Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) rushes with the football as Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark (25) defends during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers 38 Packers 31 ... gut-wrenching loss


Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy rushes with the football during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

 

A fumble and two fourth quarter penalties within the final three minutes of play killed the Green Bay Packers chances today and allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to escape Lambeau Field with a 38-31 win.

The fumble was committed by Matt Flynn when it appeared he was very close to picking up an important first down inside three minutes. From that drive, the Steelers worked the middle of the field once, but also had two pass attempts (one complete and one incomplete), but failed to pick up a first down. They were poised to kick a field goal to go up 34-31.

That’s when the first penalty – this one by linebacker Nick Perry – occurred when he jumped offside on the Steelers’ field goal attempt with just under two minutes remaining to give the visiting team a first and goal instead of three points. On the next play, the Packers let the Steelers score on a running play to go up by a touchdown, 38-31 – a tactic that nearly worked to Green Bay’s advantage – but not quite.

Rookie cornerback Micah Hyde returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards and the Packers moved the ball down inside the 10 and to the one yard line with less than 30 seconds to play.

Ready to strike, the Packers’ Don Barclay (though it was actually T.J. Lang) was called for early movement and because the penalty came within one minute of the end of the game, 10 seconds were run off the clock, leaving the Packers 10 seconds and a single play to try to tie the score.

Flynn had Jordy Nelson seemingly wide open over the middle, but opted to go toward Jarrett Boykin at the back of the end zone. The ball was tipped and fell incomplete – and the Packers, though not out of it yet, had their playoff dreams reduced to a glimmer and a hope.

There was surprisingly a large number of points scored in this game, considering the weather conditions. There were important stops, there were important first downs, there were important fumbles (on both sides of the ball), but it really came down to discipline – something the Packers didn’t show at critical times today. It’s that lack of discipline  which eventually sunk the Packers ship.

The Packers held quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to 167 yards passing, 16/28, 2 touchdowns and one interception.

Matt Flynn was 21/39 for 231 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

In the battle of the rookie running backs, it was Le’veon Bell who not only finished the game, but came up with the best statistics. Bell carried the ball 26 times for 124 yards, while Lacy, who went out of the game in the second half after hurting his already ailing ankle and rode the bench down the stretch, finished with 15 carries for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns.

James Jones led Packers receivers with nine catches for 84 yards, followed by Jarrett Boykin who had five catches for 54 yards.

Given that the Packers were on the Steelers one yard line inside of one minute to play, this is one of the more excruciating losses in a season of painful losses. What’s really amazing is that at 7-7-1, the Packers still aren’t out of the playoffs … yet.

In fact, all Packers fans have become huge Philadelphia Eagles fans tonight as they take on the Chicago Bears.

Only if the Bears lose to the Philadelphia Eagles tonight do the Packers go into a Chicago game next week that means anything.

If the Bears win, next week’s game means nothing and the Packers will be playing only for pride.

 

Statistics provided by si.com

 

  • Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

GB PackersJarrett Boykin 5 yd pass from Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby kick), 4:02 Drive: 13 plays, 87 yards in 5:19
Green Bay 7-0
Pit SteelersEmmanuel Sanders 1 yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Shaun Suisham kick), 0:01 Drive: 7 plays, 73 yards in 4:01
Tied 7-7

2nd Quarter

GB PackersEddie Lacy 14 yd run (Mason Crosby kick), 1:53 Drive: 7 plays, 71 yards in 2:49
Green Bay 14-7
Pit SteelersShaun Suisham 31 yd FG, 0:02 Drive: 8 plays, 32 yards in 1:51
Green Bay 14-10

3rd Quarter

Pit SteelersBen Roethlisberger 13 yd run (Shaun Suisham kick), 11:51 Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards in 3:09
Pittsburgh 17-14
GB PackersEddie Lacy 2 yd run (Mason Crosby kick), 5:19 Drive: 4 plays, 3 yards in 1:07
Green Bay 21-17
Pit SteelersMatt Spaeth 11 yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Shaun Suisham kick), 1:55 Drive: 6 plays, 68 yards in 3:24
Pittsburgh 24-21
Pit SteelersCortez Allen 40 yd interception return (Shaun Suisham kick), 1:37 Drive: 0 play, 0 yard
Pittsburgh 31-21

4th Quarter

GB PackersMason Crosby 22 yd FG, 12:04 Drive: 6 plays, 19 yards in 2:56
Pittsburgh 31-24
GB PackersJohn Kuhn 1 yd run (Mason Crosby kick), 7:14 Drive: 6 plays, 58 yards in 3:13
Tied 31-31
Pit SteelersLe’Veon Bell 1 yd run (Shaun Suisham kick), 1:25 Drive: 5 plays, 17 yards in 0:26
Pittsburgh 38-31

