The Green Bay Packers were building a defensive resume against teams like San Francisco, Detroit, Baltimore and Chicago, all teams that have been offensively challenged for much of the season. They entered Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh ranked 2nd overall, 2nd against the rush and 3rd against the pass.
Now throw the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallas and Heath Miller at them and you find out just how special the defense really is. The two teams combined for 73 points, no turnovers and almost 1,000 yards of offense.
Sure, the Steelers offense had help by working against the 3-4 everyday, the same 3-4 that the Packers use under coordinator Dom Capers. But for the first time since Al Harris went down with a season ending injury, the Packers secondary was faced with the challenge of trying to hold a real good offense in check. You saw the result.
You’ll hear coaches say it’s never as bad as it seems and it’s never as good as it seems, and I believe that theory. That’s why the Packers will get right back to work today and try to correct some of the problems that popped up in Sunday’s loss.
We also can’t discount the brilliant performance of Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 503 yards and 3 touchdowns. Several times it looked like the Packers had him wrapped up for a sack and he’d shake it off. He moved in and out of the pocket better than most quarterbacks around the league and came up with a superhuman performance.
It was quite clear that the Steelers didn’t want their season to end, that they were sick of being told how bad they were since their embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Indians.
It was a thrill to watch this game and nobody really minded at the time that neither defense was doing much to stop anybody. This shouldn’t be a panic for the Packers, just because they gave up a whole bunch of yards and points. They’ll get back to work and respond accordingly.
Mike McCarthy does have one thing that he’s going to have to deal with soon. That’s his kicker. Mason Crosby is the nicest guy in the world, but nice guys don’t always win football games. If the Packers don’t want to cut this guy, than cut somebody else and bring in another kicker to share duties. Crosby can kick off and the other guy can kick field goals and extra points. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. But this is a business. Just like the Packers haven’t reached out to extend Nick Collins contract yet, they need to make a move on their kicker.
You can’t worry about hurting Crosby’s feelings. He’s a big boy! Does the coach really want to go into a playoff game needing Mason Crosby to make a kick to win a game? His 34-yard miss yesterday would have been the difference between a win and a loss.