I was for the Packers for most of the game until the Steelers tried an onsides kick with 3:40 left and Green Bay recovered it and scored. The Steelers had just kicked a field goal to go up 30-28. Mike Tomlin (Steelers Coach) took a huge gamble and tried an onsides kick. Nobody would agree with that decision, but I kind of liked it. It was the same type gamble that Bill Belichick took against New England when he went for it on fourth and two late in the game with his team leading. Belichick didn't think his defense could hold off Peyton Manning late in the game. So he took a major risk. It backfired on Belichick, but I liked it.It almost backfired on Tomlin, but I still liked it. He was playing to win. The thing I liked about it was it totally caught the Pack off guard. If the Steelers player hadn't recovered it nine yards off the line instead of 10 and let it roll one more revolition and recovered it, Tomlin would have looked like a genius. It was a total surprise to the Pack and the Steelers had a great chance of recovering it, but got penalized for not letting it roll 10 yards. The Pack got the ball back and scored on a beautiful 24-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to James Jones. Jones made a leaping catch on the left side line, realing the ball from his fingertips to his hands and dashed to the end zone. It was an awesome play. The Pack took the lead 36-30 with two minutes left.
Then Big Ben was Big Ben. He drove the Steelers down the field converting key third downs aided by some Packer defensive penalties that ultimately put the Steelers at the Pack 19 with three seconds left. This was the game. The Steelers had to get a td.
Big Ben stood back in the pocket and fired a pass toward Mike Wallace in the end zone as the clock struck zero. Wallace, an Ole Miss rookie, was covered tightly by a Packer defender, but barely broke away and hauled in the ball just inside the left sideline using some beautiful foot work to keep both feet inbounds. The Pittsburgh crowd went berserk.
Jeff Reed kicked the game winning extra point and the Steelers, after having lost five straight and given up for dead, are now back in the wild card picture in the AFC at 7-7. Both Baltimore and Denver are 8-6. There is a big group at 7-7 including the once 0-6 Titans who won in a thrilling 27-24 overtime win over the Dolphins. The Dolphins had made a great comeback from a 24-9 deficit in the fourth quarter, but the Titans won it with a Rob Bironas 46-yard field goal in OT. I believe that was Bironas' seventh game winning field goal.
The Packers fell to 9-5, but still look to be in good shape for a wild card berth in the NFC. They and Dallas look to be in the best shape for wild cards in NFC. The next closes teams are the Giants at 7-6. The Giants play the Redskins on Monday Night.
Big Ben was 25-46 for 503 yards and three tds. Rodgers was pretty good too: 26-48 for 383 yards and three tds.
Now that was entertainment!
In another note, the Saints are no longer unbeaten after losing to Dallas 24-17 on Sat. Night. But I wouldn't mind that if I were the Saints.
There's a lot more pressure when you're undefeated this late in the season. Of course, you want the chance to win'em all, but the pressure is now off the Saints and they can just concentrate on winning out. The Colts still have the expectations from the media which will be intense.
Remember the Patriots two years ago. There was all that talk about them being the first team to go undefeated since the '72 Dolphins. They were 18-0 heading into the Super Bowl and lost to the Giants there.
Of course these guys want to win every game–they're the ultimate competitors–so that would be awesome if the Colts did, but it's hard to do, especially in the NFL and with the pressure from the media. The Colts have clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They may want to rest some starters in the next two weeks and get ready for the playoffs even if that would ruin their undefeated record. I know it's a great record to tie or even better–there are more games played now, but the key is to win the Super Bowl.