Packers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Flynn 21/39 232 1 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Lacy 15 84 2 14
Starks 10 47 0 9
Kuhn 3 12 1 9
Flynn 2 8 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Jones 9 84 0 21
Boykin 5 54 1 21
Nelson 3 46 0 31
Lacy 2 6 0 5
Starks 1 23 0 23
Quarless 1 19 0 19
Fumbles FUM LOST REC-O
Flynn 1 1 0

Steelers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Roethlisberger 16/28 167 2 1
McBriar 1/1 30 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Bell 26 124 1 25
Roethlisberger 1 13 1 13
Dwyer 1 7 0 7
Jones 1 7 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Brown 6 105 0 36
Miller 3 17 0 6
Sanders 2 7 1 6
Paulson 1 30 0 30
Spaeth 1 11 1 11
Cotchery 1 9 0 9
Dwyer 1 7 0 7
Johnson 1 6 0 6
Bell 1 5 0 5

Packers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Flynn 21/39 232 1 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Lacy 15 84 2 14
Starks 10 47 0 9
Kuhn 3 12 1 9
Flynn 2 8 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Jones 9 84 0 21
Boykin 5 54 1 21
Nelson 3 46 0 31
Lacy 2 6 0 5
Starks 1 23 0 23
Quarless 1 19 0 19
Fumbles FUM LOST REC-O
Flynn 1 1 0
Interceptions NO YDS LG TD
Hawk 1 7 7 0
Defense TACKLES ASST SACKS
Burnett 6 2 0
Mulumba 4 2 0
Hawk 4 2 0
Hyde 1 4 0
Neal 5 0 0
Richardson 3 2 0
Williams 3 2 0
Jennings 1 2 0
Matthews 3 0 1
Lattimore 3 0 0
Shields 3 0 0
Banjo 1 0 0
Jones 1 0 0
Fumbles FORCED REC-D
Williams 0 1
Lattimore 1 0

Steelers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Roethlisberger 16/28 167 2 1
McBriar 1/1 30 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Bell 26 124 1 25
Roethlisberger 1 13 1 13
Dwyer 1 7 0 7
Jones 1 7 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Brown 6 105 0 36
Miller 3 17 0 6
Sanders 2 7 1 6
Paulson 1 30 0 30
Spaeth 1 11 1 11
Cotchery 1 9 0 9
Dwyer 1 7 0 7
Johnson 1 6 0 6
Bell 1 5 0 5
Fumbles FUM LOST REC-O
Bell 1 1 0
Brown 1 0 1
Interceptions NO YDS LG TD
Allen 1 40 40 1
Defense TACKLES ASST SACKS
Clark 9 1 0
Timmons 8 2 1
Allen 5 1 0
Heyward 3 3 0
Sylvester 3 1 0
Taylor 3 2 0
Polamalu 3 1 0
Worilds 3 0 1
Gay 3 0 0
Williams 2 0 0
Allen 0 2 0
Keisel 1 0 1
Woods 1 0 0
Carter 1 0 0
Hood 0 1 0
McLendon 0 1 0
Fumbles FORCED REC-D
Keisel 0 1
Polamalu 1 0

