bay, particularly on the interception. Of course, the linebacker so clearly ran over Hines on that play that it would have been a total travesty if it wasn’t called. But, Ben overcame a 4th and 7 and a 3rd and 15 to get down into position to take a few shots at the endzone. As we know, the first two missed, but that last was a beauty. Honestly, at that point, I had pretty much given up. Like I said, when Wallace caught that pass, I lost it for a minute, but being in a house of Steelers fans, it was ok. I had to walk around for a couple of minutes, because my heart was racing. I still don’t expect much from the Steelers this season in terms the playoffs, but for at least one game, they put on the show of the season!

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4 Responses to “Steelers – Packers Game: Best Game this Year?”

  1. Tannofsteel84 Says:

    We lost to baltimore by 3 points last time at their house, with our 3rd string QB. I think we can do some damage with Ben in there.

    • wolfpacksteelersfan Says:

      Oh, I think we can. I just don’t think we will. We also found ways to lose with Ben in there against KC, Oakland, and Cleveland. Maybe we just need to play against teams with winning records.

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