Packers Know this Loss was a Gut-Check : Packers Insider

Packers Know this Loss was a Gut-Check

December 21, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Dec 21, 2009 ~ Mike Vandermause, Press-Gazette

~ Brandon Chillar summed it up best. “Losing like that makes you sick,” the Green Bay Packers linebacker said following his team’s gut-wrenching 37-36 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at Heinz Field.

Who could blame the Packers for wanting to throw up after allowing the Steelers to march 86 yards and score the winning touchdown on the final play?

Youngster Josh Bell tries to make up for his terrible positioning, but to no avail as Steelers rookie WR Mike Wallace makes a miraculous catch with no time on the clock to steal the game away from the Packers

Youngster Josh Bell tries to make up for his terrible positioning, but to no avail as Steelers rookie WR Mike Wallace makes a miraculous catch with no time on the clock to steal the game away from the Packers

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was brilliant in passing for a staggering 503 yards, but he saved the best for last when he threw a picture perfect 19-yard scoring strike to Mike Wallace to break the Packers’ hearts as well as their five-game winning streak.

“Any time you lose one on a last-second play, with a miraculous throw and catch, it definitely hurts,” linebacker Clay Matthews said in the somber Packers locker room.

Matthews is too young to remember, but it’s as if the Steelers finally received payback for Yancey Thigpen’s infamously dropped touchdown catch almost 14 years ago to the day against the Packers.

Thigpen, a Steelers receiver at the time, was wide open but dropped an easy pass at Lambeau Field in the waning seconds of the final game of the 1995 season to send the Packers to victory and their first division title in 23 years.

The tables were turned on Sunday, with Wallace producing a miracle catch and somehow keeping his feet inbounds, which enabled the Steelers to stay alive in the playoff race.

“We just lost by a play, bottom line,” Matthews said with a sigh. “They beat us by a play, it just comes down to that.”

Packers cornerback Josh Bell gave up the game-winning pass, but the Packers defense had numerous opportunities on the final drive to bury the Steelers. They couldn’t do it.

Roethlisberger converted a do-or-die fourth-down pass from his own 22 to Santonio Holmes. Jarrett Bush’s potential game-clinching interception was nullified by a penalty on Chillar. Cullen Jenkins missed a sack on Roethlisberger that would have run out the clock. Even Charles Woodson lamented a pass he felt he could have intercepted.

Jarrett Bush set the tone on the Steelers first play, blowing his coverage and allowing bomb to Mike Wallace for a quick TD. Besides the bad coverage, he whiffed on the tackle at the 5-yard line.

Jarrett Bush set the tone on the Steelers first play, blowing his coverage and allowing bomb to Mike Wallace for a quick TD. Besides the bad coverage, he whiffed on the tackle at the 5-yard line.

“Hindsight is always 20-20,” said Matthews. “It’s hard. Woulda, shoulda, coulda.”
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