Packers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Flynn 21/39 232 1 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Lacy 15 84 2 14
Starks 10 47 0 9
Kuhn 3 12 1 9
Flynn 2 8 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Jones 9 84 0 21
Boykin 5 54 1 21
Nelson 3 46 0 31
Lacy 2 6 0 5
Starks 1 23 0 23
Quarless 1 19 0 19
Fumbles FUM LOST REC-O
Flynn 1 1 0
Interceptions NO YDS LG TD
Hawk 1 7 7 0
Defense TACKLES ASST SACKS
Burnett 6 2 0
Mulumba 4 2 0
Hawk 4 2 0
Hyde 1 4 0
Neal 5 0 0
Richardson 3 2 0
Williams 3 2 0
Jennings 1 2 0
Matthews 3 0 1
Lattimore 3 0 0
Shields 3 0 0
Banjo 1 0 0
Jones 1 0 0
Fumbles FORCED REC-D
Williams 0 1
Lattimore 1 0
Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG
Hyde 5 33.4 0 70
Stoneburner 1 0 0 0
Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG
Hyde 2 8 0 10
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
Crosby 1/1 22 4/4 4
Punting NO AVG IN 20 LG
Masthay 5 41.6 1 51
FIRST DOWNS 26
Rushing 11
Passing 12
Penalty 3
THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 43%
(6 for 14)
Third Down Made 6
Third Down Attempt 14
Third Down Percentage 43
FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 0%
(0 for 0)
Fourth Down Made 0
Fourth Down Attempt 0
Fourth Down Percentage 0
TOTAL NET YARDS 370
Total Offensive Plays 72
Average gain per play 5.1
NET YARDS RUSHING 151
Rushing Attempts 30
Average gain per rush 5
Tackles for loss-yards 0
NET YARDS PASSING 219
Times sacked: Number-Yards 3-13
Times sacked 3
Sacked Number Yards 13
Gross Yards Passing 232
PASS ATTEMPTS-COMPLETIONS-HAD INTERCEPTED 39-21-1
Avg gain per pass play 5.2
Completions 21
Attempts 39
Had intercepted 1
PUNTS NUMBER AND AVERAGE 5-41.6
Had Blocked 0
Number 5
Yards 208
Average 41.6
TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE (NOT INCLUDING KICKOFFS) 190
Punt Return Attempts 2
Punt Return Yards 16
Kickoff Return Attempts 6
Kickoff Return Yards 167
Interception Return Attempts 1
Interception Return Yards 7
PENALTIES NUMBER-YARDS 9-90
Penalties 9
Penalty Yards 90
FUMBLES NUMBER-LOST 1-1
Fumbles 1
Fumbles Lost 1
TIME OF POSSESSION 33:20

Steelers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Roethlisberger 16/28 167 2 1
McBriar 1/1 30 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Bell 26 124 1 25
Roethlisberger 1 13 1 13
Dwyer 1 7 0 7
Jones 1 7 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Brown 6 105 0 36
Miller 3 17 0 6
Sanders 2 7 1 6
Paulson 1 30 0 30
Spaeth 1 11 1 11
Cotchery 1 9 0 9
Dwyer 1 7 0 7
Johnson 1 6 0 6
Bell 1 5 0 5
Fumbles FUM LOST REC-O
Bell 1 1 0
Brown 1 0 1
Interceptions NO YDS LG TD
Allen 1 40 40 1
Defense TACKLES ASST SACKS
Clark 9 1 0
Timmons 8 2 1
Allen 5 1 0
Heyward 3 3 0
Sylvester 3 1 0
Taylor 3 2 0
Polamalu 3 1 0
Worilds 3 0 1
Gay 3 0 0
Williams 2 0 0
Allen 0 2 0
Keisel 1 0 1
Woods 1 0 0
Carter 1 0 0
Hood 0 1 0
McLendon 0 1 0
Fumbles FORCED REC-D
Keisel 0 1
Polamalu 1 0
Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG
Jones 4 15.8 0 25
Sanders 1 54 0 46
Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG
Brown 2 20.5 0 41
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
Suisham 1/1 31 5/5 5
Punting NO AVG IN 20 LG
McBriar 5 35.6 3 39
FIRST DOWNS 21
Rushing 8
Passing 10
Penalty 3
THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 20%
(2 for 10)
Third Down Made 2
Third Down Attempt 10
Third Down Percentage 20
FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 100%
(2 for 2)
Fourth Down Made 2
Fourth Down Attempt 2
Fourth Down Percentage 100
TOTAL NET YARDS 343
Total Offensive Plays 59
Average gain per play 5.8
NET YARDS RUSHING 151
Rushing Attempts 29
Average gain per rush 5.2
Tackles for loss-yards 0
NET YARDS PASSING 192
Times sacked: Number-Yards 1-5
Times sacked 1
Sacked Number Yards 5
Gross Yards Passing 197
PASS ATTEMPTS-COMPLETIONS-HAD INTERCEPTED 29-17-1
Avg gain per pass play 6.4
Completions 17
Attempts 29
Had intercepted 1
PUNTS NUMBER AND AVERAGE 5-35.6
Had Blocked 0
Number 5
Yards 178
Average 35.6
TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE (NOT INCLUDING KICKOFFS) 198
Punt Return Attempts 2
Punt Return Yards 41
Kickoff Return Attempts 5
Kickoff Return Yards 117
Interception Return Attempts 1
Interception Return Yards 40
PENALTIES NUMBER-YARDS 7-58
Penalties 7
Penalty Yards 58
FUMBLES NUMBER-LOST 2-1
Fumbles 2
Fumbles Lost 1
TIME OF POSSESSION 26:40

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/gameflash/2013/12/22/5606/index.html#ixzz2oGAFa3Qp

 

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