Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Bucky Five: Some Games Just Aren't Meant to Be

1. Wow - It's what Ben Roethlisberger said after "The Claymaker's" (kudos to TBC reader Michael on the nickname) sack and fumble recovery on him was reversed, and it's the perfect word to describe what was a wild 37-36 Steelers victory over Green Bay. Coming into this game, the Packers had won five straight while the Steelers have lost five straight, something not typical of a depending Super Bowl championship. That fact alone would make anyone nervous about this game, and because of how much the Steelers had to prove you knew this was going to be a good litmus test for how good this Packers team is. And if we didn't know it already, this is a very good team. It's just that not every game is meant to be won, and that fact wasn't more true than it was on Sunday.

You take a look at all of the things that went down in this one, and there wasn't really much else the Packers could have done to win this one (except for not have Mason Crosby and Jarrett Bush on the roster, but we'll save that for a little later). There were some questionable calls by the officials, not enough to claim conspiracy but enough to hold a grudge. The Matthews sack and fumble recovery was another solid play by a rookie defender who is rapidly becoming a star in this league, but it was reversed due to the dumbest rule in the history of sports. That, and the multitude of pass interference and holding penalties made it almost certain that Pittsburgh would draw a flag on every pass attempt. And there's the little fact that Motorcycle Ben has a knack for last second victories. This one just wasn't ours to win, but that's okay.

Sure, losing sucks, especially in this fashion, but the Packers are sitting at 9-5 and still in a very comfortable position for the playoffs. All they really have to do is beat either Seattle or a nothing-to-play-for Arizona team, so no worries there. Plus, if you would have told me after the Tampa Bay loss that we'd win five of our next six, well I would have given up my first born to make that a reality. Let's not fret too much about this one. It was an entertaining game that we fell on the losing end of, but this game will give us some good experience going forward.

2. Bushwhacked - We've been harsh on Jarrett Bush here in the past, and he earned our criticism again today with a not so strong showing. That was never more evident than right away on the Steelers first drive, when Big Ben hit Mike Wallace on a 60-yard strike to open things up. From there, it all went downhill, as Bush was a big reason why Roethlisberger threw for a Steelers franchise record 503 records. My favorite part about this game though was that for as bad as Bush played, he must have a really good friend in the newly signed Josh Bell. On that last drive especially, it was almost as if Bell said, "Forget Jarett, I want to be known as the shittiest cornerback on the Packers". I'm going to give you guys both that honor, work it out in practice this week.

3. Chasin' Mason (Out the Door?) - Every team needs a scapegoat, and ours has become Mason Crosby. Crosby has missed a field goal in the last four games, and at some point it's going to cost us a victory - if it didn't already on Sunday. Mason has been saying all the right things about how he's still confident in his abilities, but it's obvious that he's not. Problem for him, I don't think Mike McCarthy is either. I still don't think you cut Mason Crosby yet, but we need to bring in some competition for him or something. Either he gets right, or we get someone else. And that's a decision we don't have a lot of time to make.

4. Don't Blame it on Rodgers - Remember last year when Aaron Rodgers was getting criticized for not being able to lead the Packers on the big drive to win the game, even though game in and game out he was doing so only to have the defense blow it? Well, that's what happened again against Pittsburgh, as Rodgers drove the offense to 22 4th quarter points including what seemed to be the game winning touchdown drive with a strike to James Jones. But the Packers ultimately left too much time on the clock, and the defense's strategy of rushing just three guys on the final drive didn't pan out too well. Rodgers did start a little rough in the beginning, but there's nothing wrong with a 383 yard performance with three touchdowns, including one on a should be game winning drive.

5. Two Games to Go - So after fourteen games, the Packers are 9-5. Barring a massive disaster, we're either headed to Philadelphia or Arizona in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Not too shabby considering how bleak things looked earlier this season. Yeah, this would have been a nice victory, and we could have possibly clinched a playoff spot with a Giants loss tomorrow night, but things are looking just fine in Titletown. Let's move on from this, and go kick some Seahawks ass nice weekend.

1 comments:

Michael said...

ooooo oui!

maryse is 'nouti'